Friday, August 12, 2011

The Last Juror - Review

Grisham veers a little from his traditional courtroom style, but not too far.  A legal drama is still a major factor in the story, but the lead character in this story is a kid fresh out of college (without graduating) who stumbles into the ownership of a small town newspaper.  His paper reports mercilessly on a hideous murder by a member of the county's most notorious criminal family, and he is wrapped up into the drama.
Outside the courtroom, we see a young man struggling to come into his manhood. We also get a fresh look at the racial tensions of the deep south in the 1970s.  However, this is refreshingly rendered through the lens of a hyper successful black family with eight kids and seven PhD's.
The Last Juror walks a fine line between gentle story telling and compelling suspense, and that seems to be exactly what Grisham is aiming for - just enough suspense to keep us interested in the main story: a positive image of small town America - even with its weaknesses and faux paus.  As Willie Traynor, a yankee at heart, adapts to life in rural Mississippi, the readers kind of get the feel that they too could make a home there.
Good, enjoyable reading, but not ground breaking or can't-put-it-down.  The Josh rating: JJJ.
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