Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob
by William Landay
Why did you choose this book? I really had no idea what this was about, but I was attracted to the cover. 
When did you read this book? February 2012
Who should read this book? readers of legal thrillers, Jodi Picoult fans
Here is a synopsis of ‘Defending Jacob' from Goodreads, where it rates 4.03 stars.
Source: ebook borrowed from my local library
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty 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 fourteen-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, 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.

My Review 
I didn’t really know much about this when I picked it up, but I liked the cover, and the synopsis sounded somewhat interesting! I have to tell you, it is quite a bit more than somewhat interesting! I truly had trouble putting this one down! 
As the synopsis indicates, Andy is a long time, successful and respected assistant DA, married to Laurie, a psychologist, with a 14 year old son, Jacob, who is quiet and somewhat a loner. They attribute this to typical teen angst. Their world is rocked when one of Jacob’s classmates is found brutally murdered. Andy is intent upon finding the killer and making sure his community is safe....until the day he is suddenly dismissed from the case, and Jacob arrested for murder! Suddenly, Andy and Laurie are left questioning their son’s innocence. 
To complicate the story, Andy must tell Laurie that his father is indeed still alive and serving a sentence for murder, and that Jacob may have the ‘murder gene’. No matter what, though, Andy believes in his son and his innocence. Laurie, on the other hand, struggles with this doubt and the possibility that she may have given birth to a monster.
This story will keep you guessing....‘obviously Jacob is guilty’....‘wait, he didn’t do it’...’oh, yes he did!’...and on and on...I’m not going to tell you the final verdict or how the story ends. I will only tell you that this has a ‘Picoult’ style ending; a real surprise that will leave you wondering. I still haven’t decided if I like the ending, but I definitely like the book!
This would make a great book club selection with lots of discussion points from ‘what did you think of the ending’ to ‘is there really a murder gene’ to ‘is it ever ok to give up on your kids’! Read it! You won’t be sorry!
My Rating:  ★★★★   4 Stars

Challenges counted for:

  • Ebook Challenge
  • Support Your Local Library Challenge
  • New Author Challenge

Movie rights to Defending Jacob were recently picked up by Warner Brothers.
Here is the book trailer.

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