Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 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 14-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, and 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.
©2012 William Landay (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Landay has proven himself to be an extraordinary writer, and Defending Jacob is an amazing novel. Do yourself a favor and read it. It’s that good.” (Nicholas Sparks, #1 New York Times best-selling author)
“Harrowing . . . This searing narrative proves the ancient Greek tragedians were right: the worst punishment is not death but living with what you—knowingly or unknowingly—have done.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“[Landay] reaches a new level of excellence with this riveting, knock-your-socks-off legal thriller. With its masterfully crafted characterizations and dialogue, emotional depth, and frightening implications, the novel rivals the best of Scott Turow and John Grisham. Don’t miss it.” (Booklist, starred review)
Myst/thrillers, some contemporary and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
Wow, a thought stopper. It is well written and the narrator melted into the book and makes you forget he was there. This is one of those books that makes you pause.... I had an inkling of what was coming because of the way Landay was writing the courtroom scene(s). Brilliant. I have not read one done like that before. He had me leaning in and paying closer attention to those. As a Mom I know what it is to feel complete and utter responsibility for the lives our babes. The story was told by the father and his frustration level was so evident that I felt myself feeling sorry for this prudent and intelligent thinker. This is a good book that has a fast and ever changing plot.
I bought three 'unknown' books at the same time -- books written by authors new to me, writers and books I'd never heard of before or seen, outside of Audible. I listened to the first two, which were only so-so, and I was just about to remind myself to stick to known quantities from now on. All that said, I wasn't expecting much when I started 'Defending Jacob'. But WOW -- this one made up for what the other two lacked.
It's hard to say much about this book without giving too much away -- I can say that as I was listening, I felt myself getting furious with first the father, then the mother, for the way they saw, and treated, their son. The father was of the "my son can do no wrong" school of thought, which seemed totally ridiculous under the circumstances. The mother allowed herself to be drawn in by some nutty theory of genetic inclination to murder, which -- as described in this situation -- was just as bizarre. But that's the mark of a good book -- I couldn't stop listening. I was so involved with the characters -- we don't actually hear much from Jacob himself -- that I couldn't wait to see what would happen next.
Nor will I betray anything else about the plot suffice it to say I listened to the ending, couldn't quite believe what I'd heard, so went back and listened to the last hour again. LOL -- great fun! What a book! Way beyond excellent plot, perfect narration, and all in all, one of the best of the year. Don't miss this one.
I love the outdoors and the warm weather!! And I never leave home with out my I-Nano. It should be surgically placed into my ear. I live and breath for books.
This book makes you think about yourself and your children. The writer wrote this
with a lot of thought about family. And how we as parents may be blind to our
children's behavior. Also about the court system, how your guilty before your proven innocent. The only con was the narrator voice was the same for certain character's. Besides that it was a good book. I enjoyed it!!
Say something about yourself!
Although initially skeptical of the narrator, he grew on me, and hit it out of the park by the conclusion. Although I am not a rabid fan of the courtroom drama/mystery, i found this to be very fulfilling for what it was. Well done.
This book is overwritten. Paragraphs full of filler. The author belabors the point - over and over. Other writers can manage asides and character details through prose styling. I wanted to know how the mystery was resolved so I pushed on, finally skipping paragraphs to make it through.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
First off, I became a Grover Gardener fan from his readings of the wonderful David Rosenfelt/Andy Carpenter series... He is as feeling-perfect as ever here....
But this book is astonishing. William Landay has plotted and peopled a rare perfect novel. There is not a forced idea.The writer and the reader disappear, leaving only you and Andy Barber's challenge in Defending Jacob. I recommend it without reservation. He shows us distress through the mind of senior Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber - a mind powerfully affected by his fatherly love. It is a tale that thickens like quicksand, sucking you deeper with each swirl and tug... This is a life view that will haunt me... and you.
Let's make it simple... buy it... download it... experience it... recommend it.
I'm off to find another of William Landay's work.
Business Physicist and Astronomer
Oh yes. The story is riveting and nuanced. There are lots of twists and we have a bit of an unreliable narrator. Brilliant.
Crime and Punishment---While Crime and Punishment is better, of course, this book is loaded with tension.
Couldn't say. Great book start to finish.
The reader, Grover Gardner is superb---he could be reading his own story. Perfect read.
Defending Jacob makes you question how blind you become as a parent to your own child's horrendous behavior. Is it just impossible for some parents to believe that their child could have done something unspeakable even when all the evidence points that way? What is interesting is that the father is the one who cannot fathom that his child is anything but a good kid, not the mother as most authors would have predictably written. It is an interesting story, but I did feel the courtroom scenes (a very high percentage of the book) belabored the minutia and repetition of a trial. I think for the sake of the story, the author would have been well served to compress some of trial detail as it got to be tedious.
If you've ever wondered about the family life of a person accused of murder, this book seems to offer some insights and I could not stop listening. However, the "explanations" seemed a bit contrived. I would have liked to hear more about the aftermath and more about the early life of the child. While the author hints of signs, the parents seem to have been oblivious and that is the part that most interested me. I would have loved this book if the wife's perspective could have been more developed. Even with these complaints, the book is one that I cannot get out of my mind. In fact, I think my next book might have to be a romance novel (just kidding)!
I did not read the print version.
The narrator helps me visualize the story better than if I were readin the book.
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