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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

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  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 06-18-12
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2010

    MTF

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "original legal mystery"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH PITTSBURGH, PA United States 06-15-12
    CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH PITTSBURGH, PA United States 06-15-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grace Setauket, NY, United States 06-12-12
    Grace Setauket, NY, United States 06-12-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Defending Jacob is layered and complex"

    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.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-04-12
    06-04-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Once I got over the tease it was good"

    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 .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David CINCINNATI, OH, United States 05-27-12
    David CINCINNATI, OH, United States 05-27-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Good story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 05-19-12
    Beth SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 05-19-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Thought-provoking"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 05-19-12
    Linda 05-19-12 Member Since 2011

    Linda in Omaha

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't stop listening."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meryl CUMBERLAND CENTER, MAINE, US 05-15-12
    Meryl CUMBERLAND CENTER, MAINE, US 05-15-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extremely compelling, not an easy read..."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad B Traveling 05-15-12
    Brad B Traveling 05-15-12 Member Since 2013

    Brad Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Real life nightmare"
    If you could sum up Defending Jacob in three words, what would they be?

    Real life nightmare


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

    I would prefer not to say as I don't want to spoil it for others


    Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I have and I have thoroughly enjoyed all his work.


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

    Jacob's mother. Again I don't want to give the reason as it would be a spoiler.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a very good book, with twists and turns and an unexpected ending. I will certainly watch for more books by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elzbth Stn Trnstnl Hsng Roxbury, MA United States 05-14-12
    Elzbth Stn Trnstnl Hsng Roxbury, MA United States 05-14-12 Member Since 2011
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    "What an ending."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book. It was well paced and even the sometimes tricky time and place changes made sense.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really liked the the complexity of the father's character and his almost wistful love for his son.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    Grover Gardner became the father for me. Beautifully acted.


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

    I bought the book because I was caught by the title. It didn't disappoint so I would not rename the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't get complacent when listening to this book. There are always surprises.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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