The Jury Master

Robert Dugoni is a new name in the legal thriller genre. He hasn’t received too much notoriety as other authors in the genre, but he is definitely someone to look out for in the future. I came to know of this lawyer turned writer through a friend and decided to give his debut novel, The Jury Master, a try. 

One thing I hate about new authors in the legal thriller genre is that their writing seems to imitate established authors in the genre, but Dugoni sets himself apart and creates a new voice and delivers a political espionage mystery. The story begins with the introduction of David Sloane, a highly successful defense attorney, who can convince any jury to side with him. Sloane is successful in court because he is a workaholic and has no family. Joe Branick, a personal friend to the President of the United States, is found dead in a national park. The media reports it as a suicide, but Barnick’s death is anything but a suicide.  Branick left two phone messages and a package for Sloane. Sloane has no clue who Joe Branick is and why he would leave Sloane messages before his death. Soon Sloane’s life is in danger and he has to find out who is behind the cover up of Branick’s death.

The title of the book is a misnomer and has very little to do with a jury. The book in my opinion isn’t a legal thriller and reads more like a Tom Clancy mystery novel. Many people will pick it up expecting a court room drama, but will be disappointed to not really have any courtroom action. I think the downside to this book is the fact that Dugoni has amplified details to get his point across and could have edited pages for a better narration, but again it is his first novel so I am sure he will improve. The upside to the book is that David Sloane makes a likeable protagonist, which is why Dugoni has decided to carry David Sloane into a series. This book is just the beginning for Dugoni and Sloane.