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Jeff M. (Morris Plains, NJ)
A good legal thriller and very hard to put down, once you get involved in the story. Situation is a family and parent nightmare. There are parts of the story line that readers will see coming and not necessarily surprise them, but I found the last 20 pages to be an unexpected knockout. Recommended. Should do very well when released in January.
Laura P. (Atlanta, GA)
This crime/courtroom drama which tells the story of an Assistant District Attorney whose son is indicted for the murder of a middle-school classmate raises complex questions about the relationships between parents and children, between evidence and proof, between nature and nurture, and between truth and justice. The characters are realistic, though not particularly likable. The plot moves along using a combination of narration and grand jury transcripts - although it is not until the last ten pages that one is aware of the nature of the grand jury inquiry. The book is well-written and hard to put down - it's well worth the time it takes to read it.
Skye L. (Lake Oswego, OR)
An Utterly Compelling Read . . .
Defending Jacob by William Landay is not only a book into which one can sink her teeth but the questions which arise out of a teen accused of a classmate's murder are utterly compelling. Do we inherit a genetic tendency toward "being bad?" Are we ever capable of seeing what may be the bedrock of true evil in our own children? What lengths will a parent go to in order to protect a child from jail or worse - even when there's a niggling doubt about innocence. I read the book straight through - the characters are well developed, the reader cares about them and I didn't see, in any way, the end coming. A pleasure to read.
Tina E. (Annandale, VA)
You Won't Mind Waiting in the Carpool Line
I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping crime novel about the murder of a high school student. I took it with me everywhere so I could keep reading! I especially enjoyed the portrayal of a marriage and a family under severe stress; it was very realistic so I was able to identify with the characters and care about them. I'm always looking for books that I will stay up late to finish; this is one of those books!
Ginny H. (Oregon)
Defending Jacob by William Landry
I was thrilled to receive this book as an advanced reader's copy mainly because of the book description. I simply was unable to put it down. A taut legal thriller about a district attorney and his journey to defend his 14-year-old son who is accused of the murder of a classmate, there are many twists and turns and the ending completely stunned me. I can't wait to read William Landry's earlier books and will look forward to his next.
Freya H. (Phoenix, AZ)
I found it difficult to put this book down. Each time I tried, little questions kept niggling, thus many things were set aside until the last page was read. The characters were well developed, the plot engrossing, and the ending so thought provoking.
Arden A. (Lady Lake, FL)
Can You Love Your Children Too Much
I would certainly recommend this book, and think interesting discussions could evolve in any Book Group.
Jacob was a quiet 14 year old kid who did not go around with the “in” crowd. He didn't have a lot of friends; he was “bullied.” And his grandfather was a murderer. Is violence genetic? Does it skip generations? Or can it be suppressed, while lying latent, waiting for some provocation. Is there such a thing as a “murder gene?” What responsibilities lie with the parents when faced with the accusation that their child may have committed murder? All of these questions come into play in this absorbing, well-written novel, which story rotates between the transcript from a Grand Jury testimony and the prior events that took place place following a murder. It offers thought-provoking insights into marriage and parenthood, and dealing with very difficult circumstances, and it is an excellent read.
Jennifer F. (Saratoga, CA)
Fast paced, exciting thriller
Reminiscent of a John Grisham novel, William Landay's Defending Jacob kept me turning the pages late into the night. The characters are believable and the writing moves along, although the ending is a bit predictable.