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Publisher's Summary

In 1970, one of Mississippi’s more colorful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a 23 year-old college dropout, named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim, until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family.

Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper. The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courthouse in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

But in Mississippi in 1970, "life" didn’t necessarily mean "life", and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.

©2004 Belfry Holdings, Inc. (P)2004 Random House, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Wholly engrossing - Grisham's story-telling knack has not deserted him; and the hint that something more serious is at stake than the solution of a crime gives the narrative an extra depth" ( Evening Standard)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 08-31-15

Masterful

John Grisham - the lat juror is compelling, enthralling & compulsive listening. Brought to life by Michael Beck a wonderful performer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • K. B.
  • 04-27-15

5stars all the way

Grisham is a terrific storyteller. Story offers amazing insight to a world of yesterday's struggles. Very useful time spent listening to the last Juror.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ginny
  • 02-24-15

Fantastic story,

I was gripped all the way through and near to tears at the end. fantastic

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms R Brunner
  • 05-01-18

Truly wonderful

A wonderful book of life in a small town in Mississippi. Heart breaking at the end. Loved it.

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  • A. Mitchell
  • 11-18-17

The Southern Experience

I lived in the south for many years and the whole experience was brought back in smells, sounds and attitudes of ordinary people. The characters are straight from a small town although John Grisham is from the south his portrayal of an outsider was how I felt when I discovered the insurmountable distance between the families who had know each other's great great grandfathers and me. Food sometime a joy, pecan pie and ham biscuits but not pimento cheese? or beans cooked in fat back.
Michael Beck is a supreme narrator. I would highly recommend this listen.

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  • Anne
  • 01-22-17

Southern Justice

I lived in the Southern States of America and recognize the food, culture, churches, race differences John Grisham wraps around this story of rape and murder. Atmospheric, well plotted with interesting characters. Enjoyed the listen.

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  • Mummybee
  • 01-17-17

great book good narator

Very good book, great descriptions throughout. Entertaining and enjoyed the narrator's voice. Good plot. too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C D Hall
  • 09-10-16

Great story

This is a great story, brilliantly read and easy listening. Some very interesting history that explains life in the 1970's. Really enjoyable highly recommend

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 06-12-16

not one of his best

this lies somewhere between a thriller and a novel but is lost and doesn't contain the best of either. although readable/listenable I was bored by the end. another book like Painted House would be welcome as a non thriller

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  • Easyman
  • 03-20-16

Mediocre

Struggled to finish it. Get the abridged version. It too long winded for me hence mediocre

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  • Shorty
  • 06-13-16

Thrilling and filled with suspense

The book was really interesting, filled with suspense and very thrilling. However the last 3 hours just seemed to drag.

I really liked the narrator's voice. His voice easily slipped into one character from another. I am guessing Baggy is a white man, however from the voice when playing him, he sounded like a black man.


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  • Matthew Worrall
  • 01-14-16

not a patch on Grisham's other books....

Unfortunately found this story uninteresting. Which, I'm surprised at, considering I have really liked every other story he has written...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful