Publishers Note :In 1970, Willie Traynor came to Mississippi in a Triumph Spitfire and a fog of vague ambitions. Within a year, the twenty-three-year-old college dropout found himself the owner of Ford County's only newspaper, famous for its well-crafted obituaries. While the rest of America was in the grips of social turmoil, Willie's adopted town of Clanton lived on the edge of another age, until the brutal murder of a young mother rocked the sleepy community-and thrust Willie into the center of a storm. Daring to report the true horrors of the crime, Willie made as many friends as enemies in Clanton-and over the next decade he would take stances, break barriers, and sometimes wonder how he had gotten there in the first place. But he could never escape the crime that had shattered his innocence or the criminal whose evil had left an indelible stain. Because as the ghosts of the South's past gather around Willie, as issues of race and justice swirl around Clanton, men and women who served on a jury nine years ago are starting to die one by one-as a killer exacts the ultimate revenge. . . . Muze Annotation :The story begins with the demise of a small-town newspaper, the Ford County Times, in 1970. Willie Traynor, 23-year-old former cub reporter for the paper, takes it over with money from his grandmother. The paper it creaks along until success comes with its first big story--the rape and murder of a young widow by Danny Padgitt, member of a local bootlegging family. Convicted, given a life sentence, and still utterly remorseless, Padgitt swears vengeance against the jurors who declared him guilty. When he is paroled nine years later, jurors begin to die. John Grisham began work on THE LAST JUROR in the late '80s, wanting to write novels set in fictional Ford County, Mississippi, but he was interrupted by the success of THE FIRM. THE LAST JUROR breaks out of the mold of Grisham's usual legal thrillers into a story about the growth of Willie Traynor from a callow young man to an older and wiser one.