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The Runaway Jury

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  266,629 ratings  ·  2,105 reviews
Every jury has a leader, and the verdict belongs to him. In Biloxi, Mississippi, a landmark tobacco trial with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake begins routinely, then swerves mysteriously off course.

The jury is behaving strangely, and at least one juror is convinced he's being watched. Soon they have to be sequestered. Then a tip from an anonymous young woman sugg
Paperback, 358 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Delta (first published 1996)
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Lesley His aim was to make a lot of money very quickly as a best selling novel, and he succeeded because the whole sorry thing was made into a film.

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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  266,629 ratings  ·  2,105 reviews

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Kathryn Lucas
Apr 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
I'm glad I didn't pay for this book. Our apartment building has a bookcase in front of the elevator, and someone in the building must be a Grisham fan, because I've picked up several of his books from the communal bookcase. This is the worst of the Grishams that I've read.

What annoyed me the most was the sheer implausibility of the whole story. The civil tobacco trial itself was plausible enough, but the jury foreman protagonist and his accomplice on the outside have a plan to influence the tria
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, favs
02/03/2020 update - I just watched the film and I've got to say, it was rubbish in comparison! If you've seen the film, don't be put off reading what is indeed an excellent legal thriller.

Wow what a book! It's my first John Grisham after many years of procrastinating, but dang is it a corker.

It was one of those stories that when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about the fact that I wanted to be. If you're after a book that grabs you, this is a good one.

I've never been that interested in l
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This is not my favorite John Grisham novel, nor has it aged particularly well since the mid-1990s, when it was first published. The story of a major products-liability contest that pits Big Tobacco vs. Plaintiffs' Rights, in John Grisham's knowledgeable hands, becomes a story not so much of good versus evil as the despicable versus the contemptible. While the jurors themselves are far from innocent, they are but pawns in this big-money game in which things aren't ever what they should be, and ra ...more
David Lucero
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Saw the movie before reading the book and glad it closely followed the story written by Grisham. They did one minor change, or a major one depending on one's perspective. In the book the lawsuit was aimed at the tobacco industry. The movie targets the gun industry, both powerful industries.

When a family decides to take on the tobacco industry and hold them accountable for the death of a family member who got hooked on their product, the tobacco industry pulls no punches, employing a legal expert
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank God this is a work of fiction.
If the book had even the tiniest modicum of truth it would render trials by jury obsolete.
As a work of fiction, it is a very enjoyable read.
I enjoyed all the manipulative skulduggery of both the tobacco industries team and to two wunderkinds who are trying to sabotage the tobacco industries attempts to avoid paying a gross amount of compensation to a widow who lost her husband to lung cancer.
The lengths that the tobacco magnates are prepared to go to in an e
Dec 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nicholas Easter, juror number 2 and a mysterious woman known as Marlee conspire to manipulate the jury to secure a verdict in a landmark trial involving a widow plaintiff (whose husband died of lung cancer because of cigarette addiction) and a big tobacco company. They have to play with both sides (the plaintiff and the defense) and go up against a cunning jury consultant Rankin Fitch who is an expert in jury manipulations. Fitch works for the defense.

The Runaway Jury is an intensely suspenseful
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
The Good:

The beginning and very end of this book were very fast-paced and enticing. I enjoyed the mysterious characters and that the author allows the reader to know what many are thinking and feeling through various viewpoints. The plot-line of this book was very original.

The Bad:

I felt like I was reading the Bible at times: So many characters were introduced throughout the entirety of the book, and it was difficult to keep up with them and their various personalities. It was also difficult t
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
3.75 stars.

Not my favourite John Grisham novel, but it was face paced and a overall good time!
Natalie Vellacott
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, john-grisham
Another Grisham legal thriller successfully concluded.

This is definitely one of the author's most exciting and unusual books. I think, in part, because those who have never served on a jury always wonder what exactly goes on behind those closed doors. They will never find out, though, because most countries have laws protecting the deliberations from being made public. So, we will never know whether an irresponsible jury just flipped a coin for the verdict, or whether they decided they didn't li
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Another excellent work by a world revered writer. The kernel of the theme here is seemingly encapsulated when the odious Fitch ponders: "Oh the questions he wanted to ask. He d love to start with the two of them and ask whose idea it was, such an ingenious devious plan to study litigation, then follow it across the country then plant oneself on the jury so a deal could be cut for a verdict. It was nothing short of brilliant. He could grill her for hours, maybe days about the specifics but he kne
Tom Mc Kenna
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars rounded up to 5 Stars. This book was first published in 1996 and a few years later litigation against the tobacco industry in the real world started to happen. Here are two links that highlight the verdicts. Thank goodness the jury tampering was fictional but it sure made for a good story.

Tobacco Litigation: History & Recent Developments:
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
aPriL does feral sometimes
'The Runaway Jury' by John Grisham is a fun legal-thriller romp (as in a scathing tongue-in-cheek exposé) which follows a court case from beginning to end (thankfully very much simplified to basics if, gentle reader, one wants only a beach read). It is an interesting look at what very likely occurs sometimes in the selection of voters called in to report for a particular case for jury duty, even if the story wanders into wish-fulfillment/fantasy territory, imho.

The case being heard by the eponym
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, crime
The Runaway Jury is a legal thriller about jury corruption and manipulation of a verdict. When the jurors were selected to be in a landmark tobacco trial in Biloxi, Mississippi no one expected the jury to have some controlling and manipulation their verdict. The jurors are behaving strangely and Nicholas Easter jury no 2 complained about being watched. The readers of The Runaway Jury will continue to follow the twist and turns in the tobacco trial and observe the goings on in the jury room to se ...more
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
My 5th Grisham book! The plot held my interest from beginning to end, and was very fast paced. I had seen the movie a while back starring John Cusack, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, and Rachel Weisz, and the book had kind of the same premise but only the book is about a lawsuit of a Tobacco company, and in the movie it's a gun manufacturer.

Some parts of the book were complicated and hard to follow but it still held my interest wondering what would happen next. Highly recommended to anybody who li
Paul O'Neill
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it
It was okay... It definitely felt like more of a shot fired at the tobacco companies. It should have focused more on the story instead. As such, there isn't a huge amount of drama. There are tons of Grisham books so I'd advise you start elsewhere, like A Time to Kill.

All in all, this was just a bit drab for my liking.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Runaway Jury might have worked as fantasy but as a legal thriller set on planet Earth is not merely outlandish or asinine. It is bat shit crazy. Grisham doesn't have any inkling to how willing suspension of disbelief works. It works as long as the in-story logic is sound. So in a Superman story I might believe in a flying alien but I will scream bad writing when he survives Kryptonite, which supposedly kills him. But nothing that happens here could really work except in some La La Land, so t ...more
Jane Stewart
Very entertaining. Very worthwhile. I wish more romance authors would write like him, but add romance.

For another book someone wrote “literary slugger John Grisham returns with a story about...” I thought how true. He is a literary slugger – almost always on the New York Times best seller list. I periodically read John Grisham to remind me of great writing.

I have loved several John Grisham’s books, and this is another one. A number of things had me chuckling with surprise. T
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: grisham
A trial against big tobacco,with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.Rather boring.
Just as I had predicted when I first picked up this book, I loved it. This was one of those thrillers that even though it had been written quite a number of years before it still stands up today. As I work my way through reading John Grisham's novels, this being the latest read, this is one of my favourites so far. It is one of those thrillers that, for me, was not fast paced or massively action backed but more laid back but full of twists and turns. This more laid back thriller style matched pe ...more
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
In this saga, the prolific Grisham examines more closely than in his other novels the process of choosing a jury that can best respond to both the plantiff and the defendant without filling the 12 chairs with people who have too much natural prejudice for either side. The culprit on trial in The Runaway Jury is the tobacco industry and the plaintiff is someone who lost a family member to lung cancer due to smoking. The process by which a certain man-woman team manages to gerrymander a jury in a ...more
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
In this saga, Grisham examines more closely than in his other novels the process of choosing a jury that can best respond to both the plantiff and the defendent without filling the 12 chairs with people who have too much prejudice for either side. There are people hired to help in the jury picking process, and they study every aspect of a potential juror's life. The culprit on trial in The Runaway Jury is the tobacco industry and the plaintiff is someone who lost a family member to lung cancer d ...more
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Again, Grisham shines in this legal thriller, that I want to immediately pick up his next book on my list...But I resist the temptation, as I know I will be sick of legal sta\uff halfway through it. Maybe after a couple of other books...

The story makes one question his/her own sense of right or wrong, at least it did a bit for me. There's really a blurred line (so they say), and one's philosophies, principles, and values in life are the factors that will influence a person's inclination. The plo
“She was pondering the option of law school, the great American baby-sitter for directionless postgrads.”
― John Grisham, The Runaway Jury

Loved it. Devoured it in one sitting. Movie was great too but book is better.

I love to read about Juries. And in this book, we have a doozy of a jury! I have always been fascinated by what happens between Jurors, and the book absolutely gives so much meat to chew on.

It is fast paced, action packed and exciting. Never a dull moment. This book is one of Grisham'
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Anyone who’s been on a jury, and even those who haven’t, will appreciate Grisham’s The Runaway Jury.

Big tobacco companies are on the defense against claims by a widow that tobacco ruined her husband’s life and eventually killed him prematurely at the age of 53. Hundreds of millions of dollars and the future of the tobacco industry are at stake if the case is lost, thereby opening the door for huge class action lawsuits.

The tobacco companies hire the villain of the novel, Rankin Fitch, to make
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Reviewing a John Grisham book? I know, I can't believe it either. But I've read this book about half a dozen times, and every time, it pulls me in.

I've read an incredible number of John Grisham books. They're always very readable, but sometimes the story seems pretty stretched, or just not very compelling. This book doesn't have those problems. The plot focuses on a civil trial, involving the widow of a cancer patient that is suing a cigarette manufacturer. The twist is that one of the jurors is
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Runway Jury, is the more traditional Grisham, but a nifty suspense-filled story. I really enjoyed it. Lawyers will hate it, as it portrays them as terrible blood-sucking-win-at-any-cost malevolent characters. Fortunately, in this novel they get their due.
In this novel Grisham dissects the tobacco industry. Given the absolutely stunning amount of money involved in the recent class action suits against the tobacco companies, Grisham starts with the assumption, a quite reasonable one, that the i
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
An engaging legal drama - I liked it but didn't love it.

It dragged a bit in places and lost believability in others.

Overall it's an entertaining tale with lots of twists, turns and sub-plots but I cared little for any of the characters.

This one is all about the story.

Carl Alves
Nov 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the concept of this novel. The main event is a trial between a shady group of lawyers trying to take down big Tobacco with a lawsuit, and the even shadier lawyers representing the tobacco companies. Nicholas Easter is on the jury and he informs the tobacco group that he could send a verdict their way for a price. Working through his girlfriend, he shows signs that he could hand them a verdict, and manipulates much of the trial.

The concept was good, but this novel more than stretches th
Harish Challapalli
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I actually, started this book long back but due to some unknown reasons I left it in the middle, but once I resumed I found it very much interesting!! It is indeed a powerful legal story, which introduces the legal system of America to foreigners!!

The Runaway Jury is an intensely suspenseful
legal thriller. I could feel my heart pounding as
I read the last pages of the book. I was
mesmerized by Grisham's narration. The book
tackles a lot of important points about
cigarette smoking which make the stor
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The Book Was Better: THE RUNAWAY JURY 4 45 Dec 30, 2014 08:04AM  
Reviews? 20 111 Oct 17, 2012 06:52AM  
John Grisham: Inaccuracies in The Runaway Jury 3 58 Aug 30, 2012 04:22PM  

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"Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of

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