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The Holdout

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  20,414 ratings  ·  2,934 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 doc ...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Random House
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Paige Canetto I agree that this was super unnecessary and I want to warn anyone who reads this book to be careful if they haven't read Murder on the Orient Express,…moreI agree that this was super unnecessary and I want to warn anyone who reads this book to be careful if they haven't read Murder on the Orient Express, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, or Curtain yet. The spoilers were on page 116 of the hardcover book. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Ed Bernard Could be, but it doesn't seem like that kind of book to me. The twists that are actually in the book seem less far-reaching and pretty boldly telegrap…moreCould be, but it doesn't seem like that kind of book to me. The twists that are actually in the book seem less far-reaching and pretty boldly telegraphed. But you could be right.(less)

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Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Random House Reader's Circle (RHRC)
BOTM pick for February 2020!

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 socia
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
25 year old black teacher Bobby Nock, is on trial for killing white 15 year old pupil Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion dollar fortune. Her body hasn’t been discovered, but that isn’t going to stop this trial going ahead.

There are 12 members of the jury in this high profile murder trial, and it’s expected that Bobby Nock’s conviction is a foregone conclusion - that is until jury member Maya Seale manages to persuade the other jury members to vote not guilty.

Fast forward 10 years, and Maya is
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, Jes ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it

I was so sure I’ll love this book:

Facts: We have an Oscar winner script writer of “Imitation Games” on the board, still developing three other scripts to produce including this book! (Yes, I cannot wait! With an impressive casting, this will be killer movie!)

We have legal drama dances with whodunit murder mystery, “12 angry men”(1957, Sidney Lumet’s masterpiece) meets “Beyond A Reasonable Doubt”(1956, Fritz Lang’s fantastic crime drama).

We have moving, dazzling, riveting reading
Ten years ago, Maya, the lone holdout on a jury, convinced 11 of her fellow jurors to acquit a black teacher accused of murdering his white teenage student. Was justice served?

One juror, Rick, doesn’t think so and he’s written a book holding Maya responsible for letting a guilty man go free. He hints that he has a new evidence and 10 years post-trial, on the eve of a documentary about the case, the jury reassembles. On the first night of their reunion a juror is found dead in Maya’s room and she
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. **
Holly  B
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it

I'm always drawn to legal thrillers and decided to give this one a go (even with so many mixed reviews). Glad I did because it was a nice distraction and I always looked forward to picking it up and seeing what mayhem would develop (and it Always did!!).

You get a murder case, a jury some behind the scenes deliberations, and lots of second guessing by most of the characters.

I did have issues with some of the plot/ and the many side stories going on, BUT nevertheless, I was still pulled into the
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an intriguing book that mostly keeps my interest throughout. The start certainly catches your attention and let’s just say it’s a head turner! Ten years ago Jessica Silver, daughter of wealthy Lou Silver, goes missing and her body never found. Her teacher Bobby Nock is eventually charged with her murder and the case goes to trial. The evidence against Nock is not overwhelming but is suggestive and one things for sure, the trial is an absolute shambles. The jurors are expected to return a ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I was a huge fan of The Last Days of Night, so I was curious to see what Moore would write next. Don’t look for another historical fiction, this book is a legal thriller. But it’s equally as good.

Ten years ago, Maya Seale convinced her fellow jury members to acquit Bobby Nock for the murder of Jennifer Silver. The question being was he guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As so often happens, the court of public opinion thought the jury got it wrong and each jury member suffered the fallout. “He g
Joey R.
May 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.0 stars— “The Holdout” is the first book by Graham Moore I have ever read. I really wanted to like this book, since I have read several clunkers in a row, but I just didn’t. “The Holdout” violates the first rule of a good book in that the main character, Maya, is not likable and not someone that I rooted for. I can’t remember a novel I really loved where I didn’t like the main character at least a little bit. The book begins with the story of a jury on a high profile murder case in which one h ...more
Larry H
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounded up.

Graham Moore's latest book, The Holdout , is a pretty great legal thriller, one which I could totally see becoming a movie.

Ten years ago the trial rocked the country. A black teacher was on trial for murdering his white teenage student, the daughter of a prominent real estate developer in LA. During the trial text messages hinted at an inappropriate relationship between the teacher and student.

When the jury got together, all but one juror, Maya, were ready to convict. Li
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Graham Moore and Random House for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

When this Graham Moore novel crossed my radar, I could not help but be interested to see how he’d spin this story about a jury faced with a murder trial. The book ended up being so much more, perfect for those who love a good legal drama with a mystery mixed into the plot. Maya Seale is a successful criminal def
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was my February BOTM, and while I love courtroom dramas and legal thrillers, this one completely missed the mark for me.

One of the recurring themes in reviews of this book is that "if you can suspend believability, this is a great read...." Often times I can suspend believability and thoroughly enjoy a book, especially when it's a subject on which I have limited knowledge; however, when it comes to courtroom procedures (which are pretty cut and dry with not a lot of variables), I should hav
Elyse  Walters
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I just finished this audiobook while sweating in the sauna.... and I am now speaking into the phone while soaking in the pool.

Anyone who hangs around Goodreads has at least seen this book..... with the eye-catching cover..... so I figure there are plenty of reviews covering many points of views from other readers -
one more from me — describing the plot or naming the key characters is kinda unnecessary.

So instead, I’ll add some of my thoughts:
.....I was hoping I’d like it as much as “The Body
Diane S ☔
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
They decided to serve because, supposedly, it was their Civic duty. The trial that of a young, black teacher who is accused of murdering his white student. The motive is that they were having an affair and she was going to tell. Problem is there is no body. This trial would change all their lives

Written as a made for tv mini series, this dialogue laden novel requires a certain suspension of belief. Is it possible for all these jurors to have facts that they withheld from the court? Would a forme
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, audio
Have you ever served jury duty? Did you walk away confident you made the right second thoughts? What if your decision put a killer back on the streets? Equally disturbing, what if your choice sent an innocent person to prison! Could you live with that guilt? Just cast it aside like a bad dream and move on with your life?

Ten years have passed since Maya sat for a well publicized murder trial. She was able deliver a convincing argument, swaying the jury in her direction. Now a fellow
Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

In 2009, 25-year-old high school music teacher Bobby Nock was tried for the murder of his 15-year-old student Jessica Silver.

When Jessica - the daughter of billionaire Lou Silver - disappeared, the police found sexy text messages between herself and Nock and found traces of Jessica's blood in Nock's car.

The fact that Nock was black and Jessica was white exacerbated matters, and the teacher was quickly arrested and prosecuted.

Maya Seale was one of a diverse bag of jurors at Nock's tria
Katie B
Oct 30, 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 Africa
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it
While I am reading a book I usually take notes to remind myself of both positive and negative things that stand out about a book. This time, I didn’t make a single note. I didn’t dislike the book, but it just didn’t make much of an impression on me. It wasn’t suspenseful, the characters weren’t likable, there were huge ethical lapses and the ending didn’t satisfy me at all. So I guess that’s my impression. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

I don't want to alarm anybody, but the February BOTM selections are up.

This was my selection and I am freaking excited about it!!

Go and get 'em, people!!!!

Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Some books and their authors believe they have to cram every bit of information into their stories. While often it works well, in this book it seemed to muddle some really important concepts and ideas.

Ten years ago, Maya Seale, sat on a jury and was the instrumental force in the way the verdict was determined. Spurred on by her experience as a juror, Maya becomes a criminal defense attorney. However, her world is about to be rocked as a show, driven on and assisted by one of the former jurors, R
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
It appears, as of 6 days ago, that Hulu has purchased the rights to The Holdout...looks like we'll be seeing Maya and the gang on the television before long.

This story is a two-fer; the reader gets two murder mysteries in one novel. Unfortunately, both felt superficial. Touching on topics such as racism, the power of the media, and juror misconduct, again, Graham Moore just skimmed the surface of topics that deserve significantly more depth.

Narrated primarily by Maya, but with flashbacks to 20
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
Love a good legal thriller! The Holdout is a much talked about book in the blogging world and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. It is a fast paced and an exciting story that will keep you turning those pages well past your bedtime so be warned. It certainly will keep you guessing right until the last few pages and I love that in a book. The only part that I wasn't too keen on was the way that the ending seemed rushed. So much happened in the last 50 pages or so and I feel that it cou ...more
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 campaigne
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

The Holdout started off strong and then lost a bit of its edge. It was still a good read, but not as good as it seemed to promise at the beginning. It’s the second novel I’ve read this past year focused on the dynamics between jury members. In this case, the story is told from Maya’s perspective in two timelines. Maya sat on a jury that acquitted a young teacher accused of murdering his teenage student. Ten years later, Maya is a criminal defence lawyer, and she’s invited to a reunion of all
3ish stars.

I liked it mostly the whole way through, but it ended up disappointing me. The ending ((view spoiler)) was a real letdown.

I thought I had figured it out fairly early on and ended up only being partially right. Maybe I need some humbling because I often think I'm far cleverer than most mystery writers when it comes to their own stories.

Hear me out: (view spoiler)
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 o
Martie Nees Record
Oct 26, 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 becaus
Julie Griffith Buckley
When Maya Seale is called up for jury duty ten years ago, she had no idea that it would change her life forever. Bobby Nock, a black English teacher, was on trial for the murder of his white, teenage, student, Jessica Silver. Bobby was accused of having a sexual relationship with Jessica, allegedly borne out by text messages on their phones. After a lengthy trial, during which the jury was sequestered, Maya was, at first, the only juror who voted to find Bobby not guilty. She then persuaded the ...more
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
It was okay but didn’t impress me.

Personally I didn’t find Maya persuasive or that irresistible. On the contrary she came off quite righteous and unsympathetic. So the fact that she could convince eleven other people of anything is just too far-fetched for me. It most definitely the dialogue that threw me off. How they bounce ideas back and forth didn’t sound very organic, I guess.
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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.

His first two novels, THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT (2016) and THE SHERLOCKIAN (2010), were published in 24 countries and translated into 19 languages.


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“What she missed the most about the person she'd been, Maya realized, was her hope for a coming world that turned out never to have been possible. She was nostalgic for an imaginary future.” 1 likes
“In courtrooms all across this city, Maya had seen people get verdicts they’d wanted, and she’d seen just as many get ones they didn’t. But the verdicts had nothing to do with truth. No verdict ever changed a person’s opinion. Juries weren’t gods. The people who went into those courtrooms looking for divine revelation came out bearing the fruits of bureaucratic negotiation. Maya wanted to tell Lou that this need for vindication had become the mire of their whole petty country. Every day, they woke up fervently hoping for the headline that would prove, definitively, that their guys were the virtuous ones and the other guys were the absolute worst. But news of that certainty would forever elude them. Every new revelation that seemed to damn the people with whom they disagreed would be followed by a new rationalization. For every failed prediction, there would come a mitigating circumstance. They would double down on their most weakly held convictions because the alternative felt unbearable, and the bums across the aisle would follow suit. She wanted to say that the only thing worse than being wrong was having a bottomless need to prove that you never were. But she didn’t tell Lou any of that. Instead, Maya told Lou what he wanted to hear. She did it because she was the last person on earth who should be instructing Lou Silver on how to live out his days. And she did it because he’d asked her an honest question, and he deserved to hear from her an honest answer. “Mr. Silver,” she said, running her fingers through her hair, “I’m not sure of much of anything anymore.” 1 likes
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