The Holdout
In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya's room.

The Holdout Details

TitleThe Holdout
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 18th, 2020
PublisherRandom House
ISBN-139780399591778
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

The Holdout Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    BOTM pick for February 2020!This will be a short review, because the less you know about this book going in the better, but what a wild ride! While some parts of the plot were a bit far-fetched and reaching at times, it didn't cause my interest to wane, and if you can suspend the need for 100% believability, I think you'll enjoy this book as much as I did. We get two mysteries for the price of one in this book, and if that kind of a bargain doesn't sell you, then perhaps the exploration of BOTM pick for February 2020!This will be a short review, because the less you know about this book going in the better, but what a wild ride! While some parts of the plot were a bit far-fetched and reaching at times, it didn't cause my interest to wane, and if you can suspend the need for 100% believability, I think you'll enjoy this book as much as I did. We get two mysteries for the price of one in this book, and if that kind of a bargain doesn't sell you, then perhaps the exploration of social justice issues such as racism and profiling will. Clearly the author has some sort of experience in screen writing, and I can wholly see this being optioned for screen, a project I'd be thrilled to watch. Overall, this was a juicy, escapism type of read and I'd recommend it to those looking for an exciting way to pass the time in 2020. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    25 year old black teacher Bobby Nock, is on trial for killing white 15 year old pupil Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion dollar fortune. Her body hasn’t been discovered, but that isn’t going to stop this trial going ahead.There are 12 members of the jury in this high profile murder trial, and it’s expected that Bobby Nock’s conviction is a foregone conclusion - that is until jury member Maya Seale manages to persuade the other jury members to vote not guilty.Fast forward 10 years, and Maya is 25 year old black teacher Bobby Nock, is on trial for killing white 15 year old pupil Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion dollar fortune. Her body hasn’t been discovered, but that isn’t going to stop this trial going ahead.There are 12 members of the jury in this high profile murder trial, and it’s expected that Bobby Nock’s conviction is a foregone conclusion - that is until jury member Maya Seale manages to persuade the other jury members to vote not guilty.Fast forward 10 years, and Maya is now a successful lawyer - but she’s also the prime suspect in the murder of one of the jurors after a reunion at the hotel in which they were sequestered during the trial.I think it’s a case of the less you know, the more interesting you’ll find this one. As legal thrillers go it’s pretty good, though I personally didn’t identify with any of the characters for some reason. Nevertheless this was a riveting read with twists and turns, and not least it was a cracking ending. If you enjoy legal dramas then look no further.* Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing group for my ARC in exchange for an honest unbiased review *
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Graham Moore's legal thriller is a compulsive and enthralling novel, based in Los Angeles, that points out many of the shortfalls of the justice system, from law enforcement, media intensity and social media, right through to the court trial and the jury system. Moore exposes the multiple ways that society throughout its racist judicial system stacks the cards against black defendants. In 2009, 25 year old black music teacher, Bobby Nock, is on trial for the murder of 15 year old schoolgirl, Graham Moore's legal thriller is a compulsive and enthralling novel, based in Los Angeles, that points out many of the shortfalls of the justice system, from law enforcement, media intensity and social media, right through to the court trial and the jury system. Moore exposes the multiple ways that society throughout its racist judicial system stacks the cards against black defendants. In 2009, 25 year old black music teacher, Bobby Nock, is on trial for the murder of 15 year old schoolgirl, Jessica Silver, the daughter of billionaire, Lou Silver. There is no body, but the prosecution led by Ted Morningstar, think they have a slam dunk case with the evidence they present, only to find themselves being confounded. As the trial sets to conclude, the jury, with the exception of Maya Seale, plan to deliver a guilty verdict. Maya does not fall in with the others, instead she turns each juror so that Bobby Nock is found not guilty.However, each juror found themselves facing public and media excoriation for their controversial verdict, bringing with it notoriety and a raft of life changing consequences. 10 years on, Maya is now a successful lawyer, a partner at Cantwell & Myers, invited to a reunion of the original jury members at the same hotel they had all been sequestered in. The Murder Town podcast team are turning the trial into a Netflix docuseries, in which Rick Leonard, one of the jury members, is planning to present incontrovertible evidence of how they all got it wrong and Bobby Nock was as guilty as sin. A reluctant Maya attends, and in a narrative that goes back and forth in time, what happened at the original trial is slowly revealed, and in the present, the reunion kicks off a cycle of death and destruction that threatens to claim Maya as a victim.Moore writes a fast paced, intense and riveting legal drama, peppered with twists, underlining from a legal perspective, that often while the truth can be an accurate reflection of what occurs, it can prove to be a poor legal strategy, leaving defendents with the stark choice of the high likelihood of being found guilty if they tell the truth or have a better outcome by lying. Whilst feeling ambivalent about the ending, I found this to be a highly entertaining read that touches on the serious issues of ethics, morality, race and justice, or more aptly, injustice. There are instances where a suspension of disbelief will be required, but otherwise this is an engaging legal thriller that I recommend. Many thanks to Orion for an ARC.
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  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    Ten years ago, Maya, the lone holdout on a jury, convinced 11 of her fellow jurors to acquit a black teacher accused of murdering his white teenage student. Was justice served?One juror, Rick, doesn’t think so and he’s written a book holding Maya responsible for letting a guilty man go free. He hints that he has a new evidence and 10 years post-trial, on the eve of a documentary about the case, the jury reassembles. On the first night of their reunion a juror is found dead in Maya’s room and she Ten years ago, Maya, the lone holdout on a jury, convinced 11 of her fellow jurors to acquit a black teacher accused of murdering his white teenage student. Was justice served?One juror, Rick, doesn’t think so and he’s written a book holding Maya responsible for letting a guilty man go free. He hints that he has a new evidence and 10 years post-trial, on the eve of a documentary about the case, the jury reassembles. On the first night of their reunion a juror is found dead in Maya’s room and she is the prime suspect. From here the story alternates between the still unsolved 10-year-old case to the present day murder investigation.I expect to suspend some disbelief when I’m reading fiction but there’s a limit to my ability to do so before my eyes start to roll. I was engaged for the first 50% but then the story took a turn I couldn’t get behind, starting with a lawyer going rogue investigating her own case.I think the author had some thoughtful things to say about the justice system but the story would have benefited by tackling fewer social issues. To compound the problem, the narrative was interrupted multiple times by preachy commentary. I get that it’s hard for authors to resist the impulse but I prefer the issues to be presented in a more nuanced manner that is integral to the story. I found the ending to be convoluted and ridiculous.I prefer a more literary approach to police procedurals and courtroom dramas. While I found this book to be the literary equivalent of a Lifetime movie, it might be an entertaining way to spend time on a long flight or an afternoon at the beach. Many have enjoyed this book more than I did so please check other reviews.*I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own* This was a buddy read with Marialyce. For our duo review of this book and others please visit https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...
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  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 51%I just can't finish this one.Maybe it's the third person narrative, I don't know, but I'm so disconnected from this book that my red low-battery icon has been showing since around 20% into it. Don't let me discourage you from picking it up, different books for different fry cooks, amiright? ... sorry, that's all I could come up with *sees myself out*.** I was provided an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. **
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  • Ceecee
    January 1, 1970
    This is an intriguing book that mostly keeps my interest throughout. The start certainly catches your attention and let’s just say it’s a head turner! Ten years ago Jessica Silver, daughter of wealthy Lou Silver, goes missing and her body never found. Her teacher Bobby Nock is eventually charged with her murder and the case goes to trial. The evidence against Nock is not overwhelming but is suggestive and one things for sure, the trial is an absolute shambles. The jurors are expected to return a This is an intriguing book that mostly keeps my interest throughout. The start certainly catches your attention and let’s just say it’s a head turner! Ten years ago Jessica Silver, daughter of wealthy Lou Silver, goes missing and her body never found. Her teacher Bobby Nock is eventually charged with her murder and the case goes to trial. The evidence against Nock is not overwhelming but is suggestive and one things for sure, the trial is an absolute shambles. The jurors are expected to return a guilty verdict but one juror, Maya Searle, is not convinced of guilt. After days and days of debate and counter debate the jurors reach a not guilty verdict much to the outrage of the court of public opinion. It’s this element of the book I find most disturbing as public opinion ruins many of the jurors lives. Ten years on, one juror believes he has irrefutable evidence of Nock’s guilt and the jury reassemble for a TV programme. What happens next is unexpected and twisty demonstrating that the trial sets of a chain reaction of catastrophic events with an impact similar to a runaway train. The story is told in alternate storylines from each jurors perspective at the time of the trial and now, principally from Maya’s point of view. This works well for most of the book but I think that towards the end of the book the final remaining jurors stories do not seem so relevant. There is a lot I like about this book. The case is really interesting, the trial is fascinating if flawed and the juror dynamics is excellent. I like the dialogue between Maya and the other jurors and it feels a bit like knights armed combat. You get two mysteries for the price of one, the story unfolds really well with a feeling of suspense and tension and it feels a bit like a movie. There are some really good twists, more than one shocker and the end is very unexpected. I like that the author makes you think long and hard about the jury system and how one person with a strong point of view can persuade others to change their minds. However, whether you have a jury or judges you will always have opinion because we are human and our brains are wired that way. My only reservations about the book lie with its length, it’s a bit overlong and the end is rather convoluted. Overall, though I did enjoy it as I like the concept, the characters are really interesting especially Maya and the law aspect is intriguing and thought provoking. Thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group for the ARC. Publication date in UK 20/2/20.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    I was a huge fan of The Last Days of Night, so I was curious to see what Moore would write next. Don’t look for another historical fiction, this book is a legal thriller. But it’s equally as good. Ten years ago, Maya Seale convinced her fellow jury members to acquit Bobby Nock for the murder of Jennifer Silver. The question being was he guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As so often happens, the court of public opinion thought the jury got it wrong and each jury member suffered the fallout. “He I was a huge fan of The Last Days of Night, so I was curious to see what Moore would write next. Don’t look for another historical fiction, this book is a legal thriller. But it’s equally as good. Ten years ago, Maya Seale convinced her fellow jury members to acquit Bobby Nock for the murder of Jennifer Silver. The question being was he guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As so often happens, the court of public opinion thought the jury got it wrong and each jury member suffered the fallout. “He gestured around the room. “Do you think any of us were allowed to go back to real life?”” Now, Rick Leonard, one of the jury members, has convinced a documentary series that he has new evidence that proves Bobby guilty. The series gathers all the jury members together again. And then, Rick is killed in Maya’s hotel room. Of course, the police think she must have killed him. Once again, Moore's writing is very strong and makes excellent points about racial identity among other topics. He also knows the legal system. The start of the book, with Maya trying to get damning evidence excluded was equal parts hysterical and unnerving. Like Maya during the murder trial, I found myself fascinated by the ins and outs of the law. I could totally understand the frustration of not being able to share their beliefs about the trial with anyone, even the other jurors. I would have lost my mind! The book alternates between the current day and the time of the trial. The present day is all told from Maya’s perspective, but the past is told using a variety of different jurors. The book deals with both mysteries - was Bobby guilty and who killed Rick. I was correct in my guess about one mystery but the other caught me totally off guard. And there continue to be twists even after we knew the who part of the whodunit. Yes, it's a little unbelievable at the end, but it works. Our human psychology is on full display here; the blame game in particular. Also, how quickly alliances can be made and then fall apart. I loved how Moore developed Maya as a character. This is a well thought out mystery sure to entertain fans of Louise Penny and John Lescroat. My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsIn 2009, 25-year-old high school music teacher Bobby Nock was tried for the murder of his 15-year-old student Jessica Silver. When Jessica - the daughter of billionaire Lou Silver - disappeared, the police found sexy text messages between herself and Nock and found traces of Jessica's blood in Nock's car. The fact that Nock was black and Jessica was white exacerbated matters, and the teacher was quickly arrested and prosecuted.Maya Seale was one of a diverse bag of jurors at Nock's 3.5 starsIn 2009, 25-year-old high school music teacher Bobby Nock was tried for the murder of his 15-year-old student Jessica Silver. When Jessica - the daughter of billionaire Lou Silver - disappeared, the police found sexy text messages between herself and Nock and found traces of Jessica's blood in Nock's car. The fact that Nock was black and Jessica was white exacerbated matters, and the teacher was quickly arrested and prosecuted.Maya Seale was one of a diverse bag of jurors at Nock's trial, and though the evidence against the teacher was strong, Maya had reasonable doubt. Thus, though the eleven other jurors wanted to vote guilty, Maya turned them one by one.....and Nock got a not guilty verdict. Nock's acquittal resulted in vicious backlash from the public. The fallout caused many jurors to regret their decision to let Nock off. The most sorry of all was an African American juror named Rick Leonard, who wrote a scathing book that blamed Maya for the reviled verdict.Ten years later Maya, who believes "it's better that ten guilty men go free than one innocent be wrongly punished" is a criminal defense attorney who'd prefer to hear nothing more about Bobby Nock. Unfortunately Maya is out of luck because the producers of a podcast called 'Murder Town' are making an 8-hour docuseries about Nock, to be aired on Netflix.The producers ask the original jurors to cooperate with the show, and Maya - who's still being excoriated by the public - refuses. However Rick Leonard claims that he's found definitive proof of Nock's guilt, which he'll reveal when he's interviewed for the podcast. Maya can't resist hearing this 'proof', and reluctantly agrees to participate in the program.The jurors are assembled at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles, where they were sequestered during the trial, and are even given their old rooms. The attendees meet for an ice breaker on the evening before the interviews, and talk about the trial and the podcast.Later that night a juror is found dead in Maya's room. In the ultimate ironic twist, Maya is arrested for the juror's murder.The book is a dual mystery in which two cases are highlighted: the killing of Jessica Silver and the murder of the juror. Maya, who's out on bail, aims to prove she's innocent. Hence she noses around against the explicit instructions of her defense attorney, Craig Richards, who tells her to lay low.In fact Craig wants Maya to claim she killed Rick in self-defense - even if she's completely innocent - to ensure she doesn't go to prison. (Apparently Craig doesn't care if the 'real killer' is caught.)The murder trial of Bobby Nock has a whiff of racism and classism, which continues later, when Nock is convicted of disseminating child pornography. As a result Nock has to register as a sex offender, which means that he'll be persecuted by the media forever.The book is told from the rotating points of view of Maya and other jurors, so we know what people were thinking and doing during and after Nock's trial, and what they're up to at the present time. There are some surprising revelations and the strong suggestion that lawyers don't care who's innocent or guilty....they just want to win.I'd recommend this novel to readers who enjoy mysteries and legal thrillers. Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Graham Moore) and the publisher (Random House) for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Graham Moore and Random House for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.When this Graham Moore novel crossed my radar, I could not help but be interested to see how he’d spin this story about a jury faced with a murder trial. The book ended up being so much more, perfect for those who love a good legal drama with a mystery mixed into the plot. Maya Seale is a successful criminal First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Graham Moore and Random House for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.When this Graham Moore novel crossed my radar, I could not help but be interested to see how he’d spin this story about a jury faced with a murder trial. The book ended up being so much more, perfect for those who love a good legal drama with a mystery mixed into the plot. Maya Seale is a successful criminal defence attorney in Los Angeles, able to see things from the accused’s point of view with ease. However, she has not always had this wonderful job, having served on a highly-controversial jury a decade before. In 2009, Maya and fourteen others were gathered to hear the case of The People vs. Robert Nock, in which the defendant is accused of killing one of his high school students. Maya engages with the other jurors, none more so than Rick Leonard, as they listen to the evidence and form their own opinions about his guilt. The story depicts how this collection of everyday citizens made the baffling decision to find Nock not guilty, which created immediate vilification by the public. As the story progresses, Moore introduces a second narrative in which the jurors are brought together by a production company to revisit their decision a decade later. While Maya awkwardly encounters Rick Leonard again, the man who shared her bed during the trial and then stabbed her in the back during a tell-all book after the trial, she also gets the chance to remember a lot of what happened during the trial. When Leonard is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all eyes turn to her as the most likely suspect. Maya, wanting to cleaner her name, collects a number of portfolios Leonard left behind and discovers new and scandalous information about their fellow jurors. As the story flips between 2009 and the present, the readers can fill in all the pieces, from the trial and the current investigation to find out who might have killed Rick Leonard. Additionally, there is the question of what really happened and how the jury’s deliberations turned on a dime. An intriguing legal drama that will leave the reader wondering how much they think they know about an apparent open and shut case, as well as the plight of those tasked with judging a man’s life with filtered evidence. Recommended to those who love all things courtroom, as well as the reader who likes a mystery that slowly unfolds.I always enjoy something with a legal flavour, particularly when it strays from the cookie-cutter style of writing and leaves me wondering where things will go. Maya Seale takes up the role as the protagonist in this piece, whose role is important in both the 2009 and modern narrative streams. She went into the trial and was sure she could convince any of her fellow jurors of the truth she saw, thinking that Rick Leonard would be the least of her worries. However, she was wrong and spent much of the flashback sections trying to convince them, while seeking to stay one step ahead in the present day narrative as she is accused of killing her one-time lover who sought to hang her out to dry. As she discovers new truths about her fellow jurors, she also must piece together what happened leading up to the trial that split the country. Many other characters make their impact throughout, particularly through a narrative technique that Moore uses, allowing the reader to see things through a variety of perspectives. This, in turn, permits the reader to have a better handle on all aspects of the story and the trial at its core. Graham Moore does a masterful job at presenting a case to the reader, develops the courtroom arguments and pushes the reader into the deliberation room as well. By writing chapters that tell things from the perspective of all the jurors, the reader is given the opportunity to see the story in a new light. Adding the current time period narrative, the story’s plot thickens even more and everything that the reader (and jurors) thought they knew soon goes up in smoke. Powerful in its delivery and easily read in short order, Moore treats the reader to a wonderful legal tale that is anything but straightforward. Kudos, Mr. Moore, for a lovely way to introduce me to your writing. I will surely be back to read more in the coming months. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsHeld my interest and although I have some mixed feelings with some of the stuff at the end, overall this was a good read. It was almost like I was getting two mysteries for the price of one as the story alternated between the jury trial from ten years ago as well the murder that occurred in the present time.Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, vanished ten years ago. The case made national news as her family has money, lots of it. Jessica's teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old 3.5 starsHeld my interest and although I have some mixed feelings with some of the stuff at the end, overall this was a good read. It was almost like I was getting two mysteries for the price of one as the story alternated between the jury trial from ten years ago as well the murder that occurred in the present time.Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, vanished ten years ago. The case made national news as her family has money, lots of it. Jessica's teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is suspected of murdering her and the case goes to trial. Given the evidence, it seems likely the jury will convict. However, juror Maya Seale is convinced Bobby is innocent and manages to change the minds of the rest of the jury members. When they come back with a not guilty verdict, it is controversial and it certainly has an impact on their lives to say the least. Ten years later a docuseries is being produced and the jury gets together to discuss the trial. But one of the jury members winds up dead, and now Maya is the main suspect in his murder. So, what exactly happened now and what exactly happened to Jessica ten years ago?This was a fairly quick read and I think that is due to a couple reasons. One, the alternating timelines as well as switching back and forth between characters keeps the action going at a good pace. You could say Maya is the main character in this book but eventually you get to know the other jury members as well. I also thought the author's screenwriting background shone through a bit with this book. The writing is simple and to the point. If you are looking for overly descriptive passages, this isn't the book for you. That's not to say it isn't well-written, as my interest level was high throughout the book.The author brings some substance to the story as race is one of the subjects that is explored throughout the book. The story doesn't have a simple ending as there are multiple layers and there was one piece of the puzzle I didn't care for as it ventured out of realistic territory for me. I also didn't find anything to be all that surprising or shocking but to be fair despite that I still enjoyed reading this book. I think if you enjoy legal thrillers this is a pretty safe bet.I was provided an advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    Some books and their authors believe they have to cram every bit of information into their stories. While often it works well, in this book it seemed to muddle some really important concepts and ideas.Ten years ago, Maya Seale, sat on a jury and was the instrumental force in the way the verdict was determined. Spurred on by her experience as a juror, Maya becomes a criminal defense attorney. However, her world is about to be rocked as a show, driven on and assisted by one of the former jurors, Some books and their authors believe they have to cram every bit of information into their stories. While often it works well, in this book it seemed to muddle some really important concepts and ideas.Ten years ago, Maya Seale, sat on a jury and was the instrumental force in the way the verdict was determined. Spurred on by her experience as a juror, Maya becomes a criminal defense attorney. However, her world is about to be rocked as a show, driven on and assisted by one of the former jurors, Rick Leonard, decide to bring the jurors together and try to come to terms with their previous decision. Most of the jurors are anxious to participate while Maya has qualms. During the initial trial, Maya and Rick, another juror, became quite close and after the trial as these two battled their way through the decision, that closeness disappeared and later become the source of a scathing book penned by Rick. The jurors meet and then one of them turns up dead and the race is on to find not only the murderer of one of the jurors, but also to come to terms with the verdict made ten years prior.Ten years ago, Jessica Silver, the daughter of an extremely wealthy man went missing. Bobby Nock, a teacher of Jessica's, becomes the lead suspect in her disappearance and what is presumed to be her death. Bobby is black and he and Jessica had carried on a sexual relationship while Jessica was fifteen and his student. Jessica is gone and Bobby is the one that everyone suspects. The trial occurs and the jurors come together with their verdict, bringing their own misconceptions, preconceptions, and prejudices along with them.The book flips back and forth between the trial, the aftermath, and many characters. We get a glimpse into the questions of race, of police procedures, the way trials are conducted, the deals that are made, and the makeup of juries. Represented as well, is the notoriety of the case using social media as a point of information.While there were many elements to ponder, the book did get caught up in too many issues. While it did hold my interest, through the bulk of the story, the ending just seemed quite contrived and convoluted. However, overall, it did raise some really intriguing questions, and I did enjoy thinking about the many answers there might have be to some particularly probing and relevant questions.Thank you to the Graham Moore, Random House, and NetGalley for a copy of this book due out February 18, 2020.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Being a juror on a high profile murder case has got to be a thrill ride and a half: looking at the bloody evidence and weighing witness statements, the savage craziness of the media interest, then finally getting to decide the fate of a man charged with murder. It’s got to be just like tv, right? Exciting. Maybe even a shot at your own fame… 15 minutes or otherwise.But what Maya Seale got wasn’t quite fame, it was INFAMY. Not convinced of Bobby Nock’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, she Being a juror on a high profile murder case has got to be a thrill ride and a half: looking at the bloody evidence and weighing witness statements, the savage craziness of the media interest, then finally getting to decide the fate of a man charged with murder. It’s got to be just like tv, right? Exciting. Maybe even a shot at your own fame… 15 minutes or otherwise.But what Maya Seale got wasn’t quite fame, it was INFAMY. Not convinced of Bobby Nock’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, she campaigned for a Not Guilty verdict and eventually persuaded, or wore down, all the other jurors. The result was spectacularly unpopular, provoking uproar in both the courtroom and the real world, and changing the jurors’ lives forever. Now it’s 10 years later and they’re back together again. Apparently there’s new evidence to consider and more questions to be asked. Everyone wants to know if they got it wrong. But when one juror ends up dead, it looks like someone’s willing to kill to keep their secrets buried for good. You can tell the author has screenwriting experience, The Holdout would be well served as a slick tv series or film. Nevertheless, this is a surprisingly issue led book for something that’s also a hell of a lot of fun. Racism stands front and centre, with the black defendant Bobby Nock identified as the murderer of a pretty blonde girl from the ‘right’ kind of (rich) family in no small part due to the colour of his skin. The intersections of race and justice are examined throughout the novel, particularly through the multifaceted levels of expectation, misunderstanding, and outright prejudice. The notion that race or skin colour has more to do with guilt/innocence than the evidence is cleverly developed through the varied perspectives of the jurors. Multiple POVs reveal the action in a dual timeline, the original period of the trial and the present day search for the killer(s). More than the did-he-do-it mystery or even the who’s-the-killer-now question, it’s the author's examination of ‘justice’ via jury that fascinates. All the big social issues are here in microcosm and while the sideways commentary on fairness, class, race, justice, and the individual are intriguing, I wish there had been more of it. Especially because the plot did edge into the far-fetched at times. Even so, while readers might guess something of the ending if they know the ‘rules’ of storytelling, knowing one of the twists didn’t ruin the finale in any way. The book kept some surprises close. Fast paced and offering a genuine good time, this is well worth reading before it undoubtedly hits the screen.ARC via Netgalley
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    3.50The Holdout started off strong and then lost a bit of its edge. It was still a good read, but not as good as it seemed to promise at the beginning. It’s the second novel I’ve read this past year focused on the dynamics between jury members. In this case, the story is told from Maya’s perspective in two timelines. Maya sat on a jury that acquitted a young teacher accused of murdering his teenage student. Ten years later, Maya is a criminal defence lawyer, and she’s invited to a reunion of all 3.50The Holdout started off strong and then lost a bit of its edge. It was still a good read, but not as good as it seemed to promise at the beginning. It’s the second novel I’ve read this past year focused on the dynamics between jury members. In this case, the story is told from Maya’s perspective in two timelines. Maya sat on a jury that acquitted a young teacher accused of murdering his teenage student. Ten years later, Maya is a criminal defence lawyer, and she’s invited to a reunion of all the jury members. The old murder remains unsolved and the reunion leads to another mystery. Clever idea, but it didn’t entirely wow me in its execution. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • Mandy White
    January 1, 1970
    Love a good legal thriller! The Holdout is a much talked about book in the blogging world and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. It is a fast paced and an exciting story that will keep you turning those pages well past your bedtime so be warned. It certainly will keep you guessing right until the last few pages and I love that in a book. The only part that I wasn't too keen on was the way that the ending seemed rushed. So much happened in the last 50 pages or so and I feel that it Love a good legal thriller! The Holdout is a much talked about book in the blogging world and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. It is a fast paced and an exciting story that will keep you turning those pages well past your bedtime so be warned. It certainly will keep you guessing right until the last few pages and I love that in a book. The only part that I wasn't too keen on was the way that the ending seemed rushed. So much happened in the last 50 pages or so and I feel that it could maybe have been stretched out a bit.10 years ago Maya Seale was the holdout on the jury on a very high profile case. She managed to convince her 11 fellow jurors that black teacher Bobby Nock killed his white student Jessica Silver. Jessica came from a well known family in LA and the prosecutor believed that they had a slam dunk conviction. The press and the public went wild over the acquittal and the jurors became famous. 10 years later and they are all back at the hotel they called home during the trial. Maya is now a lawyer herself but finds herself the prime suspect when one of the other jurors is murdered in her hotel room. She must use everything she knows to try to clear her name and find the real killer.Thanks to Hachette Australia for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.
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  • Julie Griffith Buckley
    January 1, 1970
    When Maya Seale is called up for jury duty ten years ago, she had no idea that it would change her life forever. Bobby Nock, a black English teacher, was on trial for the murder of his white, teenage, student, Jessica Silver. Bobby was accused of having a sexual relationship with Jessica, allegedly borne out by text messages on their phones. After a lengthy trial, during which the jury was sequestered, Maya was, at first, the only juror who voted to find Bobby not guilty. She then persuaded the When Maya Seale is called up for jury duty ten years ago, she had no idea that it would change her life forever. Bobby Nock, a black English teacher, was on trial for the murder of his white, teenage, student, Jessica Silver. Bobby was accused of having a sexual relationship with Jessica, allegedly borne out by text messages on their phones. After a lengthy trial, during which the jury was sequestered, Maya was, at first, the only juror who voted to find Bobby not guilty. She then persuaded the rest of the jury to do likewise, and Bobby Nock was acquitted. Ten years later, the jurors are having a reunion on the tenth anniversary of the verdict. As the jurors gather, another murder takes place, and this time Maya, who is now a criminal defense lawyer, is arrested. Against this backdrop, Moore introduces us to the other jurors, to Bobby, and to Jessica's family. Can Maya uncover enough information about what happened to defend herself? The Holdout is a real page-turner. Moore's characters come quickly to life, and the question they must ponder is whether the law should be a search for the truth or for justice.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    I don't want to alarm anybody, but the February BOTM selections are up.This was my selection and I am freaking excited about it!!Go and get 'em, people!!!!
  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    Unexpected and thought-provoking! 2009: Fifteen year old heiress Jessica Silver has disappeared on her way home from school and the suspect is her African-American teacher, twenty-five year old, Bobby Nock. It looks to be an open and shut case, until one juror, Maya Seale, not only holds out, but manages to sway all of the eleven other jurors to change their mind.Their controversial verdict of “not guilty” will alter their lives forever.The Present: “Murder Town” is going to do a TV adaptation Unexpected and thought-provoking! 2009: Fifteen year old heiress Jessica Silver has disappeared on her way home from school and the suspect is her African-American teacher, twenty-five year old, Bobby Nock. It looks to be an open and shut case, until one juror, Maya Seale, not only holds out, but manages to sway all of the eleven other jurors to change their mind.Their controversial verdict of “not guilty” will alter their lives forever.The Present: “Murder Town” is going to do a TV adaptation of the Bobby Nock trial. Ten of the jurors will return to the Omni hotel, where they had been sequestered, for five months, to learn of “supposed” new evidence. They have been given their old rooms, which look exactly the same. But, one will end up dead in Maya’s room before the first night has ended, and now she must prove her own innocence, by getting to the bottom of the case where she served as a juror. As the scene for this book is set, I expected that the two stories would be woven together (they are) along with perhaps "live"reports from Murder Town (nope) and the police investigation (no, again) We hear SOME of what the attorney’s argued in court, and SNIPPETS of what was said in the deliberation room, to sway the vote, as told (not always shown) by each of the jurors involved. Sometimes their thoughts got a bit philosophical, or sounded a bit like a lecture, which slowed the pace for a bit...BUT, what I did find intriguing was the way the story made me REALLY WONDER if your fate being decided by a “jury of your peers” is really the fairest way?What if one juror BULLIES the rest into seeing things his or her way?What if a juror votes so that they won’t appear to be making a decision based on a “shared” or “not shared” race? What if a juror changes their vote for another reason that has NOTHING to do with their belief in the suspect’s guilt or innocence?The Alpha personality vs. Beta Personality....it happens in all facets of life. How often does It affect the outcome of a trial? Despite a person’s good and true intentions going in? 🤔So while, I did not exactly get what I was expecting from this book, I did get a lot to think about....AND A FEW SURPRISES, by the end! 3.75 rounded upThank You to Netgalley, Random House Publishing, and Graham Moore for the digital ARC I received in exchange for a candid review! Available Feb. 18, 2020!
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  • Bridgett
    January 1, 1970
    It appears, as of 6 days ago, that Hulu has purchased the rights to The Holdout...looks like we'll be seeing Maya and the gang on the television before long. This story is a two-fer; the reader gets two murder mysteries in one novel. Unfortunately, both felt superficial. Touching on topics such as racism, the power of the media, and juror misconduct, again, Graham Moore just skimmed the surface of topics that deserve significantly more depth. Narrated primarily by Maya, but with flashbacks to It appears, as of 6 days ago, that Hulu has purchased the rights to The Holdout...looks like we'll be seeing Maya and the gang on the television before long. This story is a two-fer; the reader gets two murder mysteries in one novel. Unfortunately, both felt superficial. Touching on topics such as racism, the power of the media, and juror misconduct, again, Graham Moore just skimmed the surface of topics that deserve significantly more depth. Narrated primarily by Maya, but with flashbacks to 2009 from various jurors on the Jessica Silver trial, the pacing was decent. My biggest gripe was how far-reaching the plot became. There is no way Maya, a trial attorney, would do the things she did...running around like some sort of crazy vigilante. And in the flashbacks, when we learned the prosecution only allowed for a premeditated, murder one verdict--what kind of moronic prosecutor would do that without a body or weapon? The story mentions frequently how pissed America was by the jury's verdict, but how could they do anything else? Given only vague circumstantial evidence, how could they possibly convict a man of premeditated murder? Final thoughts: Not my favorite, but still a decent read. Many thanks to the publisher for my review copy.
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    They decided to serve because, supposedly, it was their Civic duty. The trial that of a young, black teacher who is accused of murdering his white student. The motive is that they were having an affair and she was going to tell. Problem is there is no body. This trial would change all their livesWritten as a made for tv mini series, this dialogue laden novel requires a certain suspension of belief. Is it possible for all these jurors to have facts that they withheld from the court? Would a They decided to serve because, supposedly, it was their Civic duty. The trial that of a young, black teacher who is accused of murdering his white student. The motive is that they were having an affair and she was going to tell. Problem is there is no body. This trial would change all their livesWritten as a made for tv mini series, this dialogue laden novel requires a certain suspension of belief. Is it possible for all these jurors to have facts that they withheld from the court? Would a former juror, now a seasoned attorney herself act the way she does? Going around investigating when her lawyer told her to do nothing? I just couldn't go there.The story does reveal constant new threads, which muddies the water, and I did want to find out the resolution. Who actually killed this young woman? It does wrap thing up but I found the ending rushed and the way it was portrayed unsatisfactory.So, just okay for me, but better for those who can buy into it book, line and sinker.
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  • Martie Nees Record
    January 1, 1970
    Genre: Mystery & ThrillersPublisher: Random HousePub. Date: Feb. 18, 2020Let me start off by saying I was surprised that I was disappointed in this book. Not because other reviewers gave “Holdout” five stars. (I don’t actually read other reviews on a book until I have finished my own to ensure that I am not influenced. But, I do check out the stars). The discrepancy between my review and others did not surprise me, because I often disagree with my peers. I was surprised to be disappointed Genre: Mystery & ThrillersPublisher: Random HousePub. Date: Feb. 18, 2020Let me start off by saying I was surprised that I was disappointed in this book. Not because other reviewers gave “Holdout” five stars. (I don’t actually read other reviews on a book until I have finished my own to ensure that I am not influenced. But, I do check out the stars). The discrepancy between my review and others did not surprise me, because I often disagree with my peers. I was surprised to be disappointed because the last two books that I read and reviewed by Moore were both superior historical fiction courtroom dramas and historical fiction is my favorite genre. In “Last Days of Night,” George Westinghouse takes on Thomas Edison in the battle over the light bulb patent. And, in “The Imitation Game” Alan Turing, the famous mathematician who cracked Nazi codes goes on trial because of his homosexuality, which sadly was against the law during those years. The focuses on both these books were on the long-forgotten, fascinating historical facts, not really the trials. And both novels blew me away. Since “Holdout” is a courtroom drama only; I guess for me, it was doomed to be a less stellar of a read than the author’s earlier books.In this book, a young woman is on a jury for a murder trial. A black man is accused of killing his white teenage student. Our protagonist manages to convince the others to acquit the defendant, who were not as positive as she was on his innocence. Since the jurors are sequestered they have no idea how much hard evidence there is against the defendant. Once home, the jurors’ lives are forever changed since there is an outcry of fury since it seemed obvious to the world that they freed a guilty man. Up until here, I am okay with the plot. Now fast forward ten years. There is a reunion where one male juror has the others get together since he supposedly has new evidence on the decade-old crime. First issues, why in the world would they want to relive this episode since the trial’s aftermath just about ruined their lives. In the present, during the reunion this male juror is murdered (no spoiler here). The prime suspect is our female protagonist. Oh please. She is now a defense lawyer herself and does a lot of her own research. Second, oh please. Is this me or is this a cheesy plot? I have other issues with the novel. The male juror’s death is central to the story, yet it doesn’t happen till near the end of the tale. Plus, after his death, the other jurors come to a very hard-to-believe solution on how to handle explaining his death to the authorities. If I say more it will be a spoiler. On the other hand, there are lots of good twists at the end of the book, which did bring my attention back to the tale, but it is too little too late. It is hard for me to understand how the author who wrote “Night” and “Game” is the same person who penned “Holdout.” Maybe, my disappointment is on me. Still, how can a decent legal thriller possibly compete with the true-life courtroom dramas regarding famous and brilliant men that changed history? Simply no competition.I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.Find all my book reviews at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...https://books6259.wordpress.com/https://www.barnesandnoble.com/review...https://www.facebook.com/martie.neesr...https://www.instagram.com/martie6947/https://www.pinterest.com/martienreco...\https://www.amazon.com/https://twitter.com/NeesRecord
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    4 courtroom jury starsAh, the dread when that envelope shows up in your mailbox that you’ve been selected to show up for jury duty. I’ve been summoned several times, but I’ve never served on a jury. After reading this book, I don’t think I want to, especially not a high profile, drawn out case!!I didn’t realize that this author wrote the screenplay for “The Imitation Game” – fabulous movie! Knowing that now, I can see how this book almost seems like it was made for the big screen. This one was 4 courtroom jury starsAh, the dread when that envelope shows up in your mailbox that you’ve been selected to show up for jury duty. I’ve been summoned several times, but I’ve never served on a jury. After reading this book, I don’t think I want to, especially not a high profile, drawn out case!!I didn’t realize that this author wrote the screenplay for “The Imitation Game” – fabulous movie! Knowing that now, I can see how this book almost seems like it was made for the big screen. This one was the perfect one to read on a recent vacation. I thought that I would just read a few chapters of it and decide which book to read, soon I was 50% into it and wondering how it would all turn out. We start the tale with Maya Seale, now a high-powered defense attorney, and slowly learn the details of her high-profile time on a jury that eventually led her to a career in law. The case involved an African-American high school teacher and a white student at his private school. The student is dead and the teacher is on trial for her murder. The jury returns a verdict that leads to a great deal of public outcry and Maya’s life will never be the same.We do learn many of the details of the trial, the sequestration of the jury, and how they come to their decision. There is a lot of action 10 years later too when a reunion is held, and another murder occurs. I don’t want to give much more away, there are a lot of twists, many surprising to this reader. I figured out a few things but enjoyed the ride. I did learn more about the jury process and it is fascinating to think about the dynamics of your “peers” deciding your fate.Thank you to NetGalley, Random House, and Graham Moore for an early copy of this one to read in return for an honest review.
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  • Denise Reed
    January 1, 1970
    This was my February BOTM, and while I love courtroom dramas and legal thrillers, this one completely missed the mark for me.One of the recurring themes in reviews of this book is that "if you can suspend believability, this is a great read...." Often times I can suspend believability and thoroughly enjoy a book, especially when it's a subject on which I have limited knowledge; however, when it comes to courtroom procedures (which are pretty cut and dry with not a lot of variables), I should This was my February BOTM, and while I love courtroom dramas and legal thrillers, this one completely missed the mark for me.One of the recurring themes in reviews of this book is that "if you can suspend believability, this is a great read...." Often times I can suspend believability and thoroughly enjoy a book, especially when it's a subject on which I have limited knowledge; however, when it comes to courtroom procedures (which are pretty cut and dry with not a lot of variables), I should have known better. Don't read this book if you want an accurate picture of attorneys, trial procedures, juries, etc., because The Holdout is not that book. Instead of rehashing the entire book, I'm just going to list the major reasons why I'm the holdout of anything greater than 2 stars on this book:1. The way it jumped from present day to ten years prior with different jurors. There were too many jurors/storylines to make it flow cohesively. Also, Moore goes into great depth to explain why certain jurors changed their mind, but with others, little to no explanation. Quite frankly, the browbeating and reasons that the jurors changed their minds were deplorable and unlikely.2. Protagonist Maya was just too over-the-top. No matter how just and righteous her cause, her actions were not consistent with a criminal defense attorney. Believing she was about to be charged with murder, she runs rogue and does her own investigation and somehow gets all of these people to talk to her and give her information, even when those people suspect she is probably the killer. Just a big eye roll. 3. The two murder storylines didn't work. While they unfold concurrently - one in 2009, and one in 2019, they were convoluted and flat. The 2009 murder of 15-year-old Jessica Silver was rushed in order to get to jury deliberations, and hence, the controversial plot. The 2019 murder of Rick Leonard just felt off. It was stilted and sort of a throw-in to try and make the plot more relevant. 4. God-awful characters. I didn't like a single one of them, and while I appreciate that Moore was attempting to address race relations and jury prejudices, etc., the characters were all very cliched. I felt like Moore spent so much time pointing out the race of each character and trying to make that a focal point of why they should or should not vote a certain way or act a certain way that it was frankly, a turn-off for me. [SPOILER: one of the most bothersome parts of the book for me was the explanation of the text messages between Bobby and Jessica. Seriously? She took his phone and sent them to herself as a joke?! We once had a criminal client whose defense was that his accuser hacked into his various social media accounts and sent similar type messages to herself just to set him up - it wasn't believable in "real life," and it was just as unbelievable in a fiction book. I get trying to make Bobby a sympathetic character, but I think it would have been more believable if he had been a sleaze, but just not a murderer]. 5. The ending. Just a big NO. Talk about implausible and again, cliched. I don't want to give anything away, but for a myriad of reasons, that just wouldn't happen. Overall, for me, it was all a stretch. Maybe it's because I just recently finished Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, which while it is a true accounting, it also masterfully addresses racial injustice, corrupt officials, and on-point court proceedings; and in comparison, The Holdout feels forced and weak. I think it's also likely though, that it just isn't a great book, but is getting better than deserved reviews because of its subject matter. Either way, it was a 2-star read for me.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, NetGalley and Random House for the ARC of this interesting thought provoking mystery/courtroom drama in return for an honest review. I had read and enjoyed The Last Days of Night, and learned the author was also the screenwriter for the excellent Imitation Game. I regret that I am in the minority here, as I found the secondary characters one-dimensional. The protagonist, Maya, I thought annoying with little regard for anyone’s opinion but her own. Told in two alternating timelines, Thank you, NetGalley and Random House for the ARC of this interesting thought provoking mystery/courtroom drama in return for an honest review. I had read and enjoyed The Last Days of Night, and learned the author was also the screenwriter for the excellent Imitation Game. I regret that I am in the minority here, as I found the secondary characters one-dimensional. The protagonist, Maya, I thought annoying with little regard for anyone’s opinion but her own. Told in two alternating timelines, we feel the tension and stress when serving in a sequestered jury, with shifting alliances and decisions. People who would probably never connect outside the courtroom, deliberate and struggle to come to a unanimous decision on the guilt or innocence of a young black male teacher, Bobby Nock. He is accused of murdering a young white student, Jessica, the daughter of wealthy parents. Text messages indicate an inappropriate relationship, and the prosecution submits DNA evidence, and charge that he lied about his whereabouts. Jessica’s body was never found. A young juror, Mayo, believes it is better that a guilty person go free than an innocent man go to prison. The other11 jurors are leaning towards a guilty verdict, but Mayo persuades each one to change their votes to not guilty with her arguments against each point presented by the prosecutor. Bobby is freed. The trial becomes a sensation when broadcast on national TV. Themes of morality, legal and personal ethics, persuasion, racial prejudice and profiling, and weakness in the justice system leading to injustice are explored. Sharp criticism by news reporters and in the social media vilify the jurors after their not guilty verdict. Doubt, remorse, and guilt influence their future lives. I found the chapters which are set 10 years after the trial to be difficult to believe. Maya is now a successful defence lawyer. One of the jurors is involved in an upcoming TV production based on the trial. He gathers the former members of the jury together for a reunion, hinting that he has proof that Bobby was indeed guilty of murder and they made the wrong decision. This man is found murdered in Maya’s hotel room before disclosing the new information. She is accused of killing him. A portfolio of secrets and scandals he compiled about fellow members of the jury is found. Maya is arrested and charged with his murder but gets out on bail. I may be wrong, but I found it preposterous that she would be allowed to go hunt for Bobby who has disappeared and is obsessed with finding him innocent, interviewing jurors in their homes, and family members. She is adamant in clearing his name and proving she was correct in persuading the other jury members to reach a not guilty verdict. Even more unbelievable for me, is that she is free to go to people’s homes and businesses to investigate who really killed the juror for whose murder she has been blamed. She is certainly a relentless and driven individual. I thought the twist at the end very surprising and thought it made sense. I think most readers who enjoy courtroom stories would enjoy this book, and should not be deterred by my misgivings. Most reviews have been very positive.
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated!Potential spoilers ahead. Not really any details, but about the structure of the plot after the big reveal. Be warned!This book was hard to put down and had a great story, with the past and the present intertwining into one big ball of mystery. I think my only complaint was that the biggest twist wasn't entirely unpredictable, and right after the reveal the book just Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated!Potential spoilers ahead. Not really any details, but about the structure of the plot after the big reveal. Be warned!This book was hard to put down and had a great story, with the past and the present intertwining into one big ball of mystery. I think my only complaint was that the biggest twist wasn't entirely unpredictable, and right after the reveal the book just ends. Bam. Over. Just like that. In spite of that, I really enjoyed the twists and turns and getting to meet this cast. I liked Maya and felt like she was a great main character. Overall, I'd say it was a great book.Four and a half stars that I just can't round up to five.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    A thoroughly entertaining really very clever book in the end, especially given all the influences I thought about whilst reading this were referenced by the author himself later in the book...And used to really good effect within the resolution.Kind of thought provoking too a book with a moral dilemma at the heart of it wrapped up in a mystery element that is very intriguing. Great pace, plotting and addictive quality with engaging eclectic characters and a what would you do vibe that'll keep A thoroughly entertaining really very clever book in the end, especially given all the influences I thought about whilst reading this were referenced by the author himself later in the book...And used to really good effect within the resolution.Kind of thought provoking too a book with a moral dilemma at the heart of it wrapped up in a mystery element that is very intriguing. Great pace, plotting and addictive quality with engaging eclectic characters and a what would you do vibe that'll keep this novel in your head after reading.Really very good indeed. Fuller review near publication.
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  • Lena
    January 1, 1970
    Best legal thriller ever. There is no way this does not make the Goodreads Choice Awards. There is no way this does not get made into a movie or, more likely, a Netflix miniseries. I devoured this book and you will too.
  • Blaine
    January 1, 1970
    But the verdicts had nothing to do with truth. No verdict ever changed a person’s opinion.Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for sending me an ARC of The Holdout in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, this book did not work for me on a number of levels.The premise is an intriguing one. Ten years ago, Maya Seale was the holdout juror on a murder trial all of America was watching (think OJ-type trial). After convincing her fellow jurors to acquit, they learn how But the verdicts had nothing to do with truth. No verdict ever changed a person’s opinion.Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for sending me an ARC of The Holdout in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, this book did not work for me on a number of levels.The premise is an intriguing one. Ten years ago, Maya Seale was the holdout juror on a murder trial all of America was watching (think OJ-type trial). After convincing her fellow jurors to acquit, they learn how deeply unpopular their decision was. Now, ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors to discuss their decision in light of new evidence, but Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in her room.The novel shifts back and forth from the original trial to current events, and the chapters in the past shift to the perspective of different jurors. However, all of that shifting left a surprising amount of the tale of the original trial deliberations untold. Why several jurors changed their minds is left unexplained. Worse, Maya’s actions in the present are just not believable. Even if you accept the unlikely coincidence of a fellow juror being found dead in her room, her actions to go hunting for clues while waiting to see if she would be arrested are just a series of things no lawyer would ever do. This book is trying to address a lot of issues: juror misconduct, the intersections of justice with wealth, race, the media. But everything is done at such a surface level that it is unsatisfying. The Holdout might work as a screenplay, but I don’t think it worked as a novel.
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  • Cindy Burnett
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved The Holdout for the first two-thirds or so of the book. The premise was clever, the implementation was stellar, and I was thoroughly invested in both the story and attempting to determine how it would end. Then, it fell apart - the ending just did not work for me. Some people do not mind an ending that is unrealistic or that seems out of place or not in keeping with the story. I am very much not that person. An ending can really ruin a book for me (as I have mentioned in many I absolutely loved The Holdout for the first two-thirds or so of the book. The premise was clever, the implementation was stellar, and I was thoroughly invested in both the story and attempting to determine how it would end. Then, it fell apart - the ending just did not work for me. Some people do not mind an ending that is unrealistic or that seems out of place or not in keeping with the story. I am very much not that person. An ending can really ruin a book for me (as I have mentioned in many a thriller review), and without providing any spoilers, the ending in The Holdout frustrated me. However, this is purely a personal issue, and others may really like the thought and effort that must have gone in to coming up with that ending. I loved The Last Days of Night by Moore and still routinely sell it at the bookstore where I work. I look forward to his next book and hope it will appeal to me just like The Last Days of Night did.
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  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    While I am reading a book I usually take notes to remind myself of both positive and negative things that stand out about a book. This time, I didn’t make a single note. I didn’t dislike the book, but it just didn’t make much of an impression on me. It wasn’t suspenseful, the characters weren’t likable, there were huge ethical lapses and the ending didn’t satisfy me at all. So I guess that’s my impression. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • Karen Rush
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 rounded up. Jurors of an old high-profile and controversial murder case have been brought together ten years later to be part of a Netflix docuseries spurred on by one of the jurors, Rick Leonard who previously published a book about the experience, claiming an unjust verdict and has come across some new explosive information. Unfortunately, shortly after rallying together all of the other case jurists, he shows up dead. Mystery ensues with suspicion cast on a number of suspects. A decent 3.5 rounded up. Jurors of an old high-profile and controversial murder case have been brought together ten years later to be part of a Netflix docuseries spurred on by one of the jurors, Rick Leonard who previously published a book about the experience, claiming an unjust verdict and has come across some new explosive information. Unfortunately, shortly after rallying together all of the other case jurists, he shows up dead. Mystery ensues with suspicion cast on a number of suspects. A decent mystery with crisp dialogue and plausible insight into human behavior.
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