The Holdout: new arrival A outlet sale Novel outlet online sale

The Holdout: new arrival A outlet sale Novel outlet online sale

The Holdout: new arrival A outlet sale Novel outlet online sale

This copy looks barely used. Inside pages have no other writing or marks but it is a former library copy with the usual stamps. Pages are bright and tightly bound. The dust jacket is attractively covered with durable Mylar plastic. This product is in stock. Shipped directly by Amazon. Expedited shipping available.
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Product Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • One juror changed the verdict. What if she was wrong?  From the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and bestselling author of The Last Days of Night. . . .
 
An ID Book Club Selection • “Exhilarating . . . a fiendishly slippery game of cat-and-mouse suspense and a provocative, urgent inquiry into American justice (and injustice) in the twenty-first century.”—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.

Flash forward ten years. A true-crime docuseries reassembles the jury, with particular focus on Maya, now a defense attorney herself. When one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all evidence points to her as the killer. Now, she must prove her own innocence—by getting to the bottom of a case that is far from closed.

As the present-day murder investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.

Review

“A spicy stew of intrigue replete with buried secrets and unexpected motives.” The New York Times Book Review

“Wow! I loved The Holdout, in which author Graham Moore does the impossible, creating a page-turning legal thriller with a twisty and absolutely riveting plot, as well as raising profound and thought-provoking questions about the jury system and modern justice. All that, plus a strong and compelling female heroine in lawyer Maya Seale, whom you’ll root for as the tables turn against her and she finds herself behind bars, with everything on the line. You won’t be able to put this one down!” —Lisa Scottoline, #1 bestselling author of Someone Knows
 
“Graham Moore’s heart beats on every page of The Holdout, a murder trial as only he could have written it: secrets and lies, mysteries upon mysteries, and a cast of characters each with their own dubious motives. This is a tense, emotionally charged, scary-good, standout read that hooked me till the last page.” —Caroline Kepnes, author of You
 
“The most gripping and satisfying thriller I’ve read in more than a decade.” —Sophie Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Monogram Murders
 
“This stellar novel from bestseller [Graham] Moore takes a searing look at the U.S. justice system, media scrutiny, and racism. . . . Moore has set a new standard for legal thrillers.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The twists are sharp and the flashbacks that uncover what each juror knows are placed for maximum impact in this rollicking legal thriller. . . . Moore expertly combines deft character work with mounting bombshell revelations in a story that will attract new readers and also seems primed for the big screen.” Library Journal (starred review)

“[A] stemwinder of a murder mystery wrapped in a legal thriller . . . The story is gripping, and the pace is furious.” Booklist
 
“Quite the tour de force!  Twelve Angry Men meets  Chinatown and creates something of its own.” —Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes
 
“Clever, well-written, and twistier than a can of Silly String. You absolutely need to read  The Holdout! I could not put it down.” —Emma Kavanagh, author of To Catch a Killer

“Plunge a syringe filled with adrenaline into the heart of  Twelve Angry Men and you’ve got  The Holdout.” —A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

About the Author

Graham Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Days of Night and The Sherlockian, and the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, which also won a Writers Guild of America Award for best adapted screenplay and was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. Moore was born in Chicago, received a BA in religious history from Columbia University in 2003, and now lives in Los Angeles.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Ten Years in L.A.

Now

Maya Seale removed two photographs from her briefcase. She held them face-in against her skirt. This thing was all going to come down to timing.

“Ms. Seale?” came the judge’s voice, impatient. “We’re waiting.”

Belen Vasquez, Maya’s client, had suffered terrible abuse at the hands of her husband, Elian. There were extensive ER records to prove it. One morning a few months back, Belen had snapped. She’d stabbed her husband while he was sleeping and then cut off his head with a pair of garden shears. Then she’d driven around for an entire day in her green Hyundai Elantra with the severed head mounted on the dash. Either nobody noticed or nobody wanted to get involved. Eventually, a cop had pulled her over for running a light and she’d managed to stuff the head in the glove compartment.

The good news, from Maya’s perspective, was that the prosecution had only one piece of solid physical evidence to use against Belen. The bad news was that the evidence was a head.

“I’m ready, Your Honor.” Maya placed a reassuring hand on her client’s shoulder. Then she walked slowly to the witness box, where Officer Jason Shaw sat waiting, his Distinguished Service Medal displayed prominently on the lapel of his blue LAPD uniform.

“Officer Shaw,” she said, “what happened when you pulled over Mrs. Vasquez’s car?”

“Well, ma’am, like I was saying, my partner remained behind Mrs. Vasquez’s vehicle while I approached her window.”

He was going to be one of those cops who did the “ma’am” thing with her, wasn’t he? Maya hated the “ma’am” thing. Not because she was thirty-six, which she had to admit was probably “ma’am”-worthy, but because it was such a transparent attempt to make her seem stuck up.

She tucked her short, dark hair behind her ear. “And when you approached the window, did you observe Mrs. Vasquez sitting in the driver’s seat?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Did you ask her for her license and registration?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Did she give them to you?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Did you ask her for anything else?”

“I asked her why there was blood on her hands.” Officer Shaw paused. “Ma’am.”

“And what did Mrs. Vasquez tell you?”

“She said that she cut her hand in the kitchen.”

“And did she present any evidence to support her claim?”

“Yes, ma’am. She showed me the bandage across her right palm.”

“Did you ask her anything else?”

“I asked her to step out of the vehicle.”

“Why?”

“Because there was blood on her hands.”

“But hadn’t she given you a perfectly reasonable explanation for the blood?”

“I wanted to investigate further.”

“Why did you need to investigate further,” Maya asked, “if Mrs. Vasquez had given you a reasonable explanation?”

Shaw looked at her as if she were a hall monitor sending him to the principal’s office for some minor infraction.

“Intuition,” he said.

Maya actually felt sorry for the poor guy right then. The prosecutor hadn’t prepped him well.

“I’m sorry, Officer, can you describe your ‘intuition’ in more detail?”

“Maybe I saw some of the head.” He was only digging himself in deeper.

“Maybe,” Maya repeated slowly, “you saw some of the head?”

“It was dark,” Shaw admitted. “But maybe I subconsciously noticed some of the hair—like, the hair on the head—sticking out of the glove compartment.”

She glanced at the prosecutor. He silently scratched at his white beard while Shaw single-handedly detonated his case.

Time for the photographs.

Maya held up one in each hand. The two photos showed different angles of a man’s head stuffed inside a glove compartment. Elian Vasquez had a buzz cut and a thin, unkempt mustache, crusted with blood. There was a streak of crimson across his cheek. The head had clearly bled out elsewhere, and then later been stuffed into the compartment, on top of the worn Hyundai manual and old registration cards.

“Officer, did you take these photographs on the night in question?” She handed them to him.

“I did, ma’am.”

“Do they not show the head entirely inside the glove compartment?”

“The head is in the glove compartment, ma’am.”

“Was the glove compartment closed when you asked Mrs. Vasquez to exit her vehicle?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“So how could you have maybe seen the head if it was entirely inside the glove compartment?”

“I don’t know, but I mean, we found it in there when we searched. You can’t tell me the head wasn’t in there, because it was.”

“I’m asking why you searched the car in the first place.”

“She had blood on her hands.”

“Didn’t you say, a moment ago, that you ‘maybe’ saw hair poking out of the glove compartment? I can have the court reporter read that back to you.”

“No, I mean—there was the blood. Maybe I saw some hair. I don’t know. Intuition, like I said.”

Maya stood very close to the witness box. “Which was it, Officer? Did you perform a search of Mrs. Vasquez’s vehicle because you saw some of a severed head—which you could not have—or did you perform the search because there was blood on her hands, for which there was a perfectly legal explanation?”

Shaw stewed angrily as he struggled to find an acceptable answer. He’d just realized how badly he’d screwed up.

Maya glanced over at the prosecutor, who was now rubbing his temples. He looked like he had a migraine.

The prosecutor made a heroic attempt to pin Shaw down to either one of his two stories, but the damage had been done. The judge ordered both sides to have briefs filed by the following Monday, at which point he’d make a final ruling on the admissibility of the severed head.

Maya sat down beside her client and whispered that the hearing had gone very well. Belen mumbled, “Okay,” but didn’t make eye contact. She wasn’t ready to celebrate yet. Maya appreciated the cautious pessimism.

The bailiff escorted Belen out of the courtroom, back to lockup. Then the secretary called for the next hearing.

The prosecutor sidled over. “If you get the head excluded, I’ll give you man two.”

Maya scoffed. “If you lose the head, you lose the body in the kitchen and the shears in the drawer. You won’t have a shred of physical to connect my client to the death of her husband.”

“Her husband, who she killed.”

“Have you seen the ER records? The broken ribs? The broken jaw?”

“If you want to argue self-defense, be my guest. If you want to argue that her husband deserved to die, you might get a jury on board. But suppressing the head? Really?”

“She’s not doing time. That’s nonnegotiable. Today, you can have reckless endangerment, time served. Or else you can try your luck next week after the ruling.” Maya nodded toward the judge. “How do you think that’s going to go?”

The prosecutor grumbled something into his tie about needing his boss’s sign-off, then slunk away. Maya slid the photographs back into her briefcase and shut the clasps with a satisfying snap.

The hallway outside was crowded. Dozens of conversations echoed off the domed ceiling. Courthouses were among the last places where all strata of society still brushed shoulders—rich, poor, old, young, people of every racial and ethnic background in Los Angeles walked across the marble floor. Hurrying to make it back to the office, she enjoyed being temporarily enveloped in the democratic crush.

“Maya.”

The voice came from behind her. She recognized it instantly. But it couldn’t be him . . . ​could it?

Forcing herself to breathe, she turned. For the first time in ten years she found herself face-to-face with Rick Leonard.

He was still thin. Still tall. He still wore glasses, though the silver wire frames he’d worn as a grad student had become the thick black frames of a sophisticated professional. He still dressed formally, today in a light gray suit. He must be in his late thirties now, just a bit older than she was. The decade’s wear had, cruelly, made him handsomer.

“I’m sorry,” Rick said. His voice sounded smooth. Assured. “I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”

Maya remembered Rick’s awkward hesitancy. Now he carried himself like a man who’d finally settled into his own skin.

She, on the other hand, was flushed with anxiety. “What are you doing here?”

“Can we talk?”

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4.2 out of 54.2 out of 5
1,813 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

LifePathin4D
4.0 out of 5 starsVine Customer Review of Free Product
Recommended book
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2020
This one has all the makings for a good story, and it tugs at the emotion too and takes you on a wide range of feelings towards the story. The main character, Bobby is accused of killing his student. He is a black man and his student is a white 15 year old, so you can see... See more
This one has all the makings for a good story, and it tugs at the emotion too and takes you on a wide range of feelings towards the story. The main character, Bobby is accused of killing his student. He is a black man and his student is a white 15 year old, so you can see where this is going right?.. or can you? You might be surprised at just exactly where it goes and it''s not what you think. This was a really good read overall.

This item is good quality and it is very much worth the purchase. It arrived in good condition and I have found no flaws with the product and I fully recommend it. Great purchase! 4 stars.

*Thank you for taking the time to read my review and if it helped you make an informed decision either way about this product please let me know by taking a quick moment of your time to vote it Helpful so I can keep track of my most helpful reviews. I hope you have a wonderful shopping experience!*
80 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Do better research
Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2020
If you were writing a historic novel, you would research the era. Why not do the same for a court procedural? There were so many critical errors in the California Law and Procedure that it ruined this story by making it entirely implausible. Next time consult with a... See more
If you were writing a historic novel, you would research the era. Why not do the same for a court procedural? There were so many critical errors in the California Law and Procedure that it ruined this story by making it entirely implausible. Next time consult with a criminal law attorney or at least someone who has served on jury duty. I see that you did have 2 legal consultants, they must be transactional or workers comp attorneys. The mistakes ruined this novel, which is too bad as the premise was clever and the story telling was fine. Next time consult a DA or PD, they are easy to find-- they are in the book!
48 people found this helpful
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Kathryn Smith
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Okay - But Not Thrilling
Reviewed in the United States on March 6, 2020
This book came highly recommended to me by someone with an advanced copy. I pre-ordered it and waiting anxiously for it to arrive. And then I read it... The premise and setup are all excellent. However, by about halfway through the book, I was only finishing it... See more
This book came highly recommended to me by someone with an advanced copy. I pre-ordered it and waiting anxiously for it to arrive. And then I read it...

The premise and setup are all excellent. However, by about halfway through the book, I was only finishing it to try and figure out what the advanced copy reader had seen in it. There was nothing thrilling about it. The stakes felt so low as to be negligible. And the "twist" at the end was lackluster.

I really wanted to like this book, but by the end I was just disappointed. There were so many good things going for it, but it just failed to deliver that gut punch that a truly good mystery gives.
27 people found this helpful
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Tricia Recommends
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
As a lawyer a little bit of me died inside
Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2020
There were parts of this book I didn''t hate but then reason took over. As a reader I can not recall ever having been so chagrined at a portrayal of what could happen with an American jury. Sure, it is fiction, and belief has to be suspended to have a little fun how CC an... See more
There were parts of this book I didn''t hate but then reason took over. As a reader I can not recall ever having been so chagrined at a portrayal of what could happen with an American jury. Sure, it is fiction, and belief has to be suspended to have a little fun how CC an you have fun when just about every minute involves torture.

This book was over the top nuts. For a novel to work there has to be a realistic chance the resolution of the problem presented by the author ultimately has some chance of working - at the beginning, at least - but later on too. This has no chance on either account so the book ends with a big, giant thud.

Of course you don''t realize that until the end after you have plodded through the construction of a very fragile house of cards.

The relationship between the "Hold Out" and another member of the jury both ten years ago and at the present time strains creduality especially with its double dose of betrayal. More important than that though, it lacks real drama, sparks, if you will. It''s easy imaging one of the two characters just walking out on the other because it is hard to imagine either of them caring enough to do anything else.

I am not a student of Agatha Christie but does the existence of multiple suspects really necessitate bringing her into this?

It is always a bad sign that there are a few pages left to a novel and just about everything has to be resolved. Such is the case here and as usual, it did not pay off.

The stuff in this book could never have happened in and around a courtroom. The two lawyers who were consultants on this novel must be walking around with paper bags over their heads.

Sorry but I can not recommend this book even though I feel very bad about the death of the author''s friend.
17 people found this helpful
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fesdjs
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
All the Hollywood tropes
Reviewed in the United States on February 29, 2020
Black male/white female times 3.....Tesla travels 14 hours without a recharge....everybody listens to MSNBC and CNN....quit an unbelievable finish
23 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer Robin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
So surprised
Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2020
I am rarely really surprised by an author, but I kept being surprised over and over again even until the last pages. What fun! Finally a legal thriller I liked, and not even a lawyer author. Still, as a lawyer I found little to criticize. I have also read his other book... See more
I am rarely really surprised by an author, but I kept being surprised over and over again even until the last pages. What fun! Finally a legal thriller I liked, and not even a lawyer author. Still, as a lawyer I found little to criticize. I have also read his other book The Last Days of Night and liked it very much and I learned many new things from both books! Thanks Mr. Moore
14 people found this helpful
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Kelly C.
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not really worth it
Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2020
You''re going to have to suspend your disbelief on this one. “The Holdout” is just the kind of improbable, twisty, fast-paced, thriller that is a useful "palate cleanser" to read between more weighty tomes. To his credit, Moore does raise thought-provoking and timely... See more
You''re going to have to suspend your disbelief on this one. “The Holdout” is just the kind of improbable, twisty, fast-paced, thriller that is a useful "palate cleanser" to read between more weighty tomes. To his credit, Moore does raise thought-provoking and timely questions about our justice system, race, and privilege. It was worth reading but I wouldn''t say it was worth adding to your TBR list.
15 people found this helpful
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Richard W. Siegler
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing homage to Agatha Christie
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2020
“The Holdout” is tense, and it’s always thought provoking and occasionally moving... i don’t want to give away too much but i would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Agatha Christie and/or legal mysteries.
13 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Kaffmatt
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Too Unrealistic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2020
An encouraging start to this legal thriller but unfortunately, the plot became implausible, culminating in an unrealistic finale. As another reviewer has said, the American Legal System is different from UK. However, I can’t see that after ten years, randomly picked jurors...See more
An encouraging start to this legal thriller but unfortunately, the plot became implausible, culminating in an unrealistic finale. As another reviewer has said, the American Legal System is different from UK. However, I can’t see that after ten years, randomly picked jurors would still be in contact with each other and that they would decide the outcome of a situation involving two of the original twelve. Actually, this plot idea is similar to another book I’ve read recently- lawyer accused of murder: was she guilty? Here, ten years previously, Maya was on the jury that acquitted a murderer. She had persuaded the others to change their views from guilty. Public outrage has followed the decision. Cut to present day- gathering of jurors for an article. One of them is killed in Maya’s room and she’s the chief suspect. Obviously, there’s a lot of background stuff going on and the storyline is narrated by the various jury members to show their perspectives on the first court case. I enjoy legal thrillers but this did not hit the mark. Too unbelievable and sadly, the plot loses itself by the author trying to be too clever by throwing suspicion in all directions. Appealing to some but not me.
6 people found this helpful
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Lady Dido
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Oh Come ON!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 13, 2021
What can I say about this book, by an author that I had never come across before? So much of it was good, and so much of it was bonkers. The good points: This isn’t just a “thriller” – although it does have a unique and riveting storyline. Alongside the legal plot there is...See more
What can I say about this book, by an author that I had never come across before? So much of it was good, and so much of it was bonkers. The good points: This isn’t just a “thriller” – although it does have a unique and riveting storyline. Alongside the legal plot there is deep and thoughtful wrestling with the conundrum of innocence versus guilt, compassion versus self-protection. Genuine ethical issues are explored as the viewpoints of various characters are examined. It is refreshing to discover an author of the thriller genre who is prepared to do this, making the plot almost a by-product of the examination of the human character and the ethics of truth, honesty and justice. The interesting conclusion – that those three concepts are almost impossible to marry up in the twisted world of the modern US courtroom – was fascinating. The less-good points: I suppose it was too much to hope that a contemporary author – and clever one at that – would give us the ending that we all secretly hoped for. I became increasingly disheartened as I saw the plot moving away from a satisfying vindication and towards a more complicated conclusion. The bonkers points: The hunt for true justice – which wasn’t going to be achieved in the hands of self-interested humanity and a flawed system – coupled with the author’s attempts to find a feasible conclusion to it all, led us to a tangled ball of wool which could never be unravelled. In trying to find a way out of the mess, the author seemed to get lost in the mire of his fabrications. His “solution” was truly and sadly ridiculous. He tried valiantly to tie up the loose ends – but with so many players that was impossible. The final “we will never know the truth” sounds clever, but it isn’t. It is deeply unsatisfactory. The human instinct is to “know”, not be left with a pack of lies. So – first I loved this book, and then I hated it. As it dawned on me that nothing was going to be solved and the plot thrashed around to come up with something, however daft, I did indeed mentally shout “OH COME ON!”
2 people found this helpful
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HCustomer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Thoroughly unique story with lots of twists, characters a bit bland
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 6, 2020
If you like legal or courtroom thrillers like Grisham, this is well worth a read. It''s set in the USA in 2 time periods.. Lots of little clues and revelations along the way to keep you interested though the writing style felt a bit cold and so I didn''t get hooked as much as...See more
If you like legal or courtroom thrillers like Grisham, this is well worth a read. It''s set in the USA in 2 time periods.. Lots of little clues and revelations along the way to keep you interested though the writing style felt a bit cold and so I didn''t get hooked as much as the story could have hooked me. I didn''t warm to the main character much -- many secondary ones were better rounded and more interesting. But overall a fun read.
5 people found this helpful
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Cleopatra
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Courtroom Drama
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2020
I''d been looking for a gripping court room drama and the synopsis of this one seemed to fit the bill perfectly. This is all about what happens behind the scenes so to speak; those jury deliberations that decide whether a man is jailed for life, or set free. What would...See more
I''d been looking for a gripping court room drama and the synopsis of this one seemed to fit the bill perfectly. This is all about what happens behind the scenes so to speak; those jury deliberations that decide whether a man is jailed for life, or set free. What would happen if the jury, so divided originally were to meet again down the line, especially if doubt had been shone on their decision. The story is a little convuluted at times but has some great characters to drive the narrative with good plotting to ensure that it all holds together without holes. Recommended
One person found this helpful
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WorcesterBlue
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gripping novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2020
I was drawn in by the description of this book and have had it on my to read list ever since. The book follows Maya Seale who in 2009 convinced the rest of the jury to change their verdicts and acquit Bobby Nock a 25 year old black English teacher. Bobby Nock was accused of...See more
I was drawn in by the description of this book and have had it on my to read list ever since. The book follows Maya Seale who in 2009 convinced the rest of the jury to change their verdicts and acquit Bobby Nock a 25 year old black English teacher. Bobby Nock was accused of killing 15 year old Jessica Silver who was one of his students and the daughter of a billionaire property tycoon but no body was ever discovered. One of the jurors, Rick Leonard feels psychological pain over the acquittal and spends the next ten years trying to prove Bobby Nock''s guilty. The book flips between 2009''s trial and ten years later with Maya now a criminal defence lawyer is about to take part in a crime show featuring the same jurors to retry Bobby Nock. All the jurors gather in an hotel prior to the show where Rick Leonard is found dead in Maya''s hotel room. Maya finds herself the key suspect and has to try and clear her name. This book really grabbed me from the start and before I knew it I was already over halfway through the book. With the story flipping from 2009 to 2019 I was eagerly following the original trial and also wanting to find out what was going to happen to Maya and Bobby Nock. All the time wondering if one one or both of them were murderers. This is a gripping novel with some excellent characters that kept me reading page after page. My first Graham Moore novel but will be eager to read more after this one.
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Description

Product Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • One juror changed the verdict. What if she was wrong?  From the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and bestselling author of The Last Days of Night. . . .
 
An ID Book Club Selection • “Exhilarating . . . a fiendishly slippery game of cat-and-mouse suspense and a provocative, urgent inquiry into American justice (and injustice) in the twenty-first century.”—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.

Flash forward ten years. A true-crime docuseries reassembles the jury, with particular focus on Maya, now a defense attorney herself. When one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all evidence points to her as the killer. Now, she must prove her own innocence—by getting to the bottom of a case that is far from closed.

As the present-day murder investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.

Review

“A spicy stew of intrigue replete with buried secrets and unexpected motives.” The New York Times Book Review

“Wow! I loved The Holdout, in which author Graham Moore does the impossible, creating a page-turning legal thriller with a twisty and absolutely riveting plot, as well as raising profound and thought-provoking questions about the jury system and modern justice. All that, plus a strong and compelling female heroine in lawyer Maya Seale, whom you’ll root for as the tables turn against her and she finds herself behind bars, with everything on the line. You won’t be able to put this one down!” —Lisa Scottoline, #1 bestselling author of Someone Knows
 
“Graham Moore’s heart beats on every page of The Holdout, a murder trial as only he could have written it: secrets and lies, mysteries upon mysteries, and a cast of characters each with their own dubious motives. This is a tense, emotionally charged, scary-good, standout read that hooked me till the last page.” —Caroline Kepnes, author of You
 
“The most gripping and satisfying thriller I’ve read in more than a decade.” —Sophie Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Monogram Murders
 
“This stellar novel from bestseller [Graham] Moore takes a searing look at the U.S. justice system, media scrutiny, and racism. . . . Moore has set a new standard for legal thrillers.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The twists are sharp and the flashbacks that uncover what each juror knows are placed for maximum impact in this rollicking legal thriller. . . . Moore expertly combines deft character work with mounting bombshell revelations in a story that will attract new readers and also seems primed for the big screen.” Library Journal (starred review)

“[A] stemwinder of a murder mystery wrapped in a legal thriller . . . The story is gripping, and the pace is furious.” Booklist
 
“Quite the tour de force!  Twelve Angry Men meets  Chinatown and creates something of its own.” —Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes
 
“Clever, well-written, and twistier than a can of Silly String. You absolutely need to read  The Holdout! I could not put it down.” —Emma Kavanagh, author of To Catch a Killer

“Plunge a syringe filled with adrenaline into the heart of  Twelve Angry Men and you’ve got  The Holdout.” —A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

About the Author

Graham Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Days of Night and The Sherlockian, and the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, which also won a Writers Guild of America Award for best adapted screenplay and was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. Moore was born in Chicago, received a BA in religious history from Columbia University in 2003, and now lives in Los Angeles.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Ten Years in L.A.

Now

Maya Seale removed two photographs from her briefcase. She held them face-in against her skirt. This thing was all going to come down to timing.

“Ms. Seale?” came the judge’s voice, impatient. “We’re waiting.”

Belen Vasquez, Maya’s client, had suffered terrible abuse at the hands of her husband, Elian. There were extensive ER records to prove it. One morning a few months back, Belen had snapped. She’d stabbed her husband while he was sleeping and then cut off his head with a pair of garden shears. Then she’d driven around for an entire day in her green Hyundai Elantra with the severed head mounted on the dash. Either nobody noticed or nobody wanted to get involved. Eventually, a cop had pulled her over for running a light and she’d managed to stuff the head in the glove compartment.

The good news, from Maya’s perspective, was that the prosecution had only one piece of solid physical evidence to use against Belen. The bad news was that the evidence was a head.

“I’m ready, Your Honor.” Maya placed a reassuring hand on her client’s shoulder. Then she walked slowly to the witness box, where Officer Jason Shaw sat waiting, his Distinguished Service Medal displayed prominently on the lapel of his blue LAPD uniform.

“Officer Shaw,” she said, “what happened when you pulled over Mrs. Vasquez’s car?”

“Well, ma’am, like I was saying, my partner remained behind Mrs. Vasquez’s vehicle while I approached her window.”

He was going to be one of those cops who did the “ma’am” thing with her, wasn’t he? Maya hated the “ma’am” thing. Not because she was thirty-six, which she had to admit was probably “ma’am”-worthy, but because it was such a transparent attempt to make her seem stuck up.

She tucked her short, dark hair behind her ear. “And when you approached the window, did you observe Mrs. Vasquez sitting in the driver’s seat?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Did you ask her for her license and registration?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Did she give them to you?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Did you ask her for anything else?”

“I asked her why there was blood on her hands.” Officer Shaw paused. “Ma’am.”

“And what did Mrs. Vasquez tell you?”

“She said that she cut her hand in the kitchen.”

“And did she present any evidence to support her claim?”

“Yes, ma’am. She showed me the bandage across her right palm.”

“Did you ask her anything else?”

“I asked her to step out of the vehicle.”

“Why?”

“Because there was blood on her hands.”

“But hadn’t she given you a perfectly reasonable explanation for the blood?”

“I wanted to investigate further.”

“Why did you need to investigate further,” Maya asked, “if Mrs. Vasquez had given you a reasonable explanation?”

Shaw looked at her as if she were a hall monitor sending him to the principal’s office for some minor infraction.

“Intuition,” he said.

Maya actually felt sorry for the poor guy right then. The prosecutor hadn’t prepped him well.

“I’m sorry, Officer, can you describe your ‘intuition’ in more detail?”

“Maybe I saw some of the head.” He was only digging himself in deeper.

“Maybe,” Maya repeated slowly, “you saw some of the head?”

“It was dark,” Shaw admitted. “But maybe I subconsciously noticed some of the hair—like, the hair on the head—sticking out of the glove compartment.”

She glanced at the prosecutor. He silently scratched at his white beard while Shaw single-handedly detonated his case.

Time for the photographs.

Maya held up one in each hand. The two photos showed different angles of a man’s head stuffed inside a glove compartment. Elian Vasquez had a buzz cut and a thin, unkempt mustache, crusted with blood. There was a streak of crimson across his cheek. The head had clearly bled out elsewhere, and then later been stuffed into the compartment, on top of the worn Hyundai manual and old registration cards.

“Officer, did you take these photographs on the night in question?” She handed them to him.

“I did, ma’am.”

“Do they not show the head entirely inside the glove compartment?”

“The head is in the glove compartment, ma’am.”

“Was the glove compartment closed when you asked Mrs. Vasquez to exit her vehicle?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“So how could you have maybe seen the head if it was entirely inside the glove compartment?”

“I don’t know, but I mean, we found it in there when we searched. You can’t tell me the head wasn’t in there, because it was.”

“I’m asking why you searched the car in the first place.”

“She had blood on her hands.”

“Didn’t you say, a moment ago, that you ‘maybe’ saw hair poking out of the glove compartment? I can have the court reporter read that back to you.”

“No, I mean—there was the blood. Maybe I saw some hair. I don’t know. Intuition, like I said.”

Maya stood very close to the witness box. “Which was it, Officer? Did you perform a search of Mrs. Vasquez’s vehicle because you saw some of a severed head—which you could not have—or did you perform the search because there was blood on her hands, for which there was a perfectly legal explanation?”

Shaw stewed angrily as he struggled to find an acceptable answer. He’d just realized how badly he’d screwed up.

Maya glanced over at the prosecutor, who was now rubbing his temples. He looked like he had a migraine.

The prosecutor made a heroic attempt to pin Shaw down to either one of his two stories, but the damage had been done. The judge ordered both sides to have briefs filed by the following Monday, at which point he’d make a final ruling on the admissibility of the severed head.

Maya sat down beside her client and whispered that the hearing had gone very well. Belen mumbled, “Okay,” but didn’t make eye contact. She wasn’t ready to celebrate yet. Maya appreciated the cautious pessimism.

The bailiff escorted Belen out of the courtroom, back to lockup. Then the secretary called for the next hearing.

The prosecutor sidled over. “If you get the head excluded, I’ll give you man two.”

Maya scoffed. “If you lose the head, you lose the body in the kitchen and the shears in the drawer. You won’t have a shred of physical to connect my client to the death of her husband.”

“Her husband, who she killed.”

“Have you seen the ER records? The broken ribs? The broken jaw?”

“If you want to argue self-defense, be my guest. If you want to argue that her husband deserved to die, you might get a jury on board. But suppressing the head? Really?”

“She’s not doing time. That’s nonnegotiable. Today, you can have reckless endangerment, time served. Or else you can try your luck next week after the ruling.” Maya nodded toward the judge. “How do you think that’s going to go?”

The prosecutor grumbled something into his tie about needing his boss’s sign-off, then slunk away. Maya slid the photographs back into her briefcase and shut the clasps with a satisfying snap.

The hallway outside was crowded. Dozens of conversations echoed off the domed ceiling. Courthouses were among the last places where all strata of society still brushed shoulders—rich, poor, old, young, people of every racial and ethnic background in Los Angeles walked across the marble floor. Hurrying to make it back to the office, she enjoyed being temporarily enveloped in the democratic crush.

“Maya.”

The voice came from behind her. She recognized it instantly. But it couldn’t be him . . . ​could it?

Forcing herself to breathe, she turned. For the first time in ten years she found herself face-to-face with Rick Leonard.

He was still thin. Still tall. He still wore glasses, though the silver wire frames he’d worn as a grad student had become the thick black frames of a sophisticated professional. He still dressed formally, today in a light gray suit. He must be in his late thirties now, just a bit older than she was. The decade’s wear had, cruelly, made him handsomer.

“I’m sorry,” Rick said. His voice sounded smooth. Assured. “I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”

Maya remembered Rick’s awkward hesitancy. Now he carried himself like a man who’d finally settled into his own skin.

She, on the other hand, was flushed with anxiety. “What are you doing here?”

“Can we talk?”

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