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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 (3912 )
5 star
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4.2 (3336 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bruce M. McConihe Potomac, MD United States 02-11-13
    Bruce M. McConihe Potomac, MD United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting plot."
    What did you love best about Defending Jacob?

    The plot is fascinating and compelling. Reading of the transcript is a bit awkward.


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

    Discovery of who Jacob is.


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

    The father's delimnas.


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

    Probably wouldn't be movie material.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barc2003 Glendale, AZ, United States 02-11-13
    barc2003 Glendale, AZ, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    186
    59
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Predictable story line with a surprise ending"

    The is the story of a police detective whose son is charged with murder or a classmate. The father, of course, is convinced of his son's innocence and sets out to prove it. There are some unexpected turns in the story that I won't elaborate on to avoid spoiling the story for others.

    I felt the story could have been written better, it's almost to "matter of fact" and the narrator was a bit monotone. I found it a bit dry and somber. There comes a point where you realize where the story is going but you aren't sure how it is going to get there.

    All in all, Defending Jacob is OK, not great but OK. I would encourage the author to be more animated in future writings.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Coulson St Charles, IL, US 02-11-13
    Jeanne Coulson St Charles, IL, US 02-11-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Defending Jacob to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the print version


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

    I wouldn't compare it, very unique


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    He was excellent to listen to, made me feel like he really was the character of the story


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

    The mother, we never really saw inside her thoughts and I would have liked to know how she got to where she did. I can guess but would love to hear her tell it


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best books I've read or listened to and the end was really surprising and unexpected

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa NEWARK, OH, United States 02-06-13
    Teresa NEWARK, OH, United States 02-06-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpected"
    Would you listen to Defending Jacob again? Why?

    Yes I enjoyed it. Legal drama spiced up with family drama.


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

    As good as a John Grisham novel


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Nice easy listen


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

    Riveting - do you really know your family


    Any additional comments?

    I will look for other stories by this author.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darlene ENGLISH, INDIANA, United States 01-04-13
    Darlene ENGLISH, INDIANA, United States 01-04-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Yada Yada Yada"
    Would you try another book from William Landay and/or Grover Gardner?

    This was nothing, perhaps less than nothing. Very sorry to have spent money on this one.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Hopefully something better than this.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Perhaps some diversity within the storyline


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Sorry not from my point of view.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Sippel San Jose, CA United States 12-04-12
    R. Sippel San Jose, CA United States 12-04-12 Member Since 2007

    Chef

    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    317
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where is Tara?"

    Andy, Laura, narrated by Grover and the style of the writing I kept wondering if William Landay is actually David Rosenfelt. I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I didn't love the Andy Carpenter series so much. I felt the only things missing in this book was some humor and Tara.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Longmont, CO, United States 11-18-12
    Martha Longmont, CO, United States 11-18-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A parent's worse nightmare."

    ADA Barber is co-defending his 14 year old son in a charge of murdering a classmate. Three generations of male Barber's carry the "murder gene". The family literally falls apart until a child molester is found hung with a confession to the murder. The families joy is short lived when a young girl disappears during a family vacation in Jamaica. A families guilt and heartache are palpable.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Richmond, TX, United States 11-08-12
    Susan Richmond, TX, United States 11-08-12 Member Since 2011

    This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    166
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This father never doubts his son's innocense"

    You continue to wonder if the murderer is Jacob. He is the perfect suspect and you understand why the police and everyone else believes he is guilty. But, for no other reason than experience and love, his father knows it couldn't have been Jacob. He loses his work, his friends, and his future, but he had no other choice, this was his son. This was a really good story to listen to and I really liked the narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mema Seattle, WA USA 07-20-12
    Mema Seattle, WA USA 07-20-12 Member Since 2007

    Wife, Mother, Mema, Sister

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    296
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    4
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Listened straight through this one"

    Boy, can't say to much without spoiling the story. This was really a good listen, and Grover Gardner was terrific as narrator. It's an odd story and even though you think it's predictable it isn't. Enjoy

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Fentress 06-04-12 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Story!"

    Well written story and the main character is someone to like. Can't give too much of a review as the listener needs to follow the storyline and absorb the information as the author lays it out.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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