I have read the 104th book for the book challenge. It was The Last Juror: A Novel by John Grisham.
This novel was not so much a mystery as a story about a young journalist who buys a small town newspaper. Willie Traynor is a young college drop-out whose grandmother buys him the Clanton Times in Clanton, Mississippi in 1970.
He takes it under his wing and makes it his own. he turns it around and increases its subscriptions. The trial of Danny Padgitt for the rape and murder of a young mother of two small children helps with the circulation. The trial is the talk of the town. The first black juror, a woman, is seated. Danny Padgitt tries to bribe a witness to say he was with her the night of the murder even though the blood evidence and semen prove he was at the scene of the murder. He is convicted and sent to prison. The jury could not decide on the death penalty. Three jurors could not vote for the death penalty, so Danny Padgitt got life in prison, which meant he was eligible for parole in eight years.
The story continues to evolve regarding Willie’s friendship with the single black juror on the jury, Miss Callie Ruffin. He writes a personal interest piece on her family and becomes involved with her family as a close friend. He becomes more and more involved in the life of Clanton. He eventually buys a house there and renovates it, a five-year project, and settles down for the long-haul.
Finally, he decides to let a large firm buy out the paper and retire. He wants to travel and find a wife and have a family. But first, Danny Padgitt is released from prison and jurors start being killed. The strange thing is that the jurors who are being killed are the jurors who voted against the death penalty. Why would Danny Padgitt be killing these jurors first? Then Danny Padgitt is arrested for the murders and attempted murder of one juror. And something happens that changes the town forever.
I won’t give away the ending of the story. It is a good story. This is a slower paced story than many of Grisham’s novels. But it is a good story. I enjoyed it.