The Last Juror was a look at a small town in the south during a murder and subsequent trial. I liked the main character, Willie, who stumbled into buying the town’s newspaper and then brazenly rushed to promote it by printing detailed articles about the rape and murder of Rhoda. The novel was told from Willie’s perspective, which gave an overview of the town and at times mocked the townspeople. Willie was absolutely the best thing about this novel, and his youth and drive were what made me keep reading this.
As for the plot, it took a while to get to the actual trial. The trial was condensed to a short but trial. Fans of classic Grisham novels would appreciate and recognize the appearance of Harry Rex and Lucien Wilbanks from A Time To Kill. Ironically, as much as I liked Lucien in Time because he was a mentor to Jake Brigance, here he was a conniving defense attorney
A lot of time was spent on Miss Callie and her backstory, but when she ended up as a juror, I felt sure that her history was going to be important to the story. I did not find that it was. The racial prejudices that surrounded her civic duty would have been just as easily understood without the fifty pages of descriptions about what food she served Willie at her home.
Although the cover indicated that the novel was about a murdered coming after the jurors who convicted him, that simply was not what this book was about. This was coming of age story about Willie that used his ownership of the paper to explain his transformation. I would not classify this as a legal thriller, or even a thriller about the systematic hunting down of jurors. When the story did get to the juror plot line, it was tidy, and summed up neatly without any real explanation for the reasoning of the killings.
Slightly disappointed with this one, but I will still read more by this author.