Book it up: John Grisham’s “The Client”

As 2009 is about to close, allow me to have another topic in my blog- that is my own book review.  I am a bookworm and despite my busy schedule, I try to read as many interesting books as I can. Since now I am hooked up with Facebook and blogging, I had to squeeze an hour or so reading a book mostly at night or should I say early morning (cos I usually sleep after midnight), before I go to bed.

For the first book I would like to share in my blog, I’ve chosen the book I just finished last night, John Grisham’s The Client.

The story is about 11 year old Mark Sway and his little brother Ricky, witnessing a suicide of a distressed lawyer, Jerome “Romey” Clifford, the legal counsel of a Mafia by the name of Barry Muldanno. You may think why the lawyer committed suicide? You see, a Senator from Louisiana by the name of Boyd Boyette had been missing and many has speculated that he was murdered though his body has not been found even after 8 months of extensive searching.

Apparently, the time Romey had a holiday is the same time that Boyette was murdered by Muldanno. Barry buried him in Romey’s garage and informed the lawyer as soon as everything is settled and the temporary grave is hard with the concrete poured in it.

This made Romey became berserk and finally made a move to kill himself. He drove all the way to Memphis, which is the place he grew up. How Mark and Ricky became involved in this story is purely coincidental. The brothers went to the woods to play. Young as he is, Mark has been secretly smoking cigarette and that day, Ricky got curious and the big brother taught him how to become an “adult”. It was almost dark and they are about to finish smoking when they heard a car approaching which is very unlikely because the place is very secluded. They hid and saw a man trying to put a hose in the car’s exhaust pipe and putting the other end inside the car so he can smell it and die soon. This bothered them. Mark attempted to remove it several times before he was caught by Romey who got irritated with Mark’s snooping.  He pulled the boy inside the car so they both can die while Ricky was still outside hiding and listening to all that’s happening in the car. Moving forward, Romey killed himself but before doing it, he told Mark a detailed story of Boyette’s murder and where his body is hidden. Mark almost died in this process but was still lucky.

The brothers run back home but the incident especially witnessing that his brother almost died made Ricky become shocked and curled himself in bed, suck his thumb and never moved or talked since then. Mark tried going back to the car just to be sure that the police will find the car and just conclude it to be a plain suicide. Unfortunately, he was caught hiding and got questioned. It soon became apparent that he was inside the car when Romey killed himself and they became suspicious that Mark knew something which he did not want to reveal.

Ricky was sent to the hospital to be observed and treated. The family had enough on that day and what made it worse is that Diane, their mom lost her job because she cannot work to be with Ricky. While all of these were happening, Mark sneaked out of the hospital and tried to find the office of a lawyer he saw in a television commercial in the hospital for fear that he needed one because he is in trouble. The lawyer cannot be reached and before he decided to move back to the hospital, Mark saw a small law office with the name, Reggie Love etched in front. He went inside and everything was history. He met Reggie and hired her with the retainer fee of 1 Dollar. Reggie’s been handling a lot of Juvenile cases and this could have been a simple case until Mark informed her of the murder of the Senator which made it a lot complicated, if not too risky.

Reggie is very compassionate and unfazed by risks only if it is for the good of her clients. She treat her kid clients as her children and even send them home to taste the good food of her mom, Momma Love. Mark was not an exception. They became closer and Mark had a special place in her heart ever since. Reggie had to admit to herself that Mark is very exceptional for his age. He is street smart and very independent. The fact that he can think of hiring a lawyer for himself is something unusual. Mark has been watching re-runs of American series in TV and his favorite is about law series.  Moreover, Mark is very tough. If Ricky has been so affected by the incident which made him shocked, Mark seemed not moved at all.

The FBI became involved and because they suspected Mark has a valuable information about the Senator’s death,  they wanted Mark to speak. They wanted the Juvenile court to subpoena Mark so he can speak under oath. They tried proposing for Mark and his family to be put in a witness protection program but he is not convinced. Apparently even under oath, Mark did not talk for fear of his and his family’s life if he spilled the beans. This put him in contempt and has been detained in the Juvenile Center. He made a stunt by acting shocked himself while confined in the “jail”. When he was about to be transferred to the same hospital his brother Ricky is staying, he made the stunt and escaped. He contacted Reggie and the two of them drive all the way to New Orleans to be sure that Romey is not lying and indeed the body of the Senator is in the garage.

The news broke that Mark had escaped and he may be with his lawyer. This made the mobster panicked and moved to retrieve the body and transfer to another place. This is the same time that Mark and Reggie tried going to Romey’s house to see for themselves the corpse. Lady luck is still on their side that night because they have escaped being seen by the gunmen while they were hiding. Moreover, they even scared the Mob when Romey’s neighbor heard some commotion and fired a gun. Later, they saw the decomposing body of the Senator. This made Mark changed his mind and agreed to be placed under witness protection.

After all the arrangements were made and the family is ready to fly to their new destination with a new persona and the like, Mark realized that they are leaving Reggie behind. Because he will have a new personality and may not be able to see Reggie again, he became totally sad with the realization that he put Reggie’s life at risk and she has to experience all of these because of him. Reggie assured him that she will be ok. She is just a plain lawyer and the mob will not be interested with her. Moreover, she said if Mark did not involved her, she will not be able to meet and know him personally.

One day in our lives we may be in a very uncompromising situation. On another end, we may meet someone who may become an instrument for a life-changing action. Whatever it is, as long as we trust the person who care for us and love us the most, then life will be better soon.

John Grisham has successfully put the readers hooked to the book and not want to drop it because the way he told the story is done very simply even for a fact that there are a lot of legal aspects injected in the storyline. What I liked about his style is that his main character in his books were always smart and cocky and know their laws..As they say, “Ignorance of the law excuses no one”…

My dream is to become a chef..reading Grisham’s book made me think I also want to be a lawyer..well, not too far-fetched as I remembered my former boss used to call me Attorney cos I always draft our contracts in the office. There were even instances when we show the draft to the lawyer, the draft was well-written and covers everything as the lawyer claimed. Enough of the braggart me..LOL.

So there…if you happened to drop by in a bookstore please consider taking “The Client” to the counter and bring home for a worthwhile reading. As for me, there are 2 other Grisham books in my shelf and a couple of Bob Ong books my friend lend me…so it will be a busy New Year for me.

Book it up guys!

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The Phenomenon of Mafia Wars

Mafia Wars

I have been into Facebook for many months now and what keeps me glued to this social networking site is the fact that it has been a constant source of information about my friends, former colleagues, family and relatives. In fact, during the time of the Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) wherein my home got affected and some of our relatives as well, Facebook has been the source of Free and instant communication between me and some of my relatives staying in the US and Canada. Since we cannot contact most of our family members back home, if we get any news or if someone managed to receive any SMS or are able to call any member back home, we just messasge through Facebook.  Really convenient. I even see many people trying to encourage others to extend help or give donations to the victims sent through Facebook. This is a very effective means of communication and conveying our message across the globe.

Another reason why I don’t mind spending late weekday nights and most especially weekend nights even renting computer in a net cafe is because of the very interesting and unique games which is popularly known as “Apps” short for applications. Currently, I am playing Farm Town, Farm Ville, Barn Buddy, Fish World, My City, Restaurant City, Roller Coaster World, Cafe World, Island Paradise and of course Mafia Wars..too many apps for me to be called a real app “addict” you may say. Well yes, I spend at least 2 hours a night just for me to do usual rounds of these games. Apart from going to fitness, I guess this is just my way of getting past my boredom especially since I am living alone and communication back home is limited. Sometimes if I finished work then heading to the gym and taking a quick dinner, either the folks are already sleeping or about to sleep so most of the time, I have been talking to them during weekends. At least this kind of addiction doesn’t do any harm to other people and is quite entertaining if I may say. Only thing is that of course instead of me sleeping longer, I had to cut at least 2 hours of my nightly sleeping time but just like any other fad, I am sure this will come to pass soon.

Actually even I am playing many of these apps, it doesn’t mean I have to visit them all everyday. It’s just a matter of time management and effective scheduling. Ha ha ha! For example, in Farm Town if you plant a crop for 3 days, then you don’t need to visit in the next 3 days until the crops are ready for harvest. Unless you are really hot to gain XP to level up faster then you need to visit neighbors often, work for others etc. But for my case, I am not taking it too seriously and am not in so much of a rush to level up fast. Besides, I have other “more important” things to do on other times of the day. Of course these activities doesn’t have to coincide with work or family affairs for that matter. Well, lucky for me, even I sleep past midnight every day, I don’t feel sleepy or not alert in the office or trying to do something silly because of lack of sleep. I am confident even my boss would read this post can say my work is not affected at all so everything should be ok I guess.. Ha ha ha!

Ok going back to the games..I had been hooked up in Farm Town for quite a long time and in fact the post I made here in my blog about Farm Town has been one of the most popular topics in my blog in terms of searches and visits. Truly, Facebook is a global phenomenon and many people have been trying to get information about these apps thru blogs. Lately, I have been spending more time with Mafia Wars which is one of the most popular if not the most popular app in Facebook. Wikipedia listed that as of October 2009, Mafia Wars have 25.9 million monthly active accounts.  It means, it has even more people using this app than the registered population of the whole city of New York!

But what makes Mafia Wars quite exciting if not interesting considering it is not even an arcade type game? Well for one, you gain power, money and influence every time you accomplish any job or have had successful fights. You can even grow your mafia family every so often.

You can select a character type. You can choose to become a Mogul (which means you earn money faster) or fearless (meaning you can recover energy faster so you can do more jobs) or become a maniac (to recover stamina faster so you fight more often). I actually chose the Mogul character. As of this writing, my cash which I have not deposited in the bank is more than 200 million already and I believe I have over 100 million in the bank which I have deposited earlier. Wow, if those are real money, I can take the place of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates very soon especially with the very fast inflow of money into my coffers.

I continuously am trying to improve my Top Mafia based on their profile and level so every job or fights I take, I can get more Experience Points or money. I am currently at level 60 playing less than a month. So if anyone wants to be part of my Mafia family, please feel free to let me know so we can level up together!

That’s all for now folks…I need to read John Grisham’s The Associate. Really very interesting..cannot drop the book even late at night. As soon as I finished the book, will make a post about it.