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.
“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)
The story keeps you so engaged. It's impossible to stop listening because you just want to see what will happen next!
Jacob's mother. She is dedicated to her son but also torn. She comes across as so human.
I quite enjoyed listening to this audiobook until the ending made me wish I hadn't listened at all. The narrator is very good and the characters are interesting. The ending just really sucked. And it's not just a sad/happy thing. It feels like I was so wrapped up in the lives of these characters and the author just pulled a cruel trick on me.
Lots of interesting questions arose as I read this book. Is Jacob guilty of murder? Is our justice system efficient and fair? Is there such a thing as a murder gene? Just how responsible are parents for the actions of their children?
I kept trying to like Jacob....but as evidence stacked up, it became increasingly difficult. Mr. Landay took us through a process similar to what his parents were feeling.
This is less Jacob's story than it is the story of his parents.
I enjoyed this book and thoroughly enjoy Grover Gardner's narration. Lots of turns in this story and I would recommend to those enjoying a good mystery.
Yes. It is a story that could happen to any couple with teenagers.
When the mother decided to kill her son and herself.
It ended too quickly with regard to the next court case.
Yes I would this book keeps you guessing right up to the last page I love it!
The novel is well written and Grover Gardner is one of my favorite male narrators. The storyline is quite believable until the last 1/3 of the book when it veers off into the unbelievable. But by that point, I was hooked and so listened until the very end.
My wife suggested this book for a road trip from Boston to Denver. It’s a great story and very well read. My daughter and I were riveted during the reading/listening sessions and couldn't wait to get back in the car to pick up where we left off the night before. It made driving I-80 through Iowa and Nebraska even better. (Even the 7 month old Golden pup/passenger was entranced!)
So Many Books, So Little Time
This is one of the most disturbing books I have read in a long time. Told from the perspective of Jacob Barber's father, a successful attorney, it shifts back and forth in time between an inquest in which Andy, the father, is being questioned and the book's main narrative. The writing is good and, though it did seem a bit over-wrought in places, I never lost interest.
When a fourteen year old boy is found knifed to death in a nearby park suspicion falls on Andy Barber's 14 year old son, Jacob, a classmate of the dead boy. The narrative is mostly about the trial and the revelations that begin to unfold about the problems within this family and the secrets Andy has kept all his life about his family history, including his father who is serving a life-sentence for murder.
Slowly we begin to realize this family has a LOT of secrets. Jacob was bullied in school by the dead boy. Jacob has some very disturbing behaviors of his own. Laurie, Jacob's mother, is shocked when she finds out about her husband's secrets and is unable to reconcile these revelations and their implications for her own son. When a psychiatrist adds some frightening (and I thought specious) opinions about Jacob's behavior, Andy overlooks them but Laurie becomes obsessed with them.
This is an extremely complex story and the ending is quite disturbing. I'm not really sure how I felt about it. I admired Andy's ability to trust in his son and I found Laurie's inability to do that quite upsetting. This is not a book one soon forgets -- and that makes it a better than average read.
The narration was quite good. Since I live in the Boston area, I especially appreciated the narrator's ability to handle the local accents.
suspenseful, thought provoking
The ending made me think. I wondered what I would do in a similar situation.
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