Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The 13th Juror: Review

Author: John Lescroart
Type: Crime drama
Originally published in: 1994

A court drama that will keep you guessing till the very end.

You might have already heard of John Lescroart as he is a New York Times bestselling author. For the rest of you: his crime novels have been quite popular ever since he wrote Sunburn in 1981. So, I am quite happy I stumbled upon him as I was looking through my mum’s books – I can see why his work turns into an instant bestseller, and here is why.

The 13th Juror is the story of a woman, Jennifer Witt, who is accused of murdering her husband, her son, as well as her first husband, some nine years earlier. Dismas Hardy is the lawyer who takes on her case with the heavy task of proving her innocent when all evidence are against her. But the hardest task is to convince the 13th juror – the judge.

Now, The 13th Juror is the fourth book including Dismas Hardy as a main character, but this does not mean you need to be familiar with the first three books in order to understand this one. On the contrary – I would not even guess there were other books with him till after I finished this one, and I researched the author. This is, if you do not have the time to read a series of books, you could easily just pick up on of them, and your reading experience will not suffer. Or if you really like it, then there are 15 books with Dismas as the main protagonist, waiting for you.

The 13th Juror is a page turner. There is no other way to say it – it is an easy read, and thanks to Lescroat’s understanding of the legal system, everything is well described and explained. As a result, even if your knowledge of American laws and court practise is not so good, you will still understand all the processes followed in the book.

However, why I thoroughly recommend this book, is due to the delicate subject it touches – domestic abuse. The 13th Juror is a gripping story of a woman, who has been physically abused by both her husbands. This book goes deeper than just describing her sufferings – it examines her mental stability, her very nature. It does not just show the consequences of abuse on a person’s mind, but also how Jennifer has grown up, and what could be the long-term effects of growing up in an abusive home on a young girl’s mind.

Give this one a read if you are on the hunt of a good crime thriller.

Have you read any of the John Lescroart’s novels?

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