Defending Jacob by William Landay @WilliamLanday Publication Day 1-3–12 @delacortepress

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. 

I started and finished this book in one day. I love how the author wrote from the perspective of a father whose fourteen year old son was on trial for murder. Sometimes an author recreates a plot that has been written before. Sometimes it works really well because the wow factor is in the fine details.

This is exactly what Landay did in Defending Jacob. First of all, Jacob’s father could have had any other career, like a teacher, janitor, garbage man, banker or store owner. But I felt that writing him as a big wig lawyer involved in high profile murder trials, was a great twist in this plot. I also think ya mother reading this book would relate to Laura and Alex, parents of Jacob. Any parent, I would imagine, could never believe that child would ever be capable of such a crime.

Landay also revealed details at just the right pace and then hits you with a twist at the end that was like driving into a wall at 100 mph. Nicely done!

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.

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