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)
I guess I might be spoiled by being used to plot twists - the end of the book was predictable for me. The book was very slow and if I read the printed version I would have been skipping paragraphs.
I read a snippet of this book on my mom's NOOK, and I came over here to buy the book on Audible because of that little snippet. I thought it would be good; however, it sorely lacks something. I don't know if it was the narrator or the content, and it may even be the story line itself. The author jumps back and forth from the court room to Jake's room or from the court room to the coffee shop. He doesn't indicate where Andy, the father is, until Andy says "Witness... Blah, blah, blah" or "Mr. Lejudice.. Blah, blah, blah." You really have to pay close attention throughout this story. The characters don't seem to mesh with each other, and there are a few times when you might just want to hurl at some of the character development for Jake. Without giving away too much, it would appear that the Barbour family have a historical gene throughout their lineage that the author dubs the "murder gene" and Jake, Andy, Andy's father, and his grandfather all have this gene, which makes it far more possible that they will kill someone than not. Jake is only 14, but he has a mean streak in him a mile wide, and he hurts innocent animals, etc. Just plain creepy is what it was. Made me want to hurl when I heard it, and then to have to hear it several times more was really hard to get through. Every time the author wrote in an animal crying or screaming in pain, the first thing one thinks of after this is where is Jake..
I can't say that I would recommend this book to anyone that is faint of heart or who has trouble following a book all over the place. The content could have been formatted better, arranged better, and quite possibly written a lot better. The ending is just horrible.
This book was well written and the ending is not what you would expect.
I like when a story is unpredictable. This story was just that.
A diiferent story line all together. This was like sitting in court room and being forced to sit on hard benches and listen to a whining lawyer. Very boringly painful!
Nothing by this author sad to say.
Whining inflections, lack of voice control for the differing personas, it hurt so much I gave up after the second hour of listening. Unless you really like fingernails on the chalk board....
Story -- narative-- setting-- none of this was worth a penny!
Don't waste a cent or credit! I've listened to 100+ audio books and this was absolutely the worst. Where do I go to get my money back?
This was a pretty good book. Not excellent in that can't-put-it-down sort of way. But pretty good. It causes the reader to wonder what they would do if they were confronted with a crime that appeared to be committed by their own child. The author does a good job showing the parent's agony, decisions (good and bad), and even includes a bit about the financial hardships experienced by people in this type of situation.
The reader was pretty good. I had to do a little mental adjusting at first because I'd just finished another book read by the same person. It took a while for me to remember I wasn't listening to the same character, just the same narrator!
Landay skillfully guides the reader into making assumptions. I don't want to spoil the book by saying more, but the end of the book was a surprise. You think you know where the author is heading, and--then the rug is pulled out from under you.
The characters were so well drawn, and then performed beautifully. Grover Gardner sure knows how kids would deliver the unerring teenage dialogue. Not only the kids, but everyone's characterization and the unspoken emotional content were unerringly interpreted by Gardner. He perfectly differentiated the characters with his spot on performance.
I don't know about the accuracy of the psychological information presented, but it felt appropriate.
Not having access to the printed book, I don't know how the prosecutor's name is spelled, but scenes in which Lejudas(sp?) struts about are all my favorites, mainly for the grim, subtly comic relief they provide.
It keeps you guessing.
Yes I would recommend and have recommended many times!
The ending---say no more!
Grover Gardner is in my Top-5-Narrarators. He is always excellent!
Get this book---you will not be sorry! Use those credits!
Love to shop
interesting, captivating, surprising
John Grisham type books because of the courtroom aspect
Very well written
For a relatively short book, the characters are well-developed. Most interestingly, they are developed through the eyes of the main character, the father of the accused, with his biases. The book is rich with "what would you do" moments, any one of which has the potential to change the entire story. And, though the author wraps things up differently than I would choose, I think everything is done in a credible, if not very likely, fashion. Grab the book and let your moral dilemmas begin!
Your son is on trial for murdering a classmate. As the trial unfolds, little niggling doubts creep in about his innocence. Nothing solid, just disturbingly suggestive. What would you do? That's the story this book poses. Highly recommended.
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