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The Holdout

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  961 ratings  ·  298 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 4.05  · 
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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
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. **
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
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 cock up. The jurors are expected to return a ...more
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
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
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
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
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

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

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

Go and get 'em, people!!!!

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
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
Thank you, NetGalley and Random House for the ARC of this interesting thought provoking mystery/courtroom drama in return for an honest review. I had read and enjoyed The Last Days of Night, and learned the author was also the screenwriter for the excellent Imitation Game.

I regret that I am in the minority here, as I found the secondary characters one-dimensional. The protagonist, Maya, I thought annoying with little regard for anyone’s opinion but her own.

Told in two alternating timelines,
Liz Barnsley
Oct 13, 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
Cindy Burnett
Nov 12, 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
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
After reading this legal thriller, I sure am glad I didn’t get picked for the jury in an upcoming capital murder case! What do you get when 12 random people are thrown together and sequestered for weeks on end? Either they work together or they become fractured.
What happens with this jury? It’s interesting to find out!

They made a decision, only to face harassment by the public and be left wondering years later if they made a mistake. When the jurors gather 10 years later for a reunion, one juror
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.
Kasa Cotugno
Oct 08, 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.
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Holdout is one of those books that just captures your interest from the first page and four hours later you look up and have forgotten to eat dinner. The personalities of the jurors and their reaction to each other and the facts of the case make this a page turner. I loved the format of now and then as well as getting the perspective of each of the major players.

Well written, the characters are well developed and diverse, and most are unlikable. The politics of police, the DA etc. enter into
Oct 30, 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 05, 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
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).
Christine Mott
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Holdout
By: Graham Moore
A fast paced thriller that I could not put down. Imagine having jury duty and having to decide if one is innocent or guilty of murder! Bobby Nock, a young African American teacher who is on trial for killing Jessica his student. Jessica is white and her dad is a billionaire.

To complicate matters as a juror you have to deal with drama, secrets, lies and betrayal of the other jurors.

Maya Seale is on the jury and appears to go against everyone else’s opinion. She
This is a really compelling legal drama, and I did enjoy it, but the ending didn't quite satisfy me. I would recommend it of the premise sounds interesting to you, but I don't think it's a must-read. We get a dual mystery here, with whether or not Bobby Nock killed Jessica Silver ten years ago, and who killed Maya's fellow juror in the present day, and the narration shifts between various jurors during the original trial as Maya now. The pace is engaging and kept me turning pushes the whole ...more
Basic B's Guide
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think in another life I would have been a lawyer. I love to argue, just ask my husband. The Holdout is not your run of the mill suspense and if that doesn’t have you running to pick it up then I don’t know what else to say. After finishing it I realized just how many layers the story has to it and really think it would make for a lively book club discussion.

Maya and 11 other jurors are reconvening after a controversial verdict 10 years prior. Rick a fellow juror is convinced that they made a
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
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.

Review to come upon release.
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Book of The Month: The Holdout *Spoilers Discussion** 1 22 Jan 30, 2020 03:02PM  

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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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“The adversarial system,” that’s what it was called. The attorneys on each side did their best to win, no-holds-barred—and whatever emerged from the mess of broken limbs was called justice.” 0 likes
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