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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Book Review: The Last Juror - John Grisham

Well, I said I’d purchased a couple of more John Grisham books after enjoying The Broker, and instantly started reading this one, The Last Juror.

The book centres on the town on Clanton, Mississippi in the 1970s as seen through the eyes of journalist come newspaper proprietor Willie Traynor. While the title may suggest this is one of Grisham’s legal thrillers this is not the case although the main plot line centres around a murder trial where the accused says he will have his revenge on the Jury when he is found guilty. And when jurors start dieing after his parole the people of Clanton jump to some obvious conclusions. I shall say no more on this part of the story so as not to ruin a very enjoyable read.

Where the book excels is in its many other stories that weave in and around the main plot tying together beautifully to give a fascinating picture of life in 1970s Mississippi. The book covers various issues such as racial divide, religion, justice, corruption, the Vietnam War and much more without ever coming across as preachy. Instead it is a social commentary taking in the views of a variety of different people from contrasting backgrounds using Traynor’s position as editor of the local paper as a means to gain insight in the various aspects of the society.

Overall it is difficult to find fault with this book, my only criticism being a slowing of pace about two thirds of the way through before it picks up again in a final crescendo with some nice twists and neatly tying up the various loose ends that evoke a variety of emotions. Highly recommended to all.

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