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Publisher's Summary

In 1970, one of Mississippi's more colorful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a 23 year-old college dropout, named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper. The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courthouse in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.
But in Mississippi in 1970, "life" didn't necessarily mean "life," and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.
©2004 Belfry Holdings, Inc. (P)2004 Random House, Inc., Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Here [John Grisham] is back in the fictitious town of Clanton, Miss., re-establishing the storytelling skills and sense of place that put him on the map....The Last Juror does not need to coast on its author's megapopularity. It's a reminder of how the Grisham juggernaut began." (The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Danielle on 02-08-04

Grisham's Finest

"The Last Juror" includes an ensemble of interesting characters in a setting brought to life with Southern culture, customs and dialect. It was difficult to pause once I was listening. I give it 4.5 at least.

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24 of 24 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Mark on 01-27-05

Rambling Southern Comfort

Listeners looking for a courtroom thriller should look elsewhere. The Last Juror has little to do with juries or the courtroom. It has much to do with a broad canvas painting of a small, Southern town during the decade of the 1970s. This painting begins with a terrible crime and arrest. Predictably it moves on to the trial and the selection of the jury.

But somewhere along the way, the story takes a casual turn. Instead of the tight, focused story Grisham's readers have come to expect, Mr. Grisham changes course and spends more time on the diffuse background of the town and its characters. This reader had the distinct feeling that the author ran out of his story a quarter of the way in and changed his mind.

The rambling tale that follows is good... but is not the stuff of Grisham fame. Readers, who want courtroom action, would be much better off passing on this book and looking for other Grisham favorites.

Michael Beck does an outstanding job with the performance of this book. In fact, it is his personification of the characters in Grisham's tale that raises the rating on this audiobook. Once the listener figures out that this is no longer a courtroom shocker, but is a mural painting of the South, he or she can comfortably enjoy Beck's sourthern charms. Beck is more the draw with this audiobook than is the book itself.

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21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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