Sunday, July 14, 2013

Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob
William Landay

Genre: Mystery

Summary (from Goodreads):  Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis—a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.

Marcie's Review: Wow!  I'm not normally a fan of courtroom dramas, but I couldn't put this one down.  It reminded me a lot of Jodi Picoult's books - and in fact, didn't she write a similar book about a child accused of murder?  It's written from the perspective of the father, who seemed to live in denial.  But that's the point of this book - would you be able to believe your child is capable of a terrible crime, and how far would you go to protect him whether you thought he was guilty or not?  Given the amount of foreshadowing and the structure of the book (frequent flash forwards to another trial), the reader knows there is going to be some kind of big surprise towards the end, and there certainly is.  I was left unsatisfied, yet intrigued, by the ending.

Becky's Review:  I was repeatedly told that I would enjoy this book and that I should read it so I checked it out at least twice but ended up never reading it.  Finally I checked out the audiobook version and listened to it on my way to work.  The person who read the book was outstanding and really gave personality to the characters.  I was captivated by the story and it was hard to turn it off at times.  I needed to know whether Jacob was guilty or innocent and I wanted to see the case resolved but I felt like I was left hanging at the end.  I wanted answers to be much more clear cut.  There were some other little things through the book that bothered me and made the book less realistic for me such as Jacob's age and how he was treated.  But overall I really enjoyed the story.

Rating: 4 stars

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