Book Reviews

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Woohoo! I finally got to choose a book for our book club at work. I vehemently hate disappointing people, so I anguished over this decision. Right now, book club is small (4 of us), and we all have a wide variety of interests when it comes to books we usually read. I landed on one I wanted to re-read, Defending Jacob by William Landay.

Originally, I “read” this book on a cross-country trip with my sister. She was moving to the west coast, and I was the driver of the second car. I knew I didn’t like any music enough for a ~30 hour trip, so I tried my first ever audiobook! Defending Jacob was available through Libby (and I had it on my shelf too), so I went for it. Also, yes, I do not agree that listening to an audiobook is the same as reading it. It’s passive, not active.

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The Story

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.

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.

My Thoughts

I gave Defending Jacob four stars. Part of me felt that it dragged on in parts, but I would ABSOLUTELY recommend it to anyone. I mean, the last chapter just smacks you in the face.

I’m a sucker for crime drama shows (I watched just about every Law & Order: SVU marathon that USA had to offer), and this book was the perfect mix of a crime drama and the thrillers that I love.

At times, I do believe that the kids were portrayed a bit older than they actually are. Or maybe I just had a sheltered childhood. Throughout Defending Jacob, they’re in eighth or ninth grade and behavior is just farther beyond that age range.

Also, as if my endorsement wasn’t enough, Apple thought Defending Jacob was good enough to turn into a TV show, so that’s something.

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