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.
The consensus is in: BookBrowse readers think William Landay's Defending Jacob is a hit - 23 out of 24 reviewers rated it 4 or 5 stars! Here's what they have to say:
There were a few surprises in the end that gave me the goosebumps (Susan R)! Prepare to be hooked from the first pages. Defending Jacob is the best kind of thriller... subtle at first, but then you're along for the ride! As a reader, you can't help but think: could this happen to me and mine? Chilling... and highly recommended (Patricia F). (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
Landay does the seemingly impossible by coming up with a new wrinkle in the crowded subgenre of courtroom thrillers.
Starred Review. 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.
Starred Review. 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.
New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin
A stunning novel that will be compared to classic courtroom thrillers like Presumed Innocent and Anatomy of a Murder.
New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks
William Landay makes bold use of his genuine storytelling gift, his amazing ability to craft believable dialogue, and, above all, his extraordinary understanding of what it means to be a husband and father to present us with an unforgettable tale of an ordinary marriage and family in crisis.
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner
Powerful... leaves you gasping breathlessly at each shocking revelation.
Carla Buckley, author of The Things That Keep Us Here
Landay spins a tale of such complexity and emotion that you don't even realize you're spiraling deep into his world until he spits you out at his shocking, shattering conclusion.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Eleanor B. Thrope Defending Jacob When I was a college student in the forties with a major in psychology, the constant argument in that time by the professionals was Nature versus Nurture, heredity versus environment. I was then and still of the opinion that Nature (Heredity)... Read More
Rated of 5
by HHS Needed more at end from Jacob Needed more of a solid confession/admission from Jacob (at the end). It was really frustrating to not have that & be guessing based on the narrative alone... Obviously we all know from the animal abuse/torture that he's sick & he probably... Read More
Rated of 5
by Becky H Boring beginning and middle I almost quit reading this book several times, only the glowing reviews kept me going. The first 3/4 of the book had me wondering why anyone would think this whiney, self-serving and self deluded man would be a good ADA. Jacob and Laurie were... Read More
Rated of 5
by rob overrated Good concept for a book, however parts that drag out with too much description. Create your own ending, because the one it ends with is fast and disappointing. The murder genre is good writing. Bullying, good topic. Not as good as critics say.
Rated of 5
by Vivian Harrington Is There a Murder Gene? This book was far more fascinating than I'd expected with a focus on family dynamics and what happens to a seemingly normal middle class family when an only child is charged with murder. I can't imagine anybody reading this story and not wondering... Read More
Rated of 5
by Lisa H. (Alamo, CA) Very Good book I definitely enjoyed this book, although not a home run in my opinion. Mostly because it didn't grab me right away. But I must say, once it started picking up speed I was engaged and enjoyed the twists and turns. At the center of the story is... Read More
The thrill of watching a trial unfold - the impassioned speeches, quick-witted lawyers, surprise witnesses, the piecing together of clues, not knowing if justice will prevail - it can all make for exciting, and in some cases legendary, storytelling. "Courtroom drama", a subgenre of "legal drama", is a term used to describe dramatic fiction in which legal litigation plays out with suspenseful and climactic courtroom scenes. In modern times, these scenes usually take place in what we recognize as legal courtrooms (hence the name), though in older texts the "courtrooms" might actually have looked like public forums or gatherings.
Though we often associate the genre with television (e.g. Perry Mason or Law and Order) or film (think of Jack Nicholson's "You can't handle the truth!" moment in A Few Good Men), courtroom drama is overwhelmingly popular in literature as well. [Indeed, it predates television and film by a couple thousand years; one of the first written works that we would now label as "courtroom drama" is The Eumenides, a Greek...
Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens -- until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...