July 18, 2011

The Juror by George Dawes Green

Title:  The Juror
Author:  George Dawes Green
Format:  PB
Pages:  441
Genre:  Thriller
Publisher:  Grand Central, 1995
ISBN-13:  978-0446602693
Series:  Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  "I'm not thinking about the widows of these Troll-Slaves here.  I know that little Troll-Slave children will be crying for their fathers tonight, but I feel good.  Very clear headed.  HOLY CHRIST!  What's that!"
      "It's a spider, Mom.  Just chill.  It's only a Death-Spider."

Synopsis (Amazon):  Annie Laird is Juror 224. A sculptor with a career going nowhere. A single mother struggling to raise a son. A good citizen who has been summoned to what looks like a routine tour of civic duty. But the trial she is called to serve on is no ordinary trial. It is a mob trial, whose outcome has been meticulously orchestrated by a man of insidious power and deadly precision. A man who lives by the teachings of Lao Tsu...whose magnetism is irresistible...whose mind is as brilliant as it is twisted. He is know to some as the Teacher, and he's set his sights on Annie Laird.

Pulled into the most chilling depths of the criminal underworld, Annie will be seduced by double-edged promises, stalked by the spector of terror, then, finally, driven to a shocking decision by the most basic motivation a woman can know. THE JUROR is a tour de force of crime and obsession, evil and innocence -- a story that taps into fears so primal they linger long after the last page has been read.

Review:  This book is incredibly suspenseful.  It is a look inside the mind of a killer, an insane man with an obsession for Annie.  It is also a close look at what a mother will do to protect her child.  While this story could easily be just another legal thriller, it transcends that mold to become something different.  It's about real life more than the courtroom.

Annie's son, Oliver, is by turns a child and almost grown, as he should be.  He is impossibly adorable and horrible, just as you'd expect from a boy who is almost a teenager.  Annie is a strange heroine, sometimes very weak and other times made of steel, but, in the end, she finds the courage to defeat the monster stalking her and her son.

The chapters are short.  The writing is crisp and easy to read.  The story keeps you on the edge of your seat.  I couldn't put this book down.

Rating:  8.5 / 10

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