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The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy #4)

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,237 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
In John T. Lescroart's brilliant new novel, The 13th Juror, Dismas Hardy, lawyer/investigator, undertakes the defense of Jennifer Witt, accused of murdering her husband and their eight-year-old son as well as her first husband, who had died nine years earlier from an apparent drug overdose. While preparing his case, Hardy learns that both of Jennifer's husbands had physica ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 2nd 2005 by Signet (first published September 8th 1994)
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Deb Jones All the books in the Dismas Hardy series can be read as stand-alones. I've been preferring to go with the first book in a series when I can and follow…moreAll the books in the Dismas Hardy series can be read as stand-alones. I've been preferring to go with the first book in a series when I can and follow the series forward, but The 13th Juror would be a great start if you don't care about the order.(less)
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13th out of 53 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cathy DuPont
Jan 18, 2013 Cathy DuPont rated it liked it
My fourth Dismas Hardy and I really like the character, like him a lot. I like attorneys anyway, so no surprise there. And about one-half the book was a courtroom setting; ditto there, too. No problem.

However, at the beginning in reading the acknowledgements, Lescroart says "My editor (and publisher) Don Fine has done a yeoman's job of nipping, tucking and tightening the sprawling manuscript into its final form..." The word that jumped out at me was "tightening" since previous books, I felt, ne
Nov 07, 2010 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
I can't figure out if she did it, or not! I'll let you know, or maybe not...when it's all finished.

Really enjoyable book that's well written and wonderfully narrated for audio. I like a courtroom-centered drama especially when it involves a young woman whose successful, young doctor husband, and her eight year old son have been murdered! She's the obvious murderer....

Well, it's finished and I could never have guessed "who done it." Lescroart had me all along the way. I do have to say that I once
Sep 01, 2012 Ferne rated it really liked it
The best short synopsis I read online: "The pressure is on for Dismas Hardy when an abused woman is accused of killing her husband and child in cold blood. Only Dismas believes she's innocent. However, faith alone won't be enough to save her unless Dismas takes one terrifying risk to keep her alive." - From Powell's City of Books.

The top line across the paperbook said, "The Stunning Bestseller." As one reaches for the title on the shelf, one wonders if it will truly be a "stunning" read as per m
Nan Williams
Jun 26, 2013 Nan Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes suspense.
Shelves: read-more
It was definitely a page turner. Lots of twists and turns, good courtroom scenes.

A book originally published 20 years ago is enlightening in the changes in our society as well as in crime fiction. I appreciated the clean language and the clarity of thought in the narrative. Every time a character would do something like "look for a phone booth," I had to remind myself the book was written in 1994.

The plot could easily have been written today - it was timeless. It was well written, well paced and
Evi Routoula
Jun 08, 2015 Evi Routoula rated it really liked it
Ενδιαφέρον δικαστικό θρίλερ, γρήγορο, με αληθινούς χαρακτήρες και ωραία ανατροπή. Καλογραμμένο και ωραιότατη μετάφραση στην ελληνική. Ως δικηγόρος λάτρεψα την εξήγηση του ποινικού, νομικού συστήματος της Πολιτείας της Καλιφόρνια. Ωραιότατο βιβλίο για τους λάτρεις του είδους.
Mar 17, 2013 William rated it it was amazing
One of the finest works of popular fiction I've ever read. People often ask me, are there other writers of legal fiction you enjoy? Well, as a matter of fact, yes, and here it is. Lescroart is always good, but I will probably always think of this as the unforgettable one. If I ever write a legal novel this good, I will be a happy man.
Apr 14, 2014 George rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club, nook-st

"Her eyes were malachite set into the alabaster of her skin."—page 147

I'm glad to be finished with THE 13th JUROR, by John Lescroat: a novel that is way too long and less than engaging.

Recommendation: Not worth your time.

"...the populace was beginning to understand that there was no such thing as a nonviolent crime in San Francisco anymore"—page 187

Adobe Digital Edition (ePub), 465 pages
Sep 19, 2009 Beverly rated it liked it
Maybe 3 1/2 stars. This is a classic, straightforward legal mystery with a lot of court room action. Dismas Hardy is a good protag., but his friends and family are slightly cloying, or could become so. The story is about Jennifer Witt, a battered wife accused of killing her abusive husband and her child. But Jennifer insists that she is innocent and won't allow testimony about her battering because it will entail a guilty verdict, although not a stiff penalty. By sticking to her innocence, she r ...more
Greg Z
May 12, 2015 Greg Z rated it really liked it
I actually read this one twice, about 8 years apart, and I guessed wrong again. Very good both times, my favorite John Lescroart. Fascinating characters.
Nov 01, 2009 Iris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal-suspense
The 13th Juror is my third Dismas Hardy mystery. It is the fourth book in the series. In The 13th Juror it is unclear if Hardy's client, Jennifer Witt, is guilty or innocent. In the other Dismas Hardy books that I have read, I was able to root for the innocent underdog. Without that, this book lacked some of the tension of the other books. Like the other books, the ending was a little too convenient to be believable. Still, John Lescroart seems to write mostly enjoyable stories without using muc ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing
As good as it was the first time. I've read this before, many years ago, and still the ending surprised me!! Just imagine if you've never read it! This is a great series with great characters. A pile of San Francisco references too.
Jane Brant
Oct 31, 2013 Jane Brant rated it it was amazing
I don't know how I've missed this mystery writer...excellent use of trial procedures, along with personal characteristics of spousal abuse, psychology, and police investigations. I will definitely have to read some of his other works.
Jul 22, 2011 Gmak rated it liked it
Ok, the surprise ending made it worth getting there. Did Jennifer, a battered wife, kill her husband and son or not... This was good enough that I picked up three more John Lescroart books at the library book sale for a dollar each.
Jun 03, 2014 Marcia rated it it was amazing
This book deals primarily with a murder trial and sentencing. I have read a lot of mysteries/thrillers, but I was not prepared for the murderer in this one! Dismas Hardy was confused too. Everybody thought his client was guilty but with mitigating circumstances. The client, Jennifer Witt, absolutely refused to plead guilty and to use a battered wife defense. Almost everyone would have done so, especially after the jury found her guilty and voted for the death penalty. After a few dead ends that ...more
Mostly formulaic. Some good writing ... but WEAK story and plot.
ABANDONED after 100 pages. THIS is Lescroart's top-rated?? Not even worth further comment!
May 25, 2009 Joe rated it liked it
Shelves: legal-thrillers
Another good installment from a promising series, a little drawn out and not as quick moving plot as the previous book in ther series. 3 Stars for me.
Jun 08, 2013 Mac rated it really liked it
The 13th Juror satisfies my criteria for an entertaining legal thriller. First, the story has the right level of complexity, enough to hold my interest throughout, but not so much that I need to list the various characters and their interrelationships. Second, there is a certain level of credibility; the characters talk like real people (not devices to advance the plot), and their actions are generally believable. Also, the plot twists are revealed carefully so my interest is maintained and then ...more
Joel Ungar
Sep 29, 2013 Joel Ungar rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I didn't think this was one of Lescroart's better ones, and I thought it was about 200 pages too long (at least the paperback version).

Dismas Hardy continues to be an enjoyable character but in this one he seems rather distant. Part of that is he is still trying to segue to being a defense attorney and figuring out his relationship with David Freeman.

There were some parts I didn't think were handled all that great. (Don't read this paragraph is you don't want a bit of a spoiler.) Jennifer's big
May 13, 2014 Mom rated it liked it
Probably 3 1/2 stars. A well developed character, Dismas Hardy, Esq., defends a battered wife accused of killing her husband. Largely set in the courtroom, the story has good legal sense and realistically messed up characters, at least the major ones. The supporting women and cloying though, and the defendant unappealing, but beautiful so the men think she has to be innocent.
Aug 05, 2015 Owlcourt rated it liked it
I had 2 problems with the book: 1. The title gave away the judgment in the story. 2. I was disappointed that the most obvious perpetrator in the story turned out to be the guilty party. I thought there would be more of a twist.
The book was very long...too long, I think. I did like the author's writing style.
M Rothenbuhler
Mar 10, 2016 M Rothenbuhler rated it really liked it
Part courtroom drama, part mystery, part plain ol' novel - I really enjoyed the mix.

I had no idea whodunnit, although I had suspicions, until the end. Plenty of red herrings.

If you like books set in and around San Francisco, this book is particularly for you; it has locations ranging from the Stanford Court Hotel to the trees by UCSF to, of course, the Hall of Justice.

The only part of the book that did not work for me was the wife's Existential Crisis, those always leave me cold. However there a
Jun 08, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book. the story and characters were very good. It could have been shorter. There were quite a few times where I didn't immediately know which character was saying what....possibly something to do with the e-book format, though I've never had this problem before.
May 24, 2014 Pam rated it liked it
My first Lescroat (recommended by a reading friend)... at 500 pages it was just too much plug and padding and wayward filling for me. ...and repetition. It was good enough but not enough for me to rush right into another of the Dismas Hardy books I have downloaded.
Feb 09, 2012 Joy rated it really liked it
The walls were champagne. The house was immaculate. A prosperous doctor lived there with his son and his beautiful wife. But the elegant walls hid a family's secret, a wife's shame. And one day shots rang out in the doctor's house. Suddenly Jennifer Witt was in jail, facing the death penalty.
Jennifer insisted that she had not killed her abusive husband -- and she could never have killed her own son. Dismas Hardy believed her.But Hardy was only part of the defense team, and the only lawyer who co
Ron King
May 08, 2014 Ron King rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book, well written, with an interesting plot. It is a little slow at times, but the plot keeps you wondering until the end. My first reading of Lescroart, but I will definitely check out other books that he has written.
Feb 27, 2015 Димитър rated it it was ok
Не ме грабна историята, никой от героите не ми допадна особено, за да му симпатизирам. А явно има цяла поредица за Дизмъс Харди - не виждам как бих хванал да чета нещо друго за него. Объркан и непоследователен герой.
И заглавието сега ми се струва доста подвеждащо - очаквах някаква задкулисна фигура да е 13-тият заседател, а то - процедурна особеност на американската съдебна система.
Therese B
Mar 13, 2016 Therese B rated it really liked it
Shelves: dismas-hardy
I didn't write a summary emmediately after reading this book but remember that it was exciting and enjoyed the story and the author. It is about an abused wife that is on trial for murdering her husband.
Mar 17, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
The 13th Juror is NOT a quick read, but it is one that you don't want to put down. The characters are very human and the plots and subplots keep you wondering just what the truth is. Jennifer Witt is accused of killing not only her abusive husband and only son, but also her first husband years earlier. The victims, except for the son, are not very likeable...but neither is Jennifer. Every character has their own agenda and it is hard to tell who or what to believe. The legal aspects of the story ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Marty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this very engaging, right from the start. The finish is somewhat abrupt and not really due to the investigation of the central character, Dismas Hardy, but is sprung on the reader when he realizes what must have happened. There was a moment when the subject of hypnosis came up and I thought it was going to have a completely phony ending, but it was merely a minor point.
There were a lot of publishing or editing issues in this book. Many typos and places where the wrong name was used for t
Feb 02, 2016 Joanne rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Good mystery, but more graphic than most of the Dismas books. Lescroart is taking to heart domestic violence against women, and it's not a pleasant read, but the story is good.
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John Lescroart (born January 14, 1948) is an American author best known for two series of legal and crime thriller novels featuring the characters Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky.

Lescroart was born in Houston, Texas, and graduated from Junípero Serra High School, San Mateo, California (Class of 1966). He then went on to earn a B.A. in English with Honors at UC Berkeley in 1970. In addition to his nov
More about John Lescroart...

Other Books in the Series

Dismas Hardy (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Dead Irish (Dismas Hardy, #1)
  • The Vig (Dismas Hardy, #2)
  • Hard Evidence (Dismas Hardy, #3)
  • The Mercy Rule (Dismas Hardy, #5)
  • Nothing but the Truth (Dismas Hardy, #6)
  • The Hearing (Dismas Hardy #7)
  • The Oath (Dismas Hardy, #8)
  • The First Law (Dismas Hardy #9)
  • The Second Chair (Dismas Hardy #10)
  • The Motive (Dismas Hardy #11)

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