Summary and book reviews of The Last Juror by John Grisham

The Last Juror

By John Grisham

The Last Juror
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2004,
    368 pages.
    Paperback: Dec 2004,
    496 pages.

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Book 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.

Chapter 2

Rhoda Kassellaw lived in the Beech Hill community, twelve miles north of Clanton, in a modest gray brick house on a narrow, paved country road. The flower beds along the front of the house were weedless and received daily care, and between them and the road the long wide lawn was thick and well cut. The driveway was crushed white rock. Scattered down both sides of it was a collection of scooters and balls and bikes. Her two small children were always outdoors, playing hard, sometimes stopping to watch a passing car.


It was a pleasant little country house, a stone's throw from Mr. And Mrs. Deece next door. The young man who bought it was killed in a trucking accident somewhere in Texas, and, at the age of twenty-eight, Rhoda became a widow. The insurance on his life paid off the house and the car. The balance was invested to provide a modest monthly income that allowed her to remain home and dote on the children. She spent hours outside, tending her vegetable garden, ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
USA Today - Deirdre Donahue

The novel will satisfy those with an appetite for legal thrillers and those who believe Grisham possesses more talent than those breathless page-turners sometimes reveal. It ranks among his best-written and most atmospheric novels.

The New York Times - Janet Maslin

Miss Callie might be pure caricature if Mr. Grisham did not write about her with such incontrovertible warmth. Here, as in A Time to Kill, he is able to populate Clanton with flesh-and-blood characters and make readers care about them, which only heightens concern after a renegade Padgitt begins pickin' off the jurors. ...The Last Juror does not need to coast on its author's megapopularity. It's a reminder of how the Grisham juggernaut began.

Reader Reviews
kristelle

The Last Juror
i Need to read this book because of such book report project.The first chapter was really boring bur as the chapter continues, the more the climax become near..This book is really awesome and I recommend this book to all ages especially book lovers...   Read More

Anonymous

I believe that John Grisham's The Last Juror conveys round characters and a suspenseful plot. The ending is in no way predictable (unless you skipped ahead and read the last chapter as that is the only way you would know the ending). You find ...   Read More

Ben

I am 16 years old and this was the first Grisham book that I have read and I believe that this was a good book. Although I had not read any of his books I have seen a couple of his movies (The Firm and Runaway Jury). When I picked this book up I was ...   Read More

Kathie

this doesn't seem to know what kind of book it wants to be. it is not particularly suspenseful, and rather obvious, however it is a great character study of a small southern town and interesting to see the hero 'grow up' amongst the townfolk.

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