I quite enjoyed listening to this audiobook until the ending made me wish I hadn't listened at all. The narrator is very good and the characters are interesting. The ending just really sucked. And it's not just a sad/happy thing. It feels like I was so wrapped up in the lives of these characters and the author just pulled a cruel trick on me.
Lots of interesting questions arose as I read this book. Is Jacob guilty of murder? Is our justice system efficient and fair? Is there such a thing as a murder gene? Just how responsible are parents for the actions of their children?
I kept trying to like Jacob....but as evidence stacked up, it became increasingly difficult. Mr. Landay took us through a process similar to what his parents were feeling.
This is less Jacob's story than it is the story of his parents.
I enjoyed this book and thoroughly enjoy Grover Gardner's narration. Lots of turns in this story and I would recommend to those enjoying a good mystery.
Yes. It is a story that could happen to any couple with teenagers.
When the mother decided to kill her son and herself.
It ended too quickly with regard to the next court case.
Yes I would this book keeps you guessing right up to the last page I love it!
Tell us about yourself!
The novel is well written and Grover Gardner is one of my favorite male narrators. The storyline is quite believable until the last 1/3 of the book when it veers off into the unbelievable. But by that point, I was hooked and so listened until the very end.
My wife suggested this book for a road trip from Boston to Denver. It’s a great story and very well read. My daughter and I were riveted during the reading/listening sessions and couldn't wait to get back in the car to pick up where we left off the night before. It made driving I-80 through Iowa and Nebraska even better. (Even the 7 month old Golden pup/passenger was entranced!)
So Many Books, So Little Time
This is one of the most disturbing books I have read in a long time. Told from the perspective of Jacob Barber's father, a successful attorney, it shifts back and forth in time between an inquest in which Andy, the father, is being questioned and the book's main narrative. The writing is good and, though it did seem a bit over-wrought in places, I never lost interest.
When a fourteen year old boy is found knifed to death in a nearby park suspicion falls on Andy Barber's 14 year old son, Jacob, a classmate of the dead boy. The narrative is mostly about the trial and the revelations that begin to unfold about the problems within this family and the secrets Andy has kept all his life about his family history, including his father who is serving a life-sentence for murder.
Slowly we begin to realize this family has a LOT of secrets. Jacob was bullied in school by the dead boy. Jacob has some very disturbing behaviors of his own. Laurie, Jacob's mother, is shocked when she finds out about her husband's secrets and is unable to reconcile these revelations and their implications for her own son. When a psychiatrist adds some frightening (and I thought specious) opinions about Jacob's behavior, Andy overlooks them but Laurie becomes obsessed with them.
This is an extremely complex story and the ending is quite disturbing. I'm not really sure how I felt about it. I admired Andy's ability to trust in his son and I found Laurie's inability to do that quite upsetting. This is not a book one soon forgets -- and that makes it a better than average read.
The narration was quite good. Since I live in the Boston area, I especially appreciated the narrator's ability to handle the local accents.
suspenseful, thought provoking
The ending made me think. I wondered what I would do in a similar situation.
The story, and the realistic ending
The 2 different viewpoints of the parents. Even though this was read from the point of the father, the story did a great job capturing how the mother felt, without ever hearing anything directly from her.