The Jury Master Review
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David Sloane, a trial lawyer who knows how to talk to a jury and win cases, receives a package containing forged adoption papers and hospital birth records with his name on them from a man named Joe Branick. Sloane doesn’t know who Branick is or why he’s trying to make contact with him. Shocked that he’s been living his life not knowing who he really is, Sloane sets out to find his true identity and to figure out why someone would want his identity hidden.

Unfortunately, Branick, who happens to be the best friend of the President of the United States, is found dead in an apparent suicide. The police officer who found Branick’s body mysteriously disappears. The local homicide detective, eventually with Sloane’s help, investigates Branick’s death, even though the federal government wants to keep him away. Hmmm…a cover-up of some sort, perhaps? Meanwhile, an ex-CIA agent is being pursued and attacked by someone from his past. And there’s a Mexican conspiracy to assassinate the president thrown in, too.

There’s a lot of stuff going on in this book: lots of action, various complex plots, and many characters. There’s also a lot of moving around from place to place, from plot to plot, and among the various characters—which I didn’t particularly enjoy. The chapters are relatively short and meant to leave you hanging; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The book is also rife with similes. While I don’t mind the use of a simile here or there, Dugoni uses them to the point of distraction.

The title of this book is misleading. While the book opens with a courtroom scene and ends with a courtroom scene, there is not a courtroom, judge, or jury to be had anywhere in between, so I wouldn’t call it a legal thriller, as the title might otherwise imply—because it wouldn’t make a difference if the protagonist were a lawyer or a pig farmer.

Believe it or not, the plots, twists, turns, and confusion all come together in the end, although some might find it a little incredible and far-reaching. While reading it, however, I couldn’t help thinking that The Jury Master might make a better movie. I think the story would be more easily visualized than read.

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