Academy Award-winning screenwriter Graham Moore (The Last Days of Night) takes reasonable doubt to new heights in this fast-paced, labyrinthine mystery.
Ten years ago, 26-year-old Maya Seale served as a juror in a high-profile murder trial. Bobby Nock, a 24-year-old black high school English teacher, stood accused of murdering 15-year-old student Jessica Silver to cover up their affair. All 12 jurors voted to acquit Nock, spurred largely by Maya's insistence that a reasonable doubt remained. Only after the trial did she learn that 84% of the American public believed Nock killed Silver and that Maya and her fellow jurors let him walk away from his crime. Now, Maya has managed to parlay her infamy into a successful career as a defense attorney. While she wants to leave the trial in the past, her fellow former juror and lover, Rick, has spent the past decade obsessed with the trial. When he invites the 11 surviving jurors to reunite for a planned Netflix docuseries, a new murder casts suspicion on Maya, who must look to the past to clear her name.
Told from the alternating viewpoints of the 12 jurors, The Holdout touches on each phase of the U.S. criminal justice system, its racist leanings and the news media's power over public opinion. Moore's screenwriting background shows in the novel's snappy dialogue and quick clip. Twists abound for even seasoned mystery readers in this complex courtroom puzzle. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads