The 13th Juror

Friday, May 15, 2009


I'm doing a special entry tomorrow for my brother's birthday, so today I'm doing SUGGESTION FRIDAY. Today's book was suggested by Steve, whose book I'm currently borrowing. I'm being very careful with the book, and I've only dropped it in the toilet once (just kidding Steve - I'm taking care of the book as if it were a newborn child).

And just to prove that the book is fine, I'm going to show you all a picture of him (and if you're wondering why I say him, I like to think of books written by women as "her" and those written by men as "him," and I defy anyone to tell me that's weird. Okay fine, so it's weird . . . and I do see that. Anyway, here he is:

Oh that book, he's such a kidder.

Today's book was quite a challenge for me, because it's the longest book I've ever read in one day. It's 544 pages long, and a certain person (by the name of Chad) didn't think I could read a book that long in one day. HA HA, I laugh in the face of a challenge (I also laugh in the face of written laughter - I have no idea why, but it really amuses me). Seriously, just try to look at this: HA HA HA HA HA, and not laugh (or maybe that's just me).

Today's book: "Jennifer's fairytale life as the wife of Dr. Larry Witt seems perfect. When Larry and their seven-year-old son are murdered while Jennifer is out jogging, the newspapers have a field day weeping with the photogenic young widow. After she is arrested for the crime, a full-fledged tabloid feeding frenzy erupts. Into this fray steps Dismas Hardy, a fortysomething former district attorney's office hotshot and an ex-bartender who is 43 days into his new job with a prestigious law firm. Dismas, new to the role of defense lawyer, is uncomfortable with his growing belief in Jennifer's innocence, especially since she is reluctant to take her one chance at a "Not Guilty" verdict: acknowledging Larry's years of abuse."

I really enjoyed today's book, which surprised me because it's not the kind of book I would choose to read on my own. But you see dear readers, my brother practically double dared me to do it, so I had no choice. I couldn't let his mocking go unanswered. I would never be able to face him across the table at Thanksgiving.

And because I love a good list, I'm debuting the "Things I enjoyed about this book" list:

  • The fact that Larry died really early in the book (and I don't feel I'm giving anything away because that information is in the book description on the back) - I'm not sure if I could have put up with that man for longer than 2 pages.

  • The suspense - I had no idea what was going to happen next. I've read several other courtroom books that have dropped so many breadcrumbs along the way that it was obvious by page 20 what was going to happen in the end. Okay, so to be fair, those other books weren't really courtroom novels, they were Danielle Steel novels (seriously, it's like the woman is trying to write a book with as many flaws in it as possible).

  • The lack of wasted pages (I feel certain there was a more eloquent way of saying that, but after reading 544 pages, my brain refuses to function anymore, it's decided to go on strike until I meet it's demands: two episodes of Golden Girls) - When I saw how long the book was I expected there to be a bunch of dead space in the book; back stories on the court room stenographer, long descriptions of the clothes people were wearing - crap like that (again, excuse my lack of eloquence, I'm tired). The readers were spared that in this book.

  • The accuracy - The author actually stuck to correct courtroom procedure. Actually, I have no idea whether the author stuck to accurate details because I'm not old enough to have watched L.A. Law, but it just felt more accurate than the badly written courtroom-related garbage I normally read. I guess I was I'm trying to say dear readers, in this long and painful ramble, is that I appreciate the attention to detail.

  • The ending didn't feel like it was rushed. So many books spend several hundred pages moving at a rather slow pace, and then get to the last 20 pages and race to tie up all the loose ends, and I end up feeling like I have literary whiplash. But in this case, I felt the ending moved at a good page, not so long and drawn out that I didn't give a crap anymore by the time it came, and not so fast that I ended up sitting there at the end thinking What the hell just happened?
Overall, I would recommend this book dear readers, even for those of you who don't normally enjoy this kind of book.

Disclaimer: No books were harmed in the writing of this blog entry. And, despite how it looks, Mr. Book is NOT being held hostage until Steve finally leaves a comment on my blog.