The Holdout

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Apr 2020

Member Reviews

Maya Seale is searching for a purpose in life.  She is selected to be a juror in a high profile trial and that changes her life.  After persuading 11 of her fellow jurors to change their mind, the defendant is acquitted of murder.  While Maya feels that she has done the right thing not everyone agrees with her.  Ten years later, she is a successful criminal defense attorney.  Her past comes back when the media wants to revisit the case, especially when one of the jurors claims to have evidence that will prove that the defendant was in fact guilty. Maya reluctantly participates and then one of the jurors is found dead in her hotel room.  Now, Maya was prove her innocence by revisiting what happen ten years ago. 

This was a fast paced read alternating between the present and the time spent as jurors.  We meet each juror and get a little of their background and motivation.  There were a few twists and turns along the way.  The book also touches on race, the role of the media, and the criminal justice system in general. This is sure to be one of my favorites of the year.
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Excellent legal drama!!  I can see this as a movie or tv movie.  The characters are interesting and vivid, the plot is unusual, and the twists very well done.  All that and a very appropriate ending!
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I kept hearing about this book, so I thought I'd take a stab at reading it to see if the hype was warranted. For me, this book fell flat - as in both "mysteries" within were weak and the exploration of social issues was novice at best.
Juror Maya becomes a lawyer after being on the jury of a high-profile murder case, and when lured to the 10 year reunion special of the case (orchestrated by a true crime show for streaming- props for timeliness) is implicated in the death of a peer.
We flit between perspectives - Maya in the present day and she and the other jurors in the past. Unfortunately, while Maya was the holdout juror, arguing to acquit Bobby Nock and ultimately convincing the others - she is the most boring character to frame the story around. The others have interesting backstories in the glimpses we see of them.
I guessed the what had happened in the Bobby Nock case pretty early on, and I was surprised by the present day killer - but not in a positive way, just because of how disappointing that plot thread turned out to be.
Thank you to the publisher, via NetGalley, for providing me with an arc for review. This has in no way influenced my opinion.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author, for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review. 
I thought this book was a well written, original and addictive legal thriller.
I would definitely read another book by this author.
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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.
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Really enjoyed this! The perspective of the jurors was different and so interesting.  I liked that this wasn’t the same as everything else I’ve been reading lately. Definitely recommend!!
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I find court room books difficult to get into. This book was different. I really enjoyed this story more than I thought I would.
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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  

A group of jurors set a man free and then came to believe that they had been wrong in their verdict.  Add to that an angry public environment in which they faced social and economic consequences for their decision.  

The plot twists in this novel are brilliant and numerous.   I love the ending.
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Graham Moore delivers an excellent judicial thriller with The Holdout.  

After serving as a juror on a high profile case, Maya becomes a  defense attorney. Ten years after the case, one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s room and she must work to prove her innocence while searching for the true killer. 

I highly recommend this book. It kept me engaged and guessing until the very end. I feel like this type of book is best experienced when readers know as little about the plot and the twists as possible, so I prefer to keep my reviews short and sweet. This book has so much going on, so many topics that make for great conversation, that it would make a fantastic book club selection! 

My review will also be posted on Instagram @rosetree_bookreviewer closer to the publication date.

Thank you to NetGalley, Graham Moore and Random House Publishing for the ARC of The Holdout in exchange for my honest review.
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What a fun read!  The premise was unique, and the mysteries were great!  We are introduced to one of the jurors of a super famous case, ten years later.  She has become a defense attorney due to her involvement in that case.  With the ten year anniversary approaching, all of the jurors decide to have a reunion, but one of them ends up dead.  I thoroughly enjoyed the courtroom drama as well as the mysteries.  Highly recommend!  Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
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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.
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A lone juror in a sensational murder case refuses to go with the overwhelming majority. A jury that makes 12 angry men look like pussycats. A 10-year-reunion of the same group with a promise of startling new evidence. These are the main elements Graham Moore has brought to a spitfire of a judicial thriller that worms its way into your head as you try to untangle its knotty puzzle. His characters are well-drawn and even the lawyers seem to have redeeming features. As I pride myself on an ability to deduce the end game, I have to admit that I was impressed with the subterfuge. Well, I got part of the combination but didn't crack the safe. Once you get into this yarn, you won't be able to hold out against its magnetic pull.
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There are few things more satisfying at the end of a mystery/suspense novel than having a bombshell twist of an ending that makes you gasp followed by a smug self pat on the back as you say to yourself (not entirely honestly), "Well, yeah, I knew that all along," because all of the niggling questions and suspicions you'd had while reading had suddenly come together and made total sense. This is that kind of book. Pay attention to your hunches as you read. If you're alert, Moore has masterfully woven everything you need to figure things out. The pacing is perfect, the key characters complex and relatable and the thrill is real. Hold on!
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Graham Moore  wrote the screenplay adaptation to one of my favorite movies called, THE IMITATION GAME, that was a huge success that won an Academy award in 2015 for best adapted screenplay.  It was my introduction to Benedict Cumberbatch and he co starred with Kiera Knightley that garnered eight nominations for the Oscar.  This novel was cleverly written but is quite complicated to review.  Maya Seale is the main character and the novel's setting is in in the Golden State of California but mostly takes place in LA.  It has been ten years since Maya was able to convince eleven other jurors in a murder trial to change their initial verdict of guilty to not guilty to acquit an African American school teacher who uses bad judgement as her teacher but because of Maya one by one she says all eleven jurors except one but ultimately the verdict is not guilty.   His name was Bobby Nocks and his life was destroyed nonetheless by the notoriety of the long trial.  The twelve jurors have all gathered for a reunion at the same hotel they were sequestered for the four to five month trial.

THE HOLDOUT could refer to both Maya and the one juror who has gathered every one back to see his presentation of a docuseries which he claims to have irrefutably proven evidence that Bobby Nocks was really guilty.  Maya is now a defense attorney who had an illicit affair with the p re producer of the docuseries back when they were jurors.  Him and Maya slip out of the bar and sneak up to her room where they get into a heated argument which Maya leaves her room and goes out for a walk and when she returns  she finds him dead with a gash to his head.  Maya is of coatse the detectives prime suspect and they think she murdered him.  Because Maya is now experienced in the law she calls her boss who will defend her.  He wants her to plead self defense but she refuses because she knows that she is not guilty and she also knows quite a bit how imperfect juries ate.

The young girl who was murdered was a minor and there are some pretty damning evidence that Bobby Nocks used bad judgement but is he guilty of murdering her?  Plus there is that whole thing with double jeopardy and he can not be retried but Maya goes out looking for him and because he has had to register as a sex offender he lives in some dodgy places.  Maya knows that she has roughly 48 hours before she is arrested so she is trying to see who had a motive for wanting her ex juror dead.  Her boss wants her to claim self defense.  All of the jurors are each given a chapter for their point of view .The police are planning to arrest Maya and she goes in search of anybody who would have a motive to kill the producer of the docuseries.

Some of my thoughts on this novel are that the judicial system in the United States is far from perfect but it also remains one of the best in the world.  All too often the police are quick to rush to judgement and the media doesn't help.  When the police make up their minds that someone is guilty they often stop investigating lesser known suspects than who they decide is guilty and I don't know if that is due to a lack of resources but they conveniently stop looking into less subtle clues once they make up their mind they have the guilty party they seem to make their suspect have to prove they are innocent in court.  When there is a rush to judgement and the investigation comes to a halt they can ruin a person's life by the notoriety of a trial.  When they are wrong they can ruin a person's life and after reading this book I am going to keep a more open mind.  This book would be an excellent book club discussion.

Thank you to Net Galley, Graham Moore and Random House Publishing for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Publication date:  February 18, 2910
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What a great read for anyone who loves legal thrillers and courtroom dramas with a murder mystery sprinkled in! Kept me guessing from the first page: is the defendant truly innocent? Has an entire jury freed a guilty murderer as the press and general public believed? What makes our lead female character, Maya, so darned sure she’s right in persuading the other jury members to vote for his acquittal? Years have passed and the fallout from the acquittal has severely affected every juror and their personal lives. Yet, one juror is determined to keep the argument alive with a ten-year anniversary special to be filmed at the same hotel the jurors were sequestered in for months. The worst that could happen does- one of the jurors is murdered, sparking a manhunt and a severe degree of mistrust between the remaining jurors.
With quick action from page to page, human error and emotion crafted in realistic writing, this is a fun, engrossing who-dun-it book that will keep you running along with Maya to the very end.
(I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for making it available.)
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This is my first Graham Moore book and I really enjoyed it. 

I absolutely loved The Holdout. The premise was oh so clever, the execution was superb, and I was completely and thoroughly invested in both the story and how it would end. It kept me hooked as to how exactly it would end. It kept me guessing about the mystery and although I did not buy the end (it was a bit far fetched) it was still an excellent read.
A thoroughly entertaining book and also thought provoking as there is a moral dilemma at the heart of the story which makes one pause and think. 
I enjoyed the pace and plotting of the story. It never lets up with the mystery and I loved how we start off with knowing one character but by the end we get to know all of them and their own unique little stories. 
This was a fairly quick read because the switch between the years was achieved very well. I kept wanting to know more in both the timelines and that had me racing to finish the book.

A solid 4 star rating from me.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending me a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow!  This was such a good book.  I enjoy books about the legal system and this was, plus much much more.  I loved all the twists and turns and the thought processes involved. I thought the ending was unexpected and terrific!
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I thought this was a perfectly fine legal thriller. I was hoping for a little more juicy John Grisham drama, but I enjoyed the story about a notorious jury brought together for a retrospective documentary on the controversial case they oversaw. Is it memorable? not really. But if you're looking for a solid mystery and Grisham lite, this is a fine book to pick up and waste a few hours with.
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I loved this twist on a courtroom procedural. Ten years have passed since Maya and eleven others acquitted a man for murder. On leaving the courthouse they all found their lives would never be the same as they were roundly criticized, mocked and ostracized for their decision. Ten years later one of them puts together a reunion that once again changes all their lives once more. I loved the fast pace, twists and turns and the idea that having justice served never quite means what you think it does.
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Thank to NetGalley for this ARC of The Holdout. The book has a quick pacing and style that many readers who enjoy legal thrillers will appreciate.. Each character was distinctive, and the twists and turns were always realistic. Nice page turner.
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