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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 (4766 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brad B Traveling 05-15-12
    Brad B Traveling 05-15-12 Member Since 2013

    Brad Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Real life nightmare"
    If you could sum up Defending Jacob in three words, what would they be?

    Real life nightmare


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

    I would prefer not to say as I don't want to spoil it for others


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

    Yes, I have and I have thoroughly enjoyed all his work.


    If you could take any character from Defending Jacob out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Jacob's mother. Again I don't want to give the reason as it would be a spoiler.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a very good book, with twists and turns and an unexpected ending. I will certainly watch for more books by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elzbth Stn Trnstnl Hsng Roxbury, MA United States 05-14-12
    Elzbth Stn Trnstnl Hsng Roxbury, MA United States 05-14-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What an ending."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book. It was well paced and even the sometimes tricky time and place changes made sense.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really liked the the complexity of the father's character and his almost wistful love for his son.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    Grover Gardner became the father for me. Beautifully acted.


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

    I bought the book because I was caught by the title. It didn't disappoint so I would not rename the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't get complacent when listening to this book. There are always surprises.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriel Duluth, GA, United States 05-11-12
    Gabriel Duluth, GA, United States 05-11-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping Story"

    This story grabbed me quickly and wouldn't let me go, even through the somewhat slow portions near the end. I listened to the whole thing in just a few days. I just had to know what would happen next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina United States 05-10-12
    Christina United States 05-10-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good legal thriller!"
    What did you love best about Defending Jacob?

    It kept my attention. It kept me wondering what would happen next.


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

    He brought the characters to life.


    Who was the most memorable character of Defending Jacob and why?

    The dad. I loved the effort he put forth to defend his son.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David St Louis, MO, United States 05-07-12
    David St Louis, MO, United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved It!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I thought this audiobook was great. I would definitely recommend it. It never lost my interest and the story was fun to follow.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The ending captured me.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    Andy, the narrator of the story, was fascinating. Hearing his reactions and thoughts always kept me thinking.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loves to Listen Upland, CA 05-03-12
    Loves to Listen Upland, CA 05-03-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
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    75
    11
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    6
    Overall
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    Story
    "Can't get this book out of my head......"

    I didn't love this book but I can't seem to let it go either. I wanted more detail about the characters early on in the book but the twists and turns of the last chapters made up for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clifton, NJ 05-01-12
    Clifton, NJ 05-01-12 Listener Since 2003

    musicandmysteries

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't stop listening"
    Would you listen to Defending Jacob again? Why?

    I don't think I would listen to it again because some of the characters actions and lack of motives were frustrating


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Andy Barber's growing panic and trying to hold it together.


    Who was the most memorable character of Defending Jacob and why?

    Jacob - cause you just don't have a clue


    Any additional comments?

    Some audio books I like to listen to with a hard copy nearby for referring back to previous passages. This was one of those books

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Rochester, WA, United States 04-30-12
    John Rochester, WA, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself! I'm a teacher who loves cycling and plugging into a book for 10 or more hours on long bike rides.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    21
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An engaging tragic family story."
    If you could sum up Defending Jacob in three words, what would they be?

    surprising, believable, suspenseful


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

    The exchange with the grandfather in prison and his involvement with the conclusion of the trial.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Very natural and easy to visualize the character


    Any additional comments?

    I was easily drawn in and identified with the fathers unfailing defense of his son.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Stegeby Belleair Beach 04-27-12
    Michelle Stegeby Belleair Beach 04-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    3
    2
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    0
    2
    Overall
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    Story
    "A book that stuck with me"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. It was well worth the credit and my favorite audio book so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy Winfield, IL, United States 04-24-12
    Jeremy Winfield, IL, United States 04-24-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
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    15
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
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    Overall
    Performance
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    "Solid legal thriller"

    The twists and turns aren't exactly unexpected in this formulaic but satisfying courtroom drama. William Landay might not be the next John Grisham, but the story is good, and the trial scenes seem authentic. I was glad to see this book on the bestseller list, because I think legal thrillers are too often overlooked. This book is thoughtful and reasonably compelling--not the best book you'll read this year, but right up there in the top ten, probably. Grover Gardner's excellent narration brings the story to life; anything he reads is well worth listening to. This is a good book, worth your time. Enthusiastically recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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