I have lost count of the number of Grisham novels I have read. He is my go to read when I feel like I need a fast paced, drama-less past time. The Last Juror did not disappoint me. Protagonist is a college drop out from Memphis who moved in to the small town of Clanton, Mississippi in hopes of starting his career as a journalist. Willie Traynor who’s got a rich grandmother back in Memphis eventually bought the weekly newspaper of the town previously owned by Mr.Caudle or popularly known in their town as Spot.
The story revolved around the murder case of Rhoda Kasellaw with Danny Padgit as the primary suspect. The Last Juror was basically a black woman by the name of Callie Ruffin, a close friend of Traynor. I guess the primary objective of the novel is to expose or to orient some reading folks that there are laws in the US that aren’t fair. For instance, in Danny Padgitt’s case, after deliberations, he was deemed guilty by the jurors and was sentenced to a life sentence. Common folks would naturally think that this literally means he will be spending the rest of his days in prison. Unfortunately, in Mississippi, a life sentence means a minimum o 10 years in prison plus the fact that you are eligible for a parole. Which is what actually happened at the second part of the novel. From then, I should say the climax started when the jurors were killed one by on, starting off with the ones who voted NO for a death penalty.
I was expecting a rather dramatic finish from the novel, I was expecting that Ginger Kasellaw, Rhoda’s sister was the one behind the killings. But it was only Hank Hooten, the ex lawyer who, five years earlier was admitted to an asylum due to Schizophrenia. Much words were written in the novel that did not much contribute to the storyline. For instance, it tool great lengths describing Sam Rufus’ affairs which was not at all helpful by arriving at an incredible finish. Another one were the chapters dedicated to the prospect of buying Will Traynor’s newspaper. I thought they were helpful chapters that would spice things up. But they were not. Nevetheless, it was still some thrilling and enjoyable one. I especially like the humor injected to it.