Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Juror no. 3 by James Patterson and Nancy Allen

Ruby Bozarth is a freshly minted lawyer trying to start out in small town Rosedale, Mississippi which is no easy task - especially when she finds herself assigned to represent a man accused of murder.  From the start the odds are stacked against her - she's young, she's female, and most of all the town is sure he's guilty.  The young woman who was murdered was from a well-to-do family a real socialite who was well known and apparently universally loved by all.  The accused is a young black man kicked out of college and returned to town in disgrace.  It's going to be an uphill battle to keep him out of jail because how can a man get a fair trial when everyone knows he did it?

As if one tough case isn't enough, Ruby finds herself fighting another seemingly open and shut case when someone she knows is accused of murder in rather sordid circumstances.  Fighting for someone's life in court is never easy, especially when the accused seems intent on not helping themselves.  As she digs deeper into the case it seems as though everyone is keeping secrets, and the last thing you need as a lawyer is a client keeping secrets - especially when you can't rely on witnesses either.  As the story plays out on the witness stand Ruby learns more about how the dance between prosecution and defence works - and just how dangerous practicing law in the good old state of Mississippi really can be.

It is always interesting to pick up a book by James Patterson with a new co-author as you never know what you are going to get - sometimes it's brilliant, sometimes it good, and sometimes it's not so great.  I wasn't sure what to expect with Juror no. 3 as none of the books I've read by Patterson and Co. before have ventured so much into the courtroom, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was very readable and showed a part of the crime genre that I haven't really found before.  There are times when the legal jargon gets a little annoying, but it's a minuscule part of the story and you can puzzle out what they are referring to from the context - but I guess that makes it more realistic anyway.

There are some great characters here, and in some ways it feels like it might have started as a Booskshots concept because it is two storylines woven together into one story.  Ruby is a great character, as are the people around her, and while this can be read as a standalone it would be nice to reconnect with Ruby and the town, because any town that has old blood like Rosedale is bound to have secrets and scandals that can be explored in a court of law.

If you like this book then try:
  • The shut-in by James Patterson and Duane Swierczynski
  • Heist by James Patterson and Rees Jones
  • Black and Blue by James Patterson and Candice Fox
  • Let's play make-believe by James Patterson and James O. Born
  • Chase by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  • Airport code red by James Patterson and Michael White
  • Eeny meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  • City of the lost by Kelley Armstrong
  • Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
  • What was mine by Helen Klein Ross
  • Good me bad me by Ali Land
  • The edge of normal by Carla Norton

Reviewed by Brilla

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