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Monday, November 2, 2015

The Last Juror: A Novel

Oh, John Grisham, how you have such a large cannon of work that allows me to always enjoy you at the beach. This year's work was The Last Juror, and I enjoyed it immensely.

1970 was a big year for The Ford County Times, namely because Ford County saw one of the most grotesque murders it had ever seen. A young widow and mother of two was murdered in her own home, and a local boy was convicted. As he was dragged away, he promised the jury that he would get revenge on him. Soon after his release from prison almost a decade later, jurors begin dying one at a time. Could this be the revenge that Danny Padgitt promised, or just an odd coincidence?

This was a bit of a departure from Grisham's typical legal thriller, because although there was definitely a crime and a court case, this story was really about the paper and it's proprietor, a young man fresh out of journalism school with an ambitious idea to take over a small town newspaper and basically print money. He succeeds at this, and builds a strong reputation in the process. He is also our narrator, and he tells us a tale that begins with a gruesome act perpetrated on an unsuspecting woman and ends with a twist you didn't expect.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book for my beach reading. As always, I brought two Grisham's with me, and neither disappointed. I enjoyed the departure here from the usual legal thriller, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story web that Grisham weaved in this novel. I cared about the players, and I wanted to follow along. I loved the relationships in this book, especially that between Willie (the newspaperman) and Callie, a woman he interviewed for a human interest story who became his closest confidant and ally in Ford County. Callie was a lovely character, and maybe one of my Grisham favorites. Ultimately, a good read worth my time. 

For purchase below. 

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