The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy Series #4)

The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy Series #4)

3.9 21
by John Lescroart, Christopher Noth
     
 

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In John T. Lescroart's brilliant new novel, The 13th Juror, Dismas Hardy, lawyer/investigator, undertakes the defense of Jennifer Witt, accused of murdering her husband and their eight-year-old son as well as her first husband, who had died nine years earlier from an apparent drug overdose. While preparing his case, Hardy learns that both of Jennifer's husbands had…  See more details below

Overview

In John T. Lescroart's brilliant new novel, The 13th Juror, Dismas Hardy, lawyer/investigator, undertakes the defense of Jennifer Witt, accused of murdering her husband and their eight-year-old son as well as her first husband, who had died nine years earlier from an apparent drug overdose. While preparing his case, Hardy learns that both of Jennifer's husbands had physically abused her. But Jennifer refuses to allow a defense that presumes her guilt. She is not guilty, she claims. Hardy is now driven to seek an alternative truth a jury can believe. As the trial progresses, the complex truth itself begins to change, to bend, to fade in and out of focus as the clock keeps ticking on Jennifer's fate, until there seems only one person left to convince, and she is "the 13th juror" - the judge. The 13th Juror is a stunning and suspenseful novel of moral ambiguity, of good intentions, bad judgements and the tortuous path to ultimate justice.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Further evidence that Lescroart ( Hard Evidence ) can hold his own among legal-thriller writers comes with this taut novel about an abused San Francisco housewife who is arrested for shooting both her seven-year-old son and her physician husband, a control freak. Narrator Dismas Hardy, defense attorney and hero of four previous Lescroart novels, has plenty of suspects and issues to grapple with. First there's his icy, recalcitrant client, Jennifer Witt, who refuses to go with a battered-wife defense; Jennifer's aloof psychiatrist, who may or may not be her lover; some financial shenanigans concerning the victim's business that provide plenty of motive for high-stakes murder. Then there's the problem of Dismas's grandstanding boss, whose flamboyant, hit-or-miss style leaves Dismas constantly scrambling for higher legal ground. Finally, there's Dismas's wife, who resents the time her husband spends on the case but who insists on striking up a friendship with the accused without telling her husband. The story gets off to a slow start, and sometimes Lescroart belabors the obvious. He also comes close to telegraphing the solution to the mystery, and much of his writing about the characters' personal lives is hamfisted. Despite these flaws, however, an intricate story and satisfying courtroom scenes carry the day. Fans of the genre should find the second half of the book, which covers the trial, especially engaging. 60,000 first printing; major ad/promo; paperback rights to Dell; audio rights to Bantam Doubleday Dell; large print rights to Thorndike; Literary Guild and Dou ble day Book Club featured alternates. (Sept.)
Library Journal
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. A very readable novel with engaging characters and a riveting plot that fans of Scott Turow and John Grisham will love; recommended for most libraries.-Dan Bogey, Clearfield Cty. P.L. Federation, Curwensville, Pa.
From the Publisher
"A brilliant courtroom drama."
-The Washington Post Book World

"I double-dare you to begin reading John T. Lescroart's new suspense trial novel and put it down....This one is on the money."
-Larry King, USA Today

"Compelling...The power of the book lies in Lescroart's impeccable accumulation of detail."
-The San Francisco Chronicle

"Unusual in his ability to combine courthouse scenes with action sequences, judicial puzzles and dimensional people, Mr. Lescroart produces a full house of well-drawn characters. The many subplots, social issues and legal maneuvers of The 13th Juror, come together in a fast-paced text that sustains interest to the very end."
-The Wall Street Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553527759
Publisher:
Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/06/2001
Series:
Dismas Hardy Series, #4
Edition description:
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hrs.
Product dimensions:
4.40(w) x 7.02(h) x 0.81(d)

Meet the Author

John Lescroart is the author of nineteen previous novels, including The Betrayal, The Suspect, The Hunt Club, The Motive, The Second Chair, The First Law, The Oath, The Hearing, and Nothing But the Truth. He lives in Northern California.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
El Macero, California
Date of Birth:
January 14, 1948
Place of Birth:
Houston, Texas
Education:
B.A. in English with Honors, UC Berkeley, 1970

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13th Juror 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was a very good book. everything about it was fantastic i couldn't put it down once i started reading it. anyone who loves suspense and mystery i recommend this book to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author ingeniously takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through the life of Jennifer growing up & abroad, the physical & mental abuse she indured, her poor choice in men, and the devastating evidence against her. The ending was remarkable! I never foresaw it! This book truly was one the same level of ANYTHING Gresham has ever written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is both pedantic and cumbersome. With a desire to tell a story, the author gets lost in his own self-importance and the story bogs down with failed intrigue and a blurred focus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
booksJT More than 1 year ago
A page turner from beginning to end. The author kept you guessing till the end. This is my first Dismas Hardy . I am looking forward to reading more Dismas Hardy series in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been trying to read all of this series. While all are well written with terrific characters, this book is by far the best so far. I usually get some idea of the end of the plot along the way, but I never imagined the ending to this book. It was a great read and hard to put down.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Please explain to me why your novel the 13th juror was so good and then you write another short story called a Certain Justice and I can't make heads or tails of it. Michael Mullen was out with his wife and 2 kids when he was killed and his wife and 2 kids were never mentioned as witnesses nor were in the car when the killer took off. That doesn't make sense to me, please explain....
Guest More than 1 year ago
The curiousity I had as to how Dismas Hardy, the defense attorney, was going to try and get his client, Jennifer, off the pending death sentence kept me reading this story which I thought had entirely too many characters. It got better in the second half. The trial dialogue made for compelling reading and felt it provided me with fascinating insight into trial procedures, e.g., the judge being the 13th juror. The ending was a complete surprise, it did not follow the lead I assumed Dismas had going and believe that part was kind of left hanging, especially the part where it appeared Dismas himself might have been threatened. I would be interested in reading someone else's review.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although not one of the greatest books I've ever leafed through, The 13th Juror was a good book that requires both patience and limited knowledge of our legal system to be able to understand it. The basic story was quite gripping as you find yourself constantly changing your guess as to what really happened on the day Jennifer's family was killed. I would recommend this book to lovers of murder, mystery, and mixed plot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lescroart has the (not very common) ability to tell you even the slightest detail, without boring you. I went page after page, and it was so hard to stop. Jeniffer Witt is charged with the murder of his rich and famous (but abussive) husband, as well as her only child. She says that she is not guilty, that she didnot do it, but all the clues, the facts, the circumstances, go against her, and almost nobody thinks that she didnot do it. The DA is looking for a political situation at the state level, and this case comes handy to him, so he is not going to let it go. The defense lawyer (what a character) risks everything, to try to win his case, and save her life. The part that I liked more is the author´s careful description of events in the streets and whereabouts of San Francisco, which is my favorite city. I really enjoyed it. Read it, you will like it. Really...
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is hard not to compare other courtroom novels to Grisham's work because really none stack up. However, Lescroart came up with an interesting idea for a book AND come up with a good ending. The characters were very good and believable despite the fact that I disliked the main character. A realistic and worthwhile read.
pabenham More than 1 year ago
One of John Lescroart's best.