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The Holdout

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  100 reviews
In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 18th 2020 by Random House
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Random House Reader's Circle (RHRC)
This will be a short review, because the less you know about this book going in the better, but what a wild ride! While some parts of the plot were a bit far-fetched and reaching at times, it didn't cause my interest to wane, and if you can suspend the need for 100% believability, I think you'll enjoy this book as much as I did. We get two mysteries for the price of one in this book, and if that kind of a bargain doesn't sell you, then perhaps the exploration of social justice issues such as ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Graham Moore's legal thriller is a compulsive and enthralling novel, based in Los Angeles, that points out many of the shortfalls of the justice system, from law enforcement, media intensity and social media, right through to the court trial and the jury system. Moore exposes the multiple ways that society throughout its racist judicial system stacks the cards against black defendants. In 2009, 25 year old black music teacher, Bobby Nock, is on trial for the murder of 15 year old schoolgirl, ...more
DNF @ 51%

I just can't finish this one.

Maybe it's the third person narrative, I don't know, but I'm so disconnected from this book that my red low-battery icon has been showing since around 20% into it.

Don't let me discourage you from picking it up, different books for different fry cooks, amiright? ... sorry, that's all I could come up with *sees myself out*.

** I was provided an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. **
Katie B
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Held my interest and although I have some mixed feelings with some of the stuff at the end, overall this was a good read. It was almost like I was getting two mysteries for the price of one as the story alternated between the jury trial from ten years ago as well the murder that occurred in the present time.

Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, vanished ten years ago. The case made national news as her family has money, lots of it. Jessica's teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a juror on a high profile murder case has got to be a thrill ride and a half: looking at the bloody evidence and weighing witness statements, the savage craziness of the media interest, then finally getting to decide the fate of a man charged with murder. It’s got to be just like tv, right? Exciting. Maybe even a shot at your own fame… 15 minutes or otherwise.

But what Maya Seale got wasn’t quite fame, it was INFAMY. Not convinced of Bobby Nock’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, she
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unexpected and thought-provoking!

2009: Fifteen year old heiress Jessica Silver has disappeared on her way home from school and the suspect is her African-American teacher, twenty-five year old, Bobby Nock. It looks to be an open and shut case, until one juror, Maya Seale, not only holds out, but manages to sway all of the eleven other jurors to change their mind.

Their controversial verdict of “not guilty” will alter their lives forever.

The Present: “Murder Town” is going to do a TV adaptation
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
4 courtroom jury stars

Ah, the dread when that envelope shows up in your mailbox that you’ve been selected to show up for jury duty. I’ve been summoned several times, but I’ve never served on a jury. After reading this book, I don’t think I want to, especially not a high profile, drawn out case!!

I didn’t realize that this author wrote the screenplay for “The Imitation Game” – fabulous movie! Knowing that now, I can see how this book almost seems like it was made for the big screen. This one was
Martie Nees Record
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Random House
Pub. Date: Feb. 18, 2020

Let me start off by saying I was surprised that I was disappointed in this book. Not because other reviewers gave “Holdout” five stars. (I don’t actually read other reviews on a book until I have finished my own to ensure that I am not influenced. But, I do check out the stars). The discrepancy between my review and others did not surprise me, because I often disagree with my peers. I was surprised to be disappointed
Cindy Burnett
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I absolutely loved The Holdout for the first two-thirds or so of the book. The premise was clever, the implementation was stellar, and I was thoroughly invested in both the story and attempting to determine how it would end. Then, it fell apart - the ending just did not work for me. Some people do not mind an ending that is unrealistic or that seems out of place or not in keeping with the story. I am very much not that person. An ending can really ruin a book for me (as I have mentioned in many ...more
Liz Barnsley
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly entertaining really very clever book in the end, especially given all the influences I thought about whilst reading this were referenced by the author himself later in the book...And used to really good effect within the resolution.

Kind of thought provoking too a book with a moral dilemma at the heart of it wrapped up in a mystery element that is very intriguing.

Great pace, plotting and addictive quality with engaging eclectic characters and a what would you do vibe that'll keep
Kasa Cotugno
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Graham Moore has a knack for dialogue and characterization, important when crafting courtroom thrillers. The Holdout features a above average plot with two murder mysteries, one a closed room that isn't locked and the other a timely issue. By constructing this around the personalities of a sequestered jury and the aftermath of a notorious trial, Moore manages to keep many balls in the air, raising ethical issues as approached from many directions. Well done.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best legal thriller ever.

There is no way this does not make the Goodreads Choice Awards. There is no way this does not get made into a movie or, more likely, a Netflix miniseries.

I devoured this book and you will too.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
So excited to read this since the The Last Days of Night is one of my favorite books. Unfortunately this one just left me flat. The premise sounded interesting - we re-visit jurors 10 years after they gave the 'wrong' verdict in one of the most sensational trials in history. The author provided an interesting perspective with alternating chapters in the present and during the trial, 10 years earlier, with a chapter for each juror. I just found the current day scenario a bit far reaching. Lawyers ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it

It is no surprise that Graham Moore is a screenwriter. In this propulsive plot-driven narrative, there are many cinematic scenes and I could easily visualize how the story could be transported to the big screen.

After all, the premise is compelling: a young woman named Maya is a juror on a sensationalistic trial: a beautiful teenage heiress has been reportedly murdered by her black high school teacher, with whom she may have had an affair. Everyone thinks he indeed is the murderer. Except for
Unseen Library
In this week’s Waiting on Wednesday, I’m going to take a look at a deeply thrilling and intriguing-sounding upcoming murder mystery, The Holdout by Graham Moore.

Graham Moore is an interesting author who has experience both as a screen writer and a novelist, having written the screenplay for The Imitation Game, as well as two previous novels, The Sherlockian and The Last Days of Night. I really enjoyed The Imitation Game a few years back, and I also read The Last Days of Night when it was first
Susan Johnson
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
The entire time I read this book I thought what a great Lifetime movie this would make. I thought a good actress might make the lead character of Maya come alive because the book did not do that. I don't think I could have stood one more minute in Maya's company. One of her fellow jurors called her sanctimonious and that is the perfect description of her. Or perhaps insufferable would be better.

The high school daughter of a rich man disappears and is presumed dead. Her teacher, a black man, is
Review to come upon release.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

"When the villains are so clear, we can tuck ourselves into bed at night knowing that we're nothing like them. But what if it's not so clear?"~from The Holdout by Graham Moore

The jury from a notorious murder trial is brought together by a reality television show. The trial of a black teacher accused of murdering his white teenage student looked like a sure verdict until Maya channeled 12 Angry Men to turn the guilty votes to not guilty. The experience motivated Maya to become a lawyer.

Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading courtroom thrillers so The Holdout piqued my interest right away, and who doesn’t want to cast their vote and see if they were right… I know I do! This isn’t a novel that reports in detail what goes on in the courtroom though, it’s more what is going on outside of court that will keep you awake at night. The Holdout centers on ‘the twelve’ main characters, the jurors who are present every day to hear about The People vs Bobby Nock, a teacher who is thought to be involved in the ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, crime-mystery
2.5 stars. The legal thriller is a surprisingly small subgenre, and I keep coming back in hopes I will find one I love, though they rarely satisfy. Here we start with a good premise--the jurors on a famous murder case are reunited by a true crime show--but while this is a relatively ambitious thriller that wants to deliver both the themes and commentary of a more highbrow crime novel along with the twisty thrills of a lowbrow thriller, it doesn't quite pull either one off.

The first third is
Mary McBride
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it

A great twisted legal thriller from the author of The Last Days of Night-
Look for it in February..
Well done.
Donna Hines
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Jury Duty -- The job we all love to hate--guilt vs innocence--life vs death?
It can be overwhelming.
Jessica the 15 yo heiress to a fortune has vanished and the 25 yo African American man named Bobby is the prime suspect.
Maya the junior juror believes in his innocence and persuades jurors to see things in her light and declare a not guilty verdict to be rendered.
Fast forward ten years and a docuseries now examines the case closer with Maya the defense attorney and pitbull character who leaves no
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Graham Moore wrote the screenplay for one of my favorite movies called, "THE IMITATION GAME," that was a huge success that won an Academy award that year in 2015 for best adapted screenplay. It was my introduction to Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightly co-starred in the film that garnered eight nominations. This novel was cleverly written but complicated to review. Maya Seale is the main character and the novel's setting takes place in the Golden state of California
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a great read for anyone who loves legal thrillers and courtroom dramas with a murder mystery sprinkled in! Kept me guessing from the first page: is the defendant truly innocent? Has an entire jury freed a guilty murderer as the press and general public believed? What makes our lead female character, Maya, so darned sure she’s right in persuading the other jury members to vote for his acquittal? Years have passed and the fallout from the acquittal has severely affected every juror and their ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Highly addictive! I flipped through all these pages in a single afternoon.
Mary Lins
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: complete
Graham Moore is an Oscar winning screenplay writer, so it’s not surprising that his new courtroom thriller, “The Holdout”, reads like a movie; fast-paced, twisty, with cinema-graphic descriptions. Agatha Christie is mentioned early, so you can't say he doesn't warn you.

The eponymous “holdout” is Maya Seale, a defense attorney who once was the lone “holdout” in a high profile murder trial. The acquittal of the suspect was loudly condemned by the public (think of the Casey Anthony case in 2008).
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Holdout.

I've never read the author's previous book but the premise was intriguing and I enjoy courtroom procedurals.

The Holdout focuses on a sensational trial from a decade ago when a jury acquitted a young man over the disappearance of a teenage girl, his student.

The holdout was a young woman named Mia who believed in the defendant's innocence and overturned her jury members to vote alongside her, much to the dismay of one of the jurors, an
Nancy McFarlane
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a terrific legal drama. Rather than typical courtroom scenes, The Holdout centers on the jury and how one holdout influenced all of them and how their lives changed because of being jurors on a sensational murder trial. We get a look at each juror at the time of the trial and then 10 years later when one of the jurors is murdered right before he releases new information he says he has about the accused murderer. The Holdout is full of interesting legal facts and lots of emotional ...more
Bonnie Brody
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Juries are interesting entities, comprised of people who, other than in this particular circumstance, would never be likely to know one another. Jury members are randomly selected for duty and then selectively chosen from a large pool of potential jurors by lawyers for the prosecution and defense. 'The Holdout' is about one jury in California that is charged with determining the guilt or innocence of 25 year old Bobby Nock who stands accused of murdering 15 year old Jessica Silver, a former ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
But the verdicts had nothing to do with truth. No verdict ever changed a person’s opinion.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for sending me an ARC of The Holdout in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, this book did not work for me on a number of levels.

The premise is an intriguing one. Ten years ago, Maya Seale was the holdout juror on a murder trial all of America was watching (think OJ-type trial). After convincing her fellow jurors to acquit, they learn how
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Graham Moore is a New York Times bestselling novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. His screenplay for THE IMITATION GAME won the Academy Award and WGA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2015 and was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. The film, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, received 8 Academy Award nominations, including Best ...more
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