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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 (4765 )
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4.1 (4072 )
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4.2 (4069 )
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    R POLLOCK PINES, CA, United States 04-24-12
    R POLLOCK PINES, CA, United States 04-24-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The story content could have been AMAZING."
    Would you try another book from William Landay and/or Grover Gardner?

    Questionable.


    Would you ever listen to anything by William Landay again?

    Yes.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    N/A.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    With the exception of the end I disliked Laurie. She came off as relentless and a nag. When one works or lives with someone like Laurie it crawls under one's skin and caused me to fast forward on these pages (I would have skipped the same pages in a print version). I felt 1/3 of the book was brilliant and something I never read. I wish the author would have pursued a book on the dad, son, grandfather and work. While 1/3 of the book was brilliant 2/3rds was not. Of the 2/3rds a large portion was insignificant (page fillers) clichés and long winded descriptions that should have been omitted. Examples of clichés were the bat, Babe Ruth, Clarence Darrow and I easily guessed the missing person similar to the Aruba incident.I also disliked the author calling Jamaicans "natives" as this is considered a slur. It would have been more appropriate to refer to them as Jamaicans or locals. My skin crawled at that negative slur.I found myself fast forwarding a lot in this audible book. Again, it was an ok book but had the outline to be excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    Pass on this one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathie Birmingham, AL, United States 04-21-12
    Kathie Birmingham, AL, United States 04-21-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Looked like it was going to be good"
    What did you like best about Defending Jacob? What did you like least?

    Started out as a good story. Kid being bullied. Bullier found dead in a park. All fingers point to the DA's kid, the one being bullied. Lots of trial in the story. Got a little boring during the trial part, which seemed to be long.


    What could William Landay have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Father in prison seemed to be thrown in to have a different angle to the story.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Love his voice. Very commanding


    Was Defending Jacob worth the listening time?

    Yes, because I did want to listen to what sounded like a good story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    helle 04-20-12
    helle 04-20-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent story -a real page turner"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Defending Jacob to be better than the print version?

    Unknown


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

    When Jacobs father discovers that Jacob is likely to be the murderer


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book kept me up very late because it was so good


    Any additional comments?

    I would highly recommend this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Fillmore, CA, United States 04-20-12
    Laura Fillmore, CA, United States 04-20-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really disturbing ending"
    What did you like best about Defending Jacob? What did you like least?

    A basic murder mystery, lawyers and cops jousting. It was the kind of book that kept my attention but you could go for moments without paying attention and still know what was going on. I hated the ending. So sad. Such a downer.


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

    An airplane book


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

    No thanks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 04-19-12
    Nancy ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 04-19-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    21
    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
    81
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    468
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    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
    46
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    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
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
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