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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 (4695 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lcowan 04-07-12
    Lcowan 04-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    602
    14
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    0
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    Story
    "I really, really,really, hate the "F" word"

    I suppose I could go back and count the times that hated word was used in this book, but, I don't want to, please don't make me! So I'm going to be a bit sloppy and simply guess that between the two worst offending chapters it's usage totaled maybe 30 times. I mean, REALLY?

    Yet, I loved this book! Great narrater (so natural), great sound quality, great editing, terrific direction. The author nailed the characters, especially the teens ( mother of four here)! Very glad I knew nothing of the story line that could ruin the middle and end for me - resist the urge to sneak a peek or read a spoiler.

    The story is told through the eyes of one of the family members: a realistic, understandable, complicated (though seemingly simple) clueless and endearing character. I enjoy the way the story is revealed, it keeps you intrigued in a very well crafted, tidy way. Nothing sloppy, lazy, stupid or redundant about this writing style (ok , ok except the multiple F Bombs), not over stylized or over polished or stilted either.

    I actually care about the main character in such a way that when it ended , I found my imagination curious about his welfare and couldn't help wondering what he is doing now. I believe there could be a sequel based simply on the fact that after getting attached to a character like this I hate to see him drift off into the ether- what a waste of "life" that is. Mr. Landay, can you bring him back? Pretty please?
    I am trying to not spill the beans so I will stop here. LISTEN TO THIS BOOK!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Tyler, TX, United States 04-05-12
    Laurie Tyler, TX, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
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    358
    18
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    2
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    "Read it blind"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it highly. Something about the character development and writing style reminded me a little of some of Jodi Picoult's work. The characters were developed so honestly that most parents can relate to the feelings of the Jacob's parents.
    I would recommend reading it 'blind'. In other words, the less you read about it and know about it ahead of time, the more enjoyable you will find it. I read it completely blind so was surprised by the twists and turns it takes. Great book, great performance. Solid hit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle Wayne 04-03-12
    Gayle Wayne 04-03-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
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    47
    33
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    0
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    "Twists and turns in a clever tale"
    Where does Defending Jacob rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Defending Jacob is one of the books I will recommend to others. It was a compelling and unusual story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The unexpected plot twists kept my interest and even though foreshadowing kept me thinking ahead, I was still not entirely prepared for the ending. That ending, and a few other places in the book, required a full suspension of my reality filter. Even though some parts lacked believability, it was still a great tale.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    He is always entertaining, and has just enough variety in his characters to make them believably distinct.


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

    THe dad -- because I could relate to him.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth your time to read this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawne Syracuse, NY, United States 03-31-12
    Shawne Syracuse, NY, United States 03-31-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    38
    5
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    "somewhat predictable but enjoyable"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It was a good book for what it was - sort of suspense trying to be literary I think. The best part of the writing was that the author did a really good job with the unreliable narrator and I'd definitely keep that. The thing I didn't like was that it was a bit predictable. I pretty much knew how it was going to end about halfway through the book - not the specific details, but the basics of it. I'm not sure how that could be fixed, but it was a flaw in my opinion.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Predictable. I knew it was coming.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene when Jacob's father is talking to the girl in his school and she says something about how he must be a good father. I thought it was a moving moment and the layers and bit of irony were well done.


    Did Defending Jacob inspire you to do anything?

    Kept me on the elliptical trainer a few extra minutes to get to the end of a chapter.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Freeland, PA, United States 03-31-12
    Lisa Freeland, PA, United States 03-31-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    21
    17
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    "Awesome Suspense - Defending Jacob"

    This was recommended by a friend and I loved it. The book had a great storyline, the ending was not what I expected at all. I could not put this down, and had to keep listening until I finished it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyndia Manteca, CA, United States 03-29-12
    Lyndia Manteca, CA, United States 03-29-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved loved loved"
    Would you listen to Defending Jacob again? Why?

    No. It's just not my style. I never re-read or re-listen to a book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the science and psychology. Obviously, I haven't kept up with it because I had never heard of the gene they were referring to, so I looked it up. Very interesting.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Absolutely wonderful! I have since listened to Mr. Gardner read and he has become my favorite reader!


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

    For the Love of Our Children


    Any additional comments?

    I must say that the end of this book caught me off guard, I never suspected for a moment. It brought tears to my eyes. This book was wonderful and I think it would make a spectacular movie!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter North Hero, VT, United States 03-29-12
    Walter North Hero, VT, United States 03-29-12 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    "Didn't live up others high ratings"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. The narrator was annoying. Sounded like a much older New Yorker rather than middle aged Bostonian. The story was drawn out. It was hard to believe the father's inability to question his son. His denial of other aspects of his own life were also difficult to believe and undermined the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana E. Warren Alberton, Montana USA 03-27-12
    Dana E. Warren Alberton, Montana USA 03-27-12 Member Since 2014

    Deensy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A book that stays in your mind"

    This book was both wonderful and horrible. The story was well written, it is the story that leaves you feeling horrible. Great book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leila Kirkconnell San Bernardino, CA United States 03-24-12
    Leila Kirkconnell San Bernardino, CA United States 03-24-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
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    78
    3
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    Story
    "gripping novel"
    Where does Defending Jacob rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    Defending Jacob ranks high on my list right along with Jodi Picoult's novels.


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

    Blood spatter on Jacob't swim trunks.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    courtroom


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

    Most probably it would be Andrew. For a D.A., he is very unassuming and loyal to a fault.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jewelry Lover Baltimore, MD United States 03-23-12
    Jewelry Lover Baltimore, MD United States 03-23-12 Member Since 2001

    K. Cobb

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    61
    4
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    "Great Book"
    If you could sum up Defending Jacob in three words, what would they be?

    I enjoyed this book from beginning to end...great narration and I like that you are not really sure where the author is going as the tale unfolds. Will recommend to friends.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of them are memorable


    What about Grover Gardner???s performance did you like?

    I like his pacing and feeling


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

    Did he or didn't he?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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