Graham Moore
Feb 18, 2020

From the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and bestselling author of The Last Days of Night: a jury on a murder trial is deadlocked when a young woman manages to turn the tide to acquit; now, a decade later, she must face the consequences when a fellow juror is killed and she is the prime suspect.

It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.

Flash forward ten years. A true-crime docuseries reassembles the jury, with particular focus on Maya, now a defense attorney herself. When one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all evidence points to her as the killer. Now, she must prove her own innocence—by getting to the bottom of a case that is far from closed.

As the present-day murder investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.


Praise for The Holdout

“This stellar novel from bestseller [Graham] Moore takes a searing look at the U.S. justice system, media scrutiny, and racism…. Moore has set a new standard for legal thrillers.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)


“A tantalizing paced narrative…. In unpacking the legal strategies of both the accused, Moore points to the gaping holes in the criminal-justice system and the crippling powerlessness that comes with having to prove one’s innocence.” — Time Magazine


“[A] stem-winder of a murder mystery wrapped in a legal thriller.” —Booklist


“The twists are sharp and the flashbacks that uncover what each juror knows are placed for maximum impact in this rollicking legal thriller. …Moore expertly combines deft character work with mounting bombshell revelations in a story that will attract new readers and also seems primed for the big screen.”— Library Journal (starred review)


“A smart, deeply satisfying legal thriller, The Holdout is the book to read if you’ve been missing “American Crime Story,” especially the first season covering the O.J. Simpson trial.”BookPage


“Graham Moore does the impossible, creating a page-turning legal thriller with a twisty and absolutely riveting plot, as well as raising profound and thought-provoking questions about the jury system and modern justice.” —Lisa Scottoline, #1 Bestselling Author of Someone Knows


“Graham Moore’s heart beats on every page of The Holdout, a murder trial as only he could have written it: secrets and lies, mysteries upon mysteries, and a cast of characters each with their own dubious motives. This is a tense, emotionally charged, scary-good, stand-out read that hooked me till the last page.”  —Caroline Kepnes, author of You


“Plunge a syringe filled with adrenaline into the heart of Twelve Angry Men and you’ve got The Holdout. But Graham Moore’s novel is so much more than exhilarating courtroom blood sport: it’s a provocative, urgent inquiry into American justice (and injustice) in the twenty-first century; it’s a witty battle of the sexes; it’s a compassionate character study; it’s a fiendishly slippery game of cat-and-mouse suspense. The Holdout will astonish you. It sure as hell astonished me.”  —A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window


“The most gripping and satisfying thriller I’ve read in more than a decade.” —Sophie Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Monogram Murders


“Quite the tour de force! Twelve Angry Men meets Chinatown and creates something of its own.”  —Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes


“Clever, well-written and twistier than a can of silly-string. You absolutely need to read The Holdout! I could not put it down.” —Emma Kavanagh, author of To Catch a Killer