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)
In this mystery with lots of courtroom drama, an assistant DA must surrender a murder case when his 15 year old son is accused of the crime. Realistic and engaging family dynamics are the strength of this novel, as the parents of Jacob struggle with the possibility that their son is a killer. The weaknesses -- not a lot happens and some of the courtroom scenes drag a bit. The pluses, though, outweigh the minuses, with the originality bumping this us to a 4 star rec for me. The reader is very solid, and I enjoyed this book.
Since Grover Gardner is narrating, it adds one star to the whole process. The familiarity of the names Andy and Lori are a little disconcerting as GG narrates all the Andy Carpenter books. I sometimes forget this isn't Carpenter and wonder where Tara is. I did enjoy the book.
This is not just your average court-room thriller. It examines family dynamics, personality, character, and ethics as well as keeping you guessing and on the edge of your seat.
So here's the thing I am a HUGE David Rosenfeld fan. The main Character's name is Andy and he's a lawyer and his wife (who he adores) name is Lori and they lived in a suburb of Boston (ok so its not NJ) and Grover Gardner is reading. I got all excited that I had burned a David Rosenfeld book and was waiting to laugh ..I waited and waited until the story line took me but I couldn't get past all the parallels.
This was heart wrenchingly sad and a good book . I just wish that someone else had read it and the characters names were not Andy and Lori. I couldn't get totally past that .
Almost four stars. The narrator does a great job. The voice never really changes but he still gives each character a distinct voice.
The story is good, riveting, but not surprising. The author leads us to the conclusion, dropping hints along the way so we aren't thrown for a loop. Most of the story takes place in the courtroom and it held my interest.
As a parent, this book really made me think. How would I react if my own child was accused of a terrible crime? How would I react if, upon that accusation, I realized I didn't know my child as well as I thought I did? The author takes us on an emotional journey. I won't soon forget this story.
Linda in Omaha
I don't think I have ever used the term "riveting" in describing a book, but this one earns that distinction. Being a mother of sons, I could identify with the need to defend one of my own. Not a "feel-good" book, but definitely worth the time. The reader sounded like he could be an attorney and a father. I felt like I was listening to the true story of this family.
This book describes a very upsetting psychological nightmare for any parent. I practically could not breathe while reading it, I needed closure, I wanted peace, I was completely compelled by the set of circumstances illustrated within the text. It's not a relaxing story. It's well written, gracefully narrated, and utterly sad.
Real life nightmare
I would prefer not to say as I don't want to spoil it for others
Yes, I have and I have thoroughly enjoyed all his work.
Jacob's mother. Again I don't want to give the reason as it would be a spoiler.
This was a very good book, with twists and turns and an unexpected ending. I will certainly watch for more books by this author.
I would recommend this book. It was well paced and even the sometimes tricky time and place changes made sense.
I really liked the the complexity of the father's character and his almost wistful love for his son.
Grover Gardner became the father for me. Beautifully acted.
I bought the book because I was caught by the title. It didn't disappoint so I would not rename the book.
Don't get complacent when listening to this book. There are always surprises.
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