Advance reader reviews of Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob

A Novel

by William Landay

Defending Jacob
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

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  • Published in USA  Jan 2012
    432 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 24 member reviews
for Defending Jacob
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  • Susan R. (North Arlington, NJ)

    Much better than the typical thriller. Not generic or stock story lines.
    I haven't been able to get through any book for at least 6 months - it's been a real dry spell, but when I saw this book on the Book Browse web site, I was immediately attracted by it and requested a copy. I'm glad I did - it's the first book I have finished in a long time. I've put down Oprah bestsellers half to two-thirds of the way through, but not this book. It is well written, not difficult to follow the plot or remember the characters (which is sometimes a problem when the author chooses to give everyone a name starting with the same letter). Don't misunderstand, it is definitely not simple. Mr. Landay is very careful to ensure continuity in his story. The plot is unusually interesting with no confusing parts (I didn't have to flip back and forth to figure things out). The story is clearly articulated and quite unique in my opinion. I liked the characters, especially Andy. My only request of the author would be to develop Laurie and Jacob's personalities an ounce more. The book was never boring, and there were a few surprises in the end which gave me the goosebumps. I am not generally a fan of legal thrillers or murder mysteries or courtroom drama, but this book was quite excellent and has every potential to be a best seller!! I'm not a librarian or book store owner. I am a nurse not too far from retirement (I hope) and was simply looking for a good read and it was! Enjoy!
  • Lisa E. (Cincinnati, OH)

    Realistic but Engaging
    William Landay, the author of this legal thriller about the son of a prosecutor who is charged with murder is a former prosecutor himself, and this comes through in his portrayal of the courtroom. I used to be a lawyer, and there is nothing more irritating than the Perry Mason moments in legal fiction--the surprise witness, who confesses on the witness stand. Never happens! Landay portrays all aspects of a legal case, from preparation to the trial itself, realistically, yet he keeps the tension high and the pace quick. A great thriller.
  • Patricia F. (Stony Brook, New York)

    Defending Jacob...Be Afraid....
    Prepare to be hooked from the first pages! Defending Jacob is the best kind of thriller..subtle at first, but then you are along for the ride! A seemingly traditional, ordinary family living their lives and then exposed by a series of events unfolding transforming this "ordinary" family into one exposed through the media and the judicial process. The fright comes from the impact on this "ordinary" family. As a reader, you can't help but think..could this happen to me and mine? Chilling...and highly recommended.
  • Sandy P. (Gainesville, FL)

    Well worth the time
    This book differed from others (i.e. The Hour I First Believed) in that it brought to light the danger of rumors on social media and the damage they can cause....right into the courtroom. Just when I was beginning to think the plot would dissolve Mr. Landay brought in a few twists to keep interest going, i.e. Who the heck of Father Leary and where did he come from?? I thought the final pages were riveting, sad and yet tied up all loose ends for me. I'll look for Mr. Landay's earlier works.
  • Dawn Zuber (Canton, MI)

    Defending Jacob - excellent read!
    Defending Jacob alternates between first person accounts from the point of view of Andy Barber, former assistant D.A., and the transcript of Andy’s grand jury testimony regarding – well, we’re not sure what the grand jury is investigating until the end of the book. Andy tells the story of defending his son, fourteen-year-old Jacob, who is accused of murdering a classmate.

    I found it hard to put this book down. Despite being a thriller, it explores family connections, loyalty, and truth. I plan to read it a second time, which, for me, is a very rare reaction to a book.
  • Jeff M. (Morris Plains, NJ)

    Defending Jacob
    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.
  • 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.

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