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Publisher's Summary

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 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 14-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, and 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.
©2012 William Landay (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

“Landay has proven himself to be an extraordinary writer, and Defending Jacob is an amazing novel. Do yourself a favor and read it. It’s that good.” (Nicholas Sparks, #1 New York Times best-selling author)
“Harrowing . . . This searing narrative proves the ancient Greek tragedians were right: the worst punishment is not death but living with what you—knowingly or unknowingly—have done.” ( Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“[Landay] reaches a new level of excellence with this riveting, knock-your-socks-off legal thriller. With its masterfully crafted characterizations and dialogue, emotional depth, and frightening implications, the novel rivals the best of Scott Turow and John Grisham. Don’t miss it.” ( Booklist, starred review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By cristina on 03-12-12


Despite the reviews, I hesitated downloading "Defending Jacob" because of the subject matter (kid/parent angst, bullies, person-trapped-in-the-legal-system, etc.). It seemed like it would be a predictable plot. I couldn't have been more wrong!

This is one of the best court room drama?family drama? suspense novel? I have read/listened to. The characters were incredibly well developed -- the parents' relationship with their son was almost painful just because it was so believable ("this could have happened to anyone!"). The plot is incredibly intense. I literally sat in a parking lot with my mouth open as the final minutes were read. And the PERFORMANCE!!! A tour de force. The reader did such an unbelievable job that I am actually afraid to recommend the novel to people who might just 'read' it because I felt he added so much (was the novel THIS good in print?). Could not praise this audiobook enough.

(I read Mr. Landay's two previous novels recently -- I saw the great reviews of "Defending Jacob" but, like I said, I was avoiding it because of the plot, so I chose to read his earlier books first. Obviously, the author is mastering his craft. I can't wait for his next novel!)

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85 of 87 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By karen on 03-27-13

BRAVO!!!! Outstanding!

I bought three 'unknown' books at the same time -- books written by authors new to me, writers and books I'd never heard of before or seen, outside of Audible. I listened to the first two, which were only so-so, and I was just about to remind myself to stick to known quantities from now on. All that said, I wasn't expecting much when I started 'Defending Jacob'. But WOW -- this one made up for what the other two lacked.

It's hard to say much about this book without giving too much away -- I can say that as I was listening, I felt myself getting furious with first the father, then the mother, for the way they saw, and treated, their son. The father was of the "my son can do no wrong" school of thought, which seemed totally ridiculous under the circumstances. The mother allowed herself to be drawn in by some nutty theory of genetic inclination to murder, which -- as described in this situation -- was just as bizarre. But that's the mark of a good book -- I couldn't stop listening. I was so involved with the characters -- we don't actually hear much from Jacob himself -- that I couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

Nor will I betray anything else about the plot suffice it to say I listened to the ending, couldn't quite believe what I'd heard, so went back and listened to the last hour again. LOL -- great fun! What a book! Way beyond excellent plot, perfect narration, and all in all, one of the best of the year. Don't miss this one.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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