Book Review: The Holdout by Graham Moore

January 11, 2021 – Sarah Vohsen, Adult Services

This column was first published in the January 2021 issue of The Best Years (TBY).

Maya Seale, as a young juror, became part of a high-profile case to judge Bobby Nock, an African American high school teacher of the murder of his wealthy white student. The final verdict ended in Bobby Nock’s favor with all twelve jurors voting for his innocence because there was not enough evidence to make the case. During the trial, though, the jurors’ names were leaked to the media. Each juror faced backlash after the trial ended.

Ten years after the trial Maya has put the past behind her, or she would have if she hadn’t been invited to join the filming of a true-crime documentary about the case that put her career on the map. Her fellow juror Rick claims he found groundbreaking evidence that would change the whole outcome of the case, but digging up the past is the last thing Maya wants to do. Her doubts about this show are realized when she finds Rick dead in her hotel room. Now she must prove she is innocent in the face of overwhelming evidence and a clear motive.

I listened to this title as an audiobook, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It has an intriguing opening that showcased the main character’s personality. This book also managed to keep the exposition interesting by mixing a lot of the facts into the action of the book. This book did not end up where I thought it would, and I really appreciated that. Overall, this was a good read, and I would definitely suggest it to mystery fans.

If you are looking for something similar, Andrew Grant’s book Invisible takes another perspective on legal thrillers by following a veteran who becomes a janitor to stop someone from tampering with a trial he is personally invested in. Another option is David Dow’s Confessions of an Innocent Man, which follows Rafael as he takes revenge after being wrongfully convicted of his wife’s murder.

 

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