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The Last Juror by John Grisham
In The Last Juror, John Grisham returns to Clanton, Mississippi, where Willie Traynor, born in Memphis and educated in New York, buys the local weekly newspaper in 1970. Changing the paper's focus from light news to crime reporting, Willie covers the trial of Danny Padgitt, the son of a wealthy criminal family who was convicted of rape and murder. As he's led away for a life sentence, Danny vows revenge on the jurors. Willie settles into small town Southern life and is befriended by Miss Callie Ruffin, an elderly black woman who was the last juror selected for the murder trial. Their cozy lifestyle is threatened, not just by changing times, but by the parole of Danny Padgitt after serving only nine years. This is vintage John Grisham, and while not high literature, has received mostly positive reviews. The New York Times says, "The Last Juror does not need to coast on its author's megapopularity. It's a reminder of how the Grisham juggernaut began."