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Defending Jacob: A Novel | [William Landay]

Defending Jacob: A Novel

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.
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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 (4594 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.1 (3926 )
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Story
4.2 (3923 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (52)
Performance
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  •  
    Nancy ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 04-19-12
    Nancy ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 04-19-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Competition for Grisham"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it. The plot grabbed you right away. The writing had aspects of poetry and a lyrical quality at times along with technical aspects of law and crime investigation. It was though, a study of human character, flawed as we all are, but presented with a sensitivity not seen that often in male psyches.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Defending Jacob?

    Plot twists and nuances.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I could put it down


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. CASEY austin, tx 04-19-12
    R. CASEY austin, tx 04-19-12 Member Since 2013

    lopine

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    204
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A surprise"
    What made the experience of listening to Defending Jacob the most enjoyable?

    I bought this book on a whim and was really glad I did. The writing is good and the story line keeps your interest. Parents of teenagers will find it particularly interesting. Raises challenging moral dilemmas without being preachy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miss Irene Portland OR 04-18-12
    Miss Irene Portland OR 04-18-12 Member Since 2014

    Miss Irene

    HELPFUL VOTES
    80
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    456
    13
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    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I enjoyed it but..."

    I was riveted throughout - got attached to the characters, sympathized with them. However, I think the story would have benefited from an epilogue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 04-18-12
    Robin 04-18-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    5
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Piccoult lover w/ Patterson on the side"
    If you could sum up Defending Jacob in three words, what would they be?

    couldn't stop listening


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved his wife Lori because she was so introspective and was not afraid to ask the hard questions instead of just the practical ones.


    Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't but I would again


    Any additional comments?

    I love Piccoult, but find Patterson to be a little too plot driven. Landay had plenty of plot to keep things moving, but also more thought provoking moments especially about the decisions they had to make as a family. The addition of courtroom scenes really closed the deal for me. I loved it. I will be looking into other books by Landay.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melinda Charbonnet 04-17-12

    Mel Charbonnet

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
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    0
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    "This is a great book."
    Any additional comments?

    This book is interesting, thought provoking, and has a few twists and turns in it. I loved it and highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kay Baskin Clemmons, NC USA 04-17-12
    Kay Baskin Clemmons, NC USA 04-17-12 Member Since 2010

    katieb

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Listen"

    Very good story. Felt like I was listening to someone recounting a true story. Had to remind myself more than once that it was a novel. Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GrannyGoodWitch San Jacinto, CA, United States 04-15-12
    GrannyGoodWitch San Jacinto, CA, United States 04-15-12

    NanBell

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More raves than it deserved."
    What did you like best about Defending Jacob? What did you like least?

    Best was the ending when the listener becomes aware of just who is on trial and for what.


    Would you recommend Defending Jacob to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not really, no. It was not nail biting enough for my taste.


    What three words best describe Grover Gardner’s performance?

    Fair


    Did Defending Jacob inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, to listen to the narration before buying. I want an animated pasionate narrator with a many character voice. A voice to inspire my imagination and not lull me to sleep.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was alright, not good or bad, just alright.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Long Beach, NY, United States 04-15-12
    James Long Beach, NY, United States 04-15-12 Member Since 2015

    Retired 35 year policeman from So CA, relocated with my wife to South Carolina with "Toby" our cat. I listen to two books a week

    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    28
    FOLLOWERS
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    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Keeps Reader on Edge of Your Listener's Seat"
    If you could sum up Defending Jacob in three words, what would they be?

    Causes great sociaetal introspection


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

    Comparing only takes away from the drama


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

    Emotion


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A family brought together then torn apart by tragedy


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Olds Phoenix area, Arizona 04-14-12
    H. Olds Phoenix area, Arizona 04-14-12 Member Since 2014

    Runner_girl

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great listen!"
    What made the experience of listening to Defending Jacob the most enjoyable?

    The story line was very compelling and kept my interest, my main criteria for an audiobook :)


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

    My Sister's Keeper, but from a man's perspective.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Maplewood, MN, United States 04-13-12
    Joanna Maplewood, MN, United States 04-13-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    103
    19
    FOLLOWERS
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. I read for entertainment and this book was just flat out sad.


    Would you be willing to try another book from William Landay? Why or why not?

    Maybe.


    What three words best describe Grover Gardner’s performance?

    Just okay.


    Do you think Defending Jacob needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Definitely not!


    Any additional comments?

    I haven't read William Landay before. This was a lot like Jodi Piccoult- very real, but very depressing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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