I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Holdout by Graham Moore
on February 18, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Legal, Crime, Psychological
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • One juror changed the verdict. What if she was wrong? From the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and bestselling author of The Last Days of Night. . . . “Exhilarating . . . a fiendishly slippery game of cat-and-mouse suspense and a provocative, urgent inquiry into American justice (and injustice) in the twenty-first century.”—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.
Flash forward ten years. A true-crime docuseries reassembles the jury, with particular focus on Maya, now a defense attorney herself. When one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all evidence points to her as the killer. Now, she must prove her own innocence—by getting to the bottom of a case that is far from closed.
As the present-day murder investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.
Wow. The Holdout is a serious examination of the politics of law, social impact of race and gut instinct. The first chapter was a sucker punch to the gut. The imagery was gruesome but tantalising to the highest degree. I found myself holding my breath waiting for that bomb to drop. I was gripped from its anxiety inducing start to the finale like ending. This was a premise that definitely had me hooked – just how persuasion and obsession can collide.
Ten years ago, Maya Searle was a member of the jury on the case of missing Jessica Silver, daughter of extremely wealthy Lou Silver. Immediately the cogs begin to turn, and you wonder if money talks in this case. Her teacher, Bobby Nock is in the dock charged with her disappearance and possible murder?? The evidence is presented but a lot of it could be deemed as circumstantial…does his race have a bigger picture to play and needing to be seen to prosecuting someone? It’s a picture painted to be one of a moral conundrum. The trial is a complete farce and truly deserved to be thrown out.
The Holdout – Maya Searle is convinced that Bobby Nock is not guilty. She reasons with the other jury members and somehow convinces them all to return a verdict of not guilty. The immediate future having consequences for them all. Was it the right decision? The acquittal of Bobby Nock was highly controversial none the less because of Lou Silver’s standing.
Fast forward ten years…Maya Searle is at the top of her game. A world class criminal lawyer. Her notoriety of being a jury member on the Bobby Nock trial brings her clients swooping in. You might think that this is a case of lessons learned but The Holdout is far more complex than that. An old jury member comes crashing back into her life, albeit it unwanted, that is a chapter of her life that she never wanted to revisit again. He has clung to the hope that his gut instinct was right all along – that Bobby Nock was guilty. He obsessively researched every bit of evidence and now apparently has no evidence to uncover. He will share it with Maya so long as she agrees to take part in a docuseries. I enjoyed the interactions between these two characters…Graham Moore led us down a series of mazes and laid the foundations for the reader deciding just how grey each character was.
Graham Moore has created this story whilst balancing on a knife’s edge. He allows the seeds of doubt to creep into the readers mind. It starts off as an echo, one that you aren’t too sure you heard until it reaches a crescendo, an ear splitting one. He sets a trap and it beautifully captures the reader with no obvious way out. How much of what Maya believed was seen through distorted glasses? Was she right in convincing the other jury members or was she young and naive?
The Holdout makes you rethink what you thought you knew. Compelling characters with a creepy and threatening narrative.
Thanks to Tracy @ Compulsive Readers for my spot on the blog tour.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graham Moore is a New York Times bestselling novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. His screenplay for THE IMITATION GAME won the Academy Award and WGA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2015 and was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. The film, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, received 8 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.
Graham’s first novel, THE SHERLOCKIAN (2010), was published in 16 countries and translated into 13 languages. It was called “sublime” and “clever” and “delightful” by the New York Times, “savvy” and “entertaining” by the Los Angeles Times, and lots of other nice things as well. Graham’s second novel, THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT will be published in fall 2016 by Random House.
Graham lives in Los Angeles.