Tuesday, January 31, 2012

(13)Defending Jacob by William Landay

Defending Jacob

Publication Date: January 31, 2012

Pages: 432

Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber has seen a lot in his twenty plus years in a Massachusetts courtroom.  It is a typical Spring morning when he is called to the scene of a homicide.  But this time it is a young boy who was found stabbed to death in the park.  He does not realize it at the time, but the young boy is a classmate of his fourteen year old son, Jacob.

It is not long before Andy is pulled off of the case and his son, Jacob, becomes the prime suspect.  Even though his marriage starts to unravel and his career is halted, Andy is adamant that there is no way his fourteen year old son is a cold blooded killer, and he will stop at nothing to clear his son's name and get their life back.

Okay with that synopsis you would expect Defending Jacob to be your typical procedural courtroom drama kind of book.  And it is.  Until it becomes more.  I honestly had to talk myself out of giving up on this book.  It was a bit dry in a lot of the areas and I found myself disliking Jacob, in that way that I dislike a lot of teen boys, (LOL) as the story went on.  But I knew that critics such as Kirkus and Publishers Weekly were giving it such great reviews that I wanted to stick with it to find out what was so great.  And I am soooooooo glad that I did.  The twist at the end left me speechless.  Think about the twist in There's Something About Kevin and magnify it exponentially and you have the shock I felt at the end of Defending Jacob.

The author has written characters as real as you will find in a novel such as this one.  Jacob appears to be your typical teenager caught up in things such as Facebook and his iPod, oblivious to the world around him and the consequences his actions may have. Andy is your typical suburban Father who goes to work, comes home, and spends very little quality time with his son, but still believes that he could do no wrong.  Laurie is almost your typical suburban Mom, but the difference between her and her husband is that she has spent time with Jacob, and she has the nagging fear in the back of her heart that it is possible he is guilty of what he is accused.  They dysfunctional family dynamic is not new to the Barber family, but this generation of  Barbers,  takes dysfunction to a whole new level.

Bottom line - this is a must read for anyone who loves a good legal thriller.  Or anyone who loves a book with a shocking ending.  I know you will probably want to put it in the "Did Not Finish" pile about the halfway point in the book, but really, you must stick with this one.  The reward is great and you will thank me for it later.


Cute cowboy boots said...

This is on my TBR list to read this year also, it seemed to be on all the Mystery lovers top list.

I enjoy books told from muliple characters.

Being a mom definitely puts a new spin on those stories.

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