We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Defending Jacob Audiobook
Defending Jacob
Written by: 
William Landay
Narrated by: 
Grover Gardner
 >   > 
Defending Jacob Audiobook

Defending Jacob: A Novel

Regular Price:$23.07
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (6160 )
5 star
 (2406)
4 star
 (2464)
3 star
 (964)
2 star
 (212)
1 star
 (114)
Overall
4.1 (5321 )
5 star
 (2219)
4 star
 (1958)
3 star
 (836)
2 star
 (211)
1 star
 (97)
Story
4.3 (5325 )
5 star
 (2478)
4 star
 (1996)
3 star
 (659)
2 star
 (132)
1 star
 (60)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Susan Bartonville, TX 04-21-13
    Susan Bartonville, TX 04-21-13 Member Since 2012

    Myst/thrillers, some contemporary and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    924
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    480
    462
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    155
    81
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mother of two teen boys"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen 03-27-13
    karen 03-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1685
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    234
    202
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    272
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "BRAVO!!!! Outstanding!"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrea Annandale, NJ, United States 02-08-12
    andrea Annandale, NJ, United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2011

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    151
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    148
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    51
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Good Book!!"

    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!!

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-15-15
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-15-15 Member Since 2016

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    454
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    54
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    25
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic story, twist, and narration."

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SusanV 03-17-13
    SusanV 03-17-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good idea, poorly executed"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 01-07-13
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2010

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2197
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    456
    376
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    259
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "As Good A Legal Thriller As Ever Written!"

    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.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 12-17-12
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 12-17-12 Member Since 2009

    Business Physicist and Astronomer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    355
    154
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    155
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb!"
    Would you listen to Defending Jacob again? Why?

    Oh yes. The story is riveting and nuanced. There are lots of twists and we have a bit of an unreliable narrator. Brilliant.


    What other book might you compare Defending Jacob to and why?

    Crime and Punishment---While Crime and Punishment is better, of course, this book is loaded with tension.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Couldn't say. Great book start to finish.


    If you could rename Defending Jacob, what would you call it?

    Stupid question.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader, Grover Gardner is superb---he could be reading his own story. Perfect read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 09-17-12
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    346
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    530
    96
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    24
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Father's Blindspot"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cris Lake Waccamaw, NC, United States 08-28-12
    Cris Lake Waccamaw, NC, United States 08-28-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    399
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    73
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life After the Trial of Your Child--Ugh!"

    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)!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Coppell, TX, United States 02-14-12
    Bill Coppell, TX, United States 02-14-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written and very good narrator."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Defending Jacob to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator helps me visualize the story better than if I were readin the book.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.