The Runaway Jury (John Grisham)

Hello, friends 🙂 It’s been awhile! With less than two months to go in the year, I’ve been taking stock of how I’m doing on this year’s Book Challenge. This is the 28th book, and I challenged myself to read 36 (which, according to Goodreads, means I’m two books behind schedule). That’s ok. I originally only put myself down to read 24 (two per month), then changed it to a “stretch” goal of three per month, so I’m just happy I’ve gotten this many done. My excuse is that school has been busy this semester! In fact, I probably would have gotten through the latest one faster if it hadn’t been for school stuff. It was much more interesting than the time it took me to read it would suggest.

Title – The Runaway Jury

Author – John Grisham

Page count – 550

Rating – Buy/Borrow/Bypass + Goodreads 3/5 (Liked It)

I’ve never been especially drawn to the legal thriller/crime fiction genre. Honestly, the only reason I read this one is that I’m trying to whittle down a stack of books that I currently own but don’t want to take with me the next time I move (approximately six months from now). This is a pretty thick book so getting it out of the pile made a decent dent. But it was actually interesting! I was pleasantly surprised at how it held my attention.

The story is about a civil trial featuring Big Tobacco companies defending themselves from the charge that they are responsible for a man’s lung cancer death. I have no idea how much of this is based on/has actually happened in real life, but the idea is that this particular trial could set some serious legal precedents about who can sue tobacco companies for damages. The first big chunk of the book is focused on how both Defendant and Prosecution have researched and followed potential jurors in the hopes of picking a perfect jury to win a victory for their respective sides. What they don’t know is that there are individuals on the outside who are also manipulating the jury selection process, and once the trial starts, the mole known as Juror #2 will exercise huge influence over the jury’s final decision.

I didn’t dog-ear much as I read this book, but one particular passage toward the beginning made me chuckle:

“By eight Monday, a crowd was already gathering in the atrium outside the large wooden doors leading to the courtroom. One small group was clustered in a corner, and was comprised of young men in dark suits all of whom looked remarkably similar.” (p. 24)

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