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Jury of One

Jury of One

4.8 6
by David Ellis, Sandra Burr (Read by)

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In Jury of One, Shelly Trotter, an able and determined lawyer and a children’s rights advocate, is thrust into a world in which she’s completely unschooled — the criminal court. Her client is a seventeen-year-old accused of killing a policeman, and she begins to suspect that he may have been involved in an undercover operation to entrap


In Jury of One, Shelly Trotter, an able and determined lawyer and a children’s rights advocate, is thrust into a world in which she’s completely unschooled — the criminal court. Her client is a seventeen-year-old accused of killing a policeman, and she begins to suspect that he may have been involved in an undercover operation to entrap dirty cops, though his role in the scheme remains unclear. Was he the target or the bait—and what does the prosecution really have against him?

Then comes the shocker: Shelly fears that she has a connection to this boy, something she has kept secret for years, knowledge that she has hidden from her family and friends for most of her adult life. And as the evidence against the boy mounts, she finds that nothing—not legal ethics, not a statewide political campaign that could swing in the balance—will stop her from keeping him off death row. For with this client, she is truly a jury of one.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
In his third book, David Ellis (author of the Edgar Award–winning debut mystery Line of Vision) makes a convincing case for a legal thriller with heart. Political daughter and children's rights advocate Shelly Trotter has an agenda -- to keep kids in school. She does it one child at a time, using her skills as a lawyer to convince judges to give troubled youths a last chance to finish high school rather than serve time. Sometimes her clients disappoint her; more often, she finds, they respond to the opportunity. Of course, sometimes they just surprise the hell out of her. That's what happened with Alex Baniewicz, who picked a fight in school so he'd have the chance to meet her, then revealed to her that he's the son she gave up for adoption at the age of 16. As he shares more of his life with her, she learns he's already a father who deals drugs to support his daughter. When he's arrested for shooting a cop, Shelly is determined to help Alex, and not just for his sake. Too many things about the case don't add up. Was it self-defense? Was Alex framed? Was he really working as an informant for the FBI? And the questions don't stop there, because the case has also opened up new questions…about the man who raped Shelly and fathered her son. This time, Shelly's not giving up until she learns the truth…whatever the cost. Sue Stone
Publishers Weekly
Edgar Award-winner Ellis (Life Sentence; Line of Vision) chooses a protagonist common to a number of recent legal thrillers: the idealistic, semi-loner nonprofit lawyer with a dark secret. Michelle "Shelly" Trotter is working for the Children's Advocacy Project when she is summoned by a former client, 17-year-old Alex Baniewicz, whom she once represented in a high school disciplinary hearing. This time Alex isn't going to get off with an in-school suspension; he's accused of killing a Chicago cop. Even though Shelly has little experience in criminal court, she tears into the case with pit bull intensity. She waits too long before she asks Alex if he actually did the deed, but when she does, he admits to the killing, complicating his already impossible defense. Shelly has other difficulties as well: she has a troubled relationship with her father, the governor of the state; she's still suffering from the effects of being raped and impregnated as a teenager; her apartment is broken into and she's threatened with death; and the police on the Chicago force are making it quite clear how they feel about cop-killer defense lawyers. Unfortunately, Shelly is not the most likable of heroines, and the prose is lackluster, but Ellis makes up for much of this with a steady stream of twists and complications. Once Shelly is on her feet in front of a jury, the novel picks up speed, and a stunning Perry Mason-style courtroom shocker will knock readers right out of their seats. After they pick themselves up off the floor, the ensuing fast and furious revelations will have them flying through the final pages. (Apr.) Forecast: It's a crowded field, but loyal fans and constant readers of the genre should provide good, if not breakout, numbers. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Ellis's (Life Sentence) latest courtroom tale centers on Shelly Trotter, lawyer, children's rights advocate, and estranged daughter of a Midwestern governor. She is called to defend a young teenage friend accused of murdering a cop, but her client is less than cooperative in assisting in his defense. Is he working for a dangerous drug gang or working for law enforcement agents attempting to shut them down? The situation becomes more difficult when Shelly learns that the defendant may be the son she gave up for adoption after she was raped. Or, maybe he's not. While the story has compelling characters, it contains several less-than-surprising attempts at plot twists. Reader Sandra Burr does an excellent job; for larger audio collections. Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Lib., Parkersburg Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A lawyer defends her son-or thinks she does-in a trial that's packed with surprise and significance. Once again (Life Sentence, 2003, etc.), Ellis's larger subject is the law and the treacherous eddies that can pull down a case, its just issues notwithstanding. His third outing starts with Shelly Trotter, an attorney who represents troubled students at the Child Advocacy Project in a city Ellis doesn't name but that appears to be Chicago, his hometown. One of Shelly's charges, the appealing Alex Baniewicz, is accused of dealing drugs and shooting and killing police officer Raymond Miroballi. Shelly wants attorney Paul Riley to take the case, but Riley entreats Shelly to do it. Shelly hesitates, never having tried a capital murder case. But even more of a concern than that is a matter she recently uncovered: Baniewicz is apparently her son. In a series of flashbacks, Ellis traces Shelly's troubled past. After being raped, she considered abortion, but decided instead to put her son up for adoption, an incident that, if made public, could derail the reelection campaign of her father, conservative Governor Langdon Trotter. Another complication comes from federal agents who inform Shelly that Alex was their snitch in an attempt to nab officer Miroballi, who, they suspect, had been dealing drugs. Building a case to defend Alex, Shelly investigates a violent drug gang justly known as the Cannibals, probing Alex's possible involvement with the gang, as well as that of his friend Ronnie Masters, who gradually emerges as Miroballi's suspected killer. Then comes another revelation: Ronnie, a likely killer, is Shelly's son, not Alex. This twist sets the story's last third spinning as Ellis tightens,then ties up, a solid case. Unlike the mob of hacks who want to be the next Grisham, Ellis is never glib, hackneyed, or tiresome. In style, plot, and character, he engages and entertains. Agent: Jeff Gerecke/JCA Literary Agency

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

David Ellis’s previous novels include In the Company of Liars, Jury of One, Life Sentence, and Line of Vision, for which he won an Edgar Award. An attorney from Chicago, he serves as Counsel to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.

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Jury of One 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW!!!! This is the book that Grisham wished he could write! I loved this book. As with David Ellis' previous books, this one is polished, completely totallly grammatically correct with NO typos! Oh yes...it has an amazing cast of characters that you instantly have rapport with one way or the other... and a trial that is breathtaking in every way....twists and turns abound! There is waaay too much information given out already about this fantastic book. Just do yourself a favor, do not read anything more about it...just get it and read it for yourself. You're in for one heck of a literary roller coaster ride. I cannot wait for the next one...and David Ellis, if you're reading this....it's time to quit your day job and get your publishers to treat you with more respect by giving you and your pheomenal book proper marketing!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author makes Grisham and others look like beginers. Can not say enough good things about this book! It's a MUST READ!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome! The ending is such an unbelievable twist, and yet it all fits together perfectly. I was hooked from start to finish. David Ellis is definitely an author who deserves to be right up there with Grisham, Patterson and Turow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a Midwestern city, attorney Shelly Trotter works for the Child Advocacy Project by representing troubled students in court. Because she has never worked a capital case, Shelly asks Paul Riley to defend Alex Baniewicz, accused of killing police officer Raymond Miroballi. Paul prefers Shelly lead the defense, which she reluctantly agrees to do.

Already having doubts that she can provide an adequate defense, Shelly learns that Baniewicz may be the son she gave up for adoption following a rape. Made public that revelation could destroy her conservative father¿s reelection for state governor. The case turns even more complex when federal agents inform Shelly that Alex was working undercover for them trying to find evidence that martyred heroic cop Miroballi sold drugs. As she continues to develop the defense, Shelly investigates the link between her client and a vicious gang of reported drug dealers, the Cannibals. Her probe leads to Alex's friend Ronnie Masters, who not only may be a cop killer, but seems more likely the infant that she gave away.

The twists in this incredible superb legal thriller are amazing (there are plenty more to come than what was described above) yet each one feels right though the megatons are at hydrogen bomb level revelations. That along with a solid cast makes for a terrific terse tale that will make David Ellis a household name. Even the street punks come across as real making a JURY OF ONE the must sub-genre read of the year so far.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
Accomplished audio book reader Sandra Burr always suits her voice to the story, whether it be comedy, drama or romance. She can be old, young, happy, frightened, all with equal skill. Once more she vocally captures the essence of a protagonist in this courtroom thriller. Shelley Trotter is a fine lawyer with a troubled past. She's a child's rights advocate/activist. When Alex, a former client of hers in the Children's Advocacy Project, is accused of murder she immediately stands to defend the 17-year-old. So great is her desire to prove the boy innocent that she overlooks asking some very important questions. Her mind set is also affected by her past - as a young girl she was a rape victim, and became pregnant. In addition, her relationship with her father, the governor, is a bit tenuous. Quite obviously Shelley's legal training and experience has not prepared her for the battle she faces in criminal court, especially when Alex is accused of killing a policeman. Author Ellis weaves these threads together to form a complex and compelling thriller. No wonder he's an Edgar winner!