William Landay's latest novel is the New York Times bestseller Defending Jacob. His previous novels are Mission Flats, which won the Dagger Award as best debut crime novel of 2003, and The Strangler, which was an L.A. Times favorite crime novel and was nominated for the Strand Magazine Critics Award as best crime novel of 2007.
William Landay's website
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In an in-depth interview, lawyer-turned-author William Landay discusses his courtroom thriller, Defending Jacob
The advance praise for your book has been tremendous, from authors as varied as Nicholas Sparks and Lee Child. What is it about Defending Jacob that is resonating with so many different kinds of readers?
The response has been tremendous, it's true. It's been very flattering and I'm grateful for it. I think there are a couple of things going on.
First, the story touches on ordinary, universal emotions about family and children. It raises a whole slew of questions that will feel awfully familiar to every parent and every family: Why do children behave as they do? How much is "hardwired" in their nature, how much is shaped by nurture? Why do good families sometimes produce bad children, or at least flawed children? What should parents do when a child begins to show signs of trouble? How far should you go in defending your child? Of course most parents will never be faced with the life-or-death stakes the Barbers confront in Defending Jacob, but I think all parents will see traces of their own hopes and anxieties in Laurie and Andy Barber.
I have two kids myself, boys who are seven and ten years old as I ...
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