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Juror #3


Juror #3

Summer may be almost over, but James Patterson continues to provide ample and entertaining grist for your reading pleasure. JUROR #3 is his inaugural collaboration with Nancy Allen, best known for her Ozarks Mystery series. Allen is also a former practicing attorney and university law instructor. She brings the knowledge acquired from her practice to this book, which is part detective novel, part courtroom thriller and entirely readable.

Things really begin to get rolling with the introduction of Ruby Bozarth, a newly minted attorney who has set up practice in the small town of Rosedale, Mississippi. Whoever said that a crossroads municipality would not have enough work to support one lawyer but could provide enough to support two certainly had Rosedale in mind. Ruby has some remote ties to the area that she would rather forget and would be happy to work in her storefront office-residence performing civil tasks.

"JUROR #3 is escapist literature that keeps you immersed in the story and reading non-stop from beginning to end, at which point you’ll want to read more."

Such is not to be, though, when Jewel Shaw, a member of one of the town’s founding families, is brutally murdered during a Mardi Gras party at the local country club. The accused is Darrien Summers, a former college football star whose career-ending injury and subsequent fall from grace resulted in his work in the country club kitchen close to where Jewel was killed. Darrien is quickly arrested for the murder, a charge he vehemently denies, even as he admits to being involved with the victim. The interracial aspect of the relationship raises some hackles locally, and there is some thought that the judge might be stacking the deck against Darrien when he appoints Ruby --- who has never tried a murder case --- as his defense attorney.

Ruby initially has no idea what she is doing (she apparently was absent on the day that the concept of “discovery” was covered in her law school class), but she does have an ace up her sleeve in the form of Suzanne Greene, a colorful veteran litigator who is more than happy to take Ruby under her wing. There is a pre-existing connection between them, as once upon a time Ruby was engaged to Lee Greene, Suzanne’s nephew. There are some twists and turns in the case, which will take every bit of Suzanne’s courtroom savvy and Ruby’s instinctive talents to meet, let alone master.

The two women barely have wrapped up that case when Lee is accused of killing a prostitute and needs all the legal help he can get. The sympathy is with the victim, given that Lee is rich and powerful, and looks very good for the murder, particularly because he alleges not so credibly that he can’t remember a thing that happened. It takes equal parts detective skills and legal acumen to successfully defend Lee, but it is only after the case is brought to trial that Ruby faces what might be the biggest challenge of all.

JUROR #3 is escapist literature that keeps you immersed in the story and reading non-stop from beginning to end, at which point you’ll want to read more. Hopefully Patterson and Allen will accommodate us in that regard. The characters who make it to the end are too interesting to come and go over the course of just one book.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on September 14, 2018

Juror #3
by James Patterson and Nancy Allen

  • Publication Date: September 10, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-10: 0316474126
  • ISBN-13: 9780316474122