Reader reviews and comments on Defending Jacob, plus links to write your own review.

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Defending Jacob

A Novel

by William Landay

Defending Jacob
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Jan 2012, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2013, 496 pages

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There are currently 33 reader reviews for Defending Jacob
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Patricia B. (Columbia, SC) (10/23/11)

Defending Jacob/WLanday/Book Review
Mr. Landay gets carried away with himself trying to have the main character, Jacob's father, explain himself to the reader. This is annoying and unnecessary. He has his character assuming he knows what the reader must be thinking. Stop this!
The book labors in many places throughout. It seems to pick up most in the dialogue which moves the story forward better than the author/character's attempts at convincing the reader how smart or hip he is. There was a story to be told here, but Landay took too long to tell it. I had to force myself to keep reading this book and could take it in only carefully meted out doses.
The book is apparently more about a human being's extreme denial of anything approaching reality. If the reader is suppose to dislike the father, then Mr. Landay accomplished this. The book was all about the supposed intelligent father who was a perfect example of the ability of the male species's inability to see reality and deal with it head on. This book needs a lot of editing and revising before it is published. It was hit and miss over and over. A lot can be thrown out to tighten it up and make it a more compelling and powerful story. Please tell me the final copy will be a much more fine-tuned piece of work. Otherwise, I cannot recommend it to anyone to read. The reader has to struggle too much to enjoy the writing.
Gary R. (bolingbrook, IL) (10/18/11)

Violence in the blood
Without giving anything away,I'd have to say it's a good read about murder in the burbs, children committing murder? An ideal family? Is violence inherited? Not my child! Kept me reading but not outstanding in my opinion! If I'm allowed to say,you want outstanding try Andrew Vachss!
Jeff M. (Morris Plains, NJ) (10/18/11)

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.
Laura P. (Atlanta, GA) (10/13/11)

Defending Jacob
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) (10/12/11)

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) (10/12/11)

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) (10/12/11)

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) (10/12/11)

Defending Jacob
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.

I would certainly recommend this book, and think interesting discussions could evolve in any Book Group.

Beyond the Book:
  Courtroom Drama

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