Defending Jacob by William Landay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I purchased this book for $1.99 through one of my Book Bub daily email deals. It was definitely a bargain, and I wouldn’t have minded paying full price for it, but you never know what you’re going to get based on only a “blurb.” I was pleasantly surprised.
The blurb described Defending Jacob as a legal thriller, one of my favorite genres. The book is about Andy Barber, assistant district attorney, and his family. Andy is on the case when a 14 year old boy is murdered, but he must recuse himself when his sfon Jacob is accused murdering his classmate. The courtroom drama is expertly interwoven with family drama.
I admit that the story moved somewhat slowly in the beginning, and the chapters were rather long making it difficult to find a stopping place. But once I was about 100 pages in, I didn’t want to find a stopping point. The clues kept me interested and engaged. There were several plot twists that I didn’t see coming, and the ending surprised me.
This book reminded me of Jodi Piccoult’s House Rules, another book I thoroughly enjoyed. Both feature teenagers are accused of murdering a classmate. Both of the boys admit being at the scene at some point, and neither teen is asked point blank if he did it. The young man in House Rules is autistic. While the teenager accused in Defending Jacob is never labelled autistic in the book, many of his behaviors indicate that he is somewhere on the spectrum.
What a dilemma, to have your son prosecuted by your condescending former mentee, to be on the other side of the fence. Are Andy and his wife blind to their son’s guilt, or are they certain of their son’s innocence?
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