Summary and book reviews of The Last Juror by John Grisham

The Last Juror

by John Grisham

The Last Juror
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2004, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2004, 496 pages

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Book Summary

A murderer threatens revenge against his jurors if they convict him. Nevertheless, they find him guilty and he's sentenced to life imprisonment; but nine years later he's on parole and out for vengeance.

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

Misty

This is the first Grishom book I've read since A Time to Kill and I thought it was fabulous. I love the way he described the characters, even if they were only there for the moment. The ending was a complete surprise! I began to wonder how he ...   Read More

Erin Gross

I love John Grisham and thought this book was his best. I am fifteen years old and the first book of his, I read when I was twelve, it was Pelican Brief, then I read A Time to Kill, The Firm, and The Chamber. John Grisham does such a great job at ...   Read More

Takesha Vance

I am a sixteen year old student in high school and i had to read The Last Juror as an assignment. At first I wan't really too excited about reading this particular book but as I progressed into the second chapter the story was becoming very ...   Read More

Pamela

I'm 16 years old, and have bought and read every John Grisham book out so far. John Grisham is a truely talented writer. Last Juror is another piece of evidence that shows exactly why he is a best seller. With his great discriptions telling ...   Read More

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