• The Holdout

  • A Novel
  • By: Graham Moore
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (747 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller •

One juror changed the verdict. What if she was wrong? From the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and best-selling 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 21st century.” (A. J. Finn, number one New York Times best-selling 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 25-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 entwines 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.

©2020 Graham Moore (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

 “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)

“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)

“[A] stemwinder of a murder mystery wrapped in a legal thriller.... The story is gripping, and the pace is furious.” (Booklist)   

What listeners say about The Holdout

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Too many f bombs

Not necessary to swear this much. It adds nothing to the story and does not improve the characters. I don’t enjoy listening to swearing appreciate when reviews note the level included in the novel. I hope this helps someone before they get too far into the book thinking it will lessen.

24 people found this helpful

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Story vs narration

The storyline held my attention ~twists and turns all the way~ but please, female narrators, enough with the attempt at male voices! Here, they were overly baritone with such precise diction that was stilted and often angry sounding. Even so, I enjoyed the book.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not much going on...

I found this book boring and rather lackluster. It’s not much of a legal story either. I kept hoping it would get better so I stuck with it to the end. I can say the end was the best part of the book but it did not make this book anything but average at best. Basically, there is a lot of questions about a verdict from a case 10 years ago. One of the jury members from the trial plays a huge part in the verdict and 10 years later she becomes the main suspect of another jury members murder. The plot revolves around her trying to find the murderer to clear her as a suspect. I found the characters dull and not very likable. The narration was the best part of the book.

If you’re looking for a good legal thriller I highly recommend Innocence on Trial by Rick Bowers instead of The Holdout.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Worth a credit - held my attention on a long drive

Pros:
Good story arc; it was an ambitious effort to fit all of that in a marketable book. I can't help that there was some vicious editing.
Clever format the way time swung back and forth. I had a great deal of difficulty keeping the many characters straight but it seemed to work out in the end.
Some good commentary on stereotypes and racism and it was interesting having the main character be a racist
Many plot twists that kept the story moving. It kept my attention on a 12 hour drive to visit my mother on her birthday

Cons:
1. The best mysteries are the ones that give you the information and challenge you to figure out the solution. This one does not. It kind of brings in a reveal at the end for which there was only one clue throughout the whole book.
2. I really wanted the main character to go to jail. She was arrogant, sanctimonious, and selfish to the point that I could not root for her even though that was clearly intended.

Minor plot complaint: text messages have time stamps. If the story happened the way they are described, it would have aided the defense.

5 people found this helpful

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TWISTS and TURNS until the END !

To keep you guessing until the end, Graham Moor has a clever way of moving it all along. Sometimes this was TOUGH to listen to as the author introduced the stranger facts of a rich family. Could this really be true that a Father, Mother & daughter have this relationship ... I will not define that here as I would give away the secrets to unfold as you listen to two different lives played out One a juror and one the victim or were there more than one victim...Read it and find out if you could solve it before the last page is turned !

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent murder mystery.

If you enjoy Harlan Conan books, you will love this one. It kept my interest from beginning to the end.
The Audible version was excellent, Abby’s use of different voices gave the feeling of listening to Agatha Christie novel!

3 people found this helpful

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Great courtroom thriller!

I downloaded this as a recommendation from a friend and ending up loving it! It was fast paced and lots of good twists! Narrator was fantastic, she played the different roles so well (which is not always the case with audiobooks). Highly recommend!

3 people found this helpful

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WOW

All I can say is that I’m glad I ignored some poor reviews and gave this book a shot. Easily one of my favorite books as of now. The whole entire story is well thought out and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I love the mystery and fun of it all!

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I gave up.... not for me.

I’m not sure if it was the narrator or the storyline but by chapter 4 I couldn’t have cared less whether they’d let a guilty man go or not so I stopped listening. I found it really irritating at the beginning when the narrator kept mispronouncing one of the character’s names (Belen is a Spanish name and it’s pronounced “Belle-enne”, it doesn’t rhyme with Helen). Maybe a minor detail but that coupled with the funky male impersonations and the pacing of the way it was being read was distracting. By the time it got to predictable plot twist number one, an early whodunnit involving the central character and her estranged love interest, I’d had enough and returned it.

2 people found this helpful

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Meh

It started off so well! But it just gets worse and worse. It’s also not well written. The allusions to Agatha Christie are about as subtle as a shovel over the head.

1 person found this helpful