I really loved Graham Moore’s The Last Days of Night when I read it a few years ago. So when I saw he had a new book out this year, I obviously had to check it out. The Holdout is worlds different from The Last Days of Night, but I still really enjoyed it.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya’s room.
Honestly, I was a little bit skeptical going into a mystery/thriller about a jury. From my (limited) experience, they tend to be somewhat predictable. And for the first half of The Holdout, I was pretty sure that it was. I genuinely thought I knew what had happened. I’m pleased to say, I was wrong.
This book had so many twists and turns, I might have gotten whiplash. Just when you think you know what’s going on, there’s another twist to shake up the story, all the way to the very end. I really enjoyed that about this book. It was unpredictable, in the best way. If you like thrillers and are tired of seeing what’s coming a mile away, I can almost guarantee you’ll like this one.
The Holdout is told in alternating timelines, ten years apart. The first covers the events surrounding the trial and the other, what happens ten years later. And what happens ten years after the trial is honestly a lot more exciting than the actual trial. Which was a little bit disappointing. I found myself wanting to skim those chapters and get back to the story I was more invested in. But, those chapters did give an excellent background to the story as a whole. So, while I could see that they were necessary, they weren’t the most exciting to read.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s exciting and thrilling and an example of great writing. Once I got into it, I had a hard time putting it down.
★★★★☆ – The Holdout is a great thriller. I loved that it was totally unpredictable (but not in that way were the killer isn’t introduced until the last ten pages). I wasn’t the biggest fan of the alternating timelines, but it did make for an interesting story.
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This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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