Andy Barber's job is to put killers behind bars. So when a boy from his son Jacob's school is found stabbed to death, Andy is doubly determined to find and prosecute the perpetrator. Until a crucial piece of evidence turns up linking Jacob to the murder. In the face of every parent's worst nightmare, Andy and his wife Laurie will do anything to defend their child. Because, deep down, they know him better than anyone. Don't they?
©2012 William Landay (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
To listen to a book requires discipline and as an undisciplined reader, I sometimes struggle with the pace of a book. As a listener, the narrator decides what you know or don't know and how fast you learn it. The challenge for me is not to cheat!
This was more an ensemble narrative. Every character was important and liking or disliking them was irrelevant to me. As a story from the perspective of the father I suppose he should be the most likeable but he is too obtuse to be outstanding.
He has a clear mellifluous voice, able to create characters with subtle shifts of timbre and rate of speech. He created a believable mother and differentiated between the male characters with an authentic voice. Jacob was young and whiney enough but not so much that he irritated...as true teenagers often do.
Yes and no. Yes because I wanted so desperately to know what was going to happen and no because I did not want to finish listening to a masterpiece.
A very well written and narrated novel (which almost felt like a true account) of what a family and a community goes through, when this kind of incident occurs.
It draws the reader/listener in fully. I felt as if I were right there, with the family during dinner or breakfast discussions, driving to court, feeling their emotions. Frustration, concern and worry over their uncommunicative youngster became my own. I felt the pain of the murdered boys family, felt the ostracising and blame by the community.
One feels the tension between the mother's willingness to see hard truths yet still love her son, and the father's propensity to cover all in his strong sense of loyalty.
A very worthwhile and interesting read, with a strong psychological component.
I had to put this audio book on 2x speed, it just went into too much detail
Yes, I really did not expect the ending at all.
When Andy tells his wife his past, I really didn't think it mattered so much but her reaction becomes crucial to the rest of the story
The part of the book that dealt with the impact of Jacob's arrest and trial on the Barber family was the best aspect for me. The family sort of imploded under the pressure and this was well depicted and poignant, especially if you consider that the impact would have been the same regardless of the boy's guilt! I wasn't so taken with the individual characters who I found a little unbelievable (how could such a warm, loving, outgoing person as Laurie Barber end up with not one friend to stick by her through a crisis for example?). I also found the thread about inherited propensity for violence poorly dealt with.
Honestly I'm not sure, perhaps so but I won't be at the head of the queue.
Nothing, I really enjoyed the narration and was especially impressed with his voice for Jacob. It's hard for adults to 'do' teenagers but Meyers does it well.
Never commit a crime? But seriously, no.
"We need to talk about Jacob"
Written in a similar vein to "We need to talk about Kevin". You have this feeling of doom from the outset and actually partly dread the reveal as you know it's going to be bad.
This is the first time I've got so into a book, I'll put off other housework to listen to it! It's not a simple case of did the son commit a murder, it's the impact it has on the family and the past the father has to face for the first time.
A great listen, you'll enjoy it.
"Heartwrenching, doomed and simply perfect"
I recommend it highly, but not when one is in the mood for a light read. This is a story narrated by a father and District Attourney that finds himself on the other side of the barricade defending Jacob, his teenage son who is accused of murdering a classmate.
The ending is somehow unresolved but heartbreaiking and memorable,
He was perfect in conveying the attitude of the narrating protagonist, who tries to remain calm while his world slowly but inexorably disintegrates
There are several moments in the story where your heart really aches for the protagonist,
I found it particularly moving when he "discovers" the cruel teenagers' internet world, and what they say to and about his son, or when by chance they meet the family of the murdered boy.
"Good legal thriller"
So far it ranks No. 2 out of 3
Andy. I liked how he's always on his son's side, despite the many doubts.
He definitely plays well the characters during the several legal debates. I like how easily he shift from Andy to Neil, for example.
How well do you think you know your adolescent child?
I found it a bit too long, some legal details could have been left out and the story wouldn't have suffered.
"Introspective court room drama"
The ending is abrupt and leaves many unanswered questions, not least why was the main character in front of a grand jury?
Probably wouldn't try another, this was an interesting listen on a long car journey but slow progress on plot made it hard going
Performance was ok just never keen on men imitating women as they usually just sound pathetic
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