Monday, July 10, 2017


Rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up a copy of Defending Jacob by William Landay at Half Price Books annual clearance sale for a whopping $0.50. I think I got my money's worth.

Andy Barber, the story's narrator, is an attorney in Newton, Massachusetts. He has assigned himself the lead prosecutor in a high profile murder of one of his son's classmates. Things turn for the worst when his son, Jacob, is accused and put on trial for the murder of Ben Rifkin. Andy is suspended from his job, his wife and Jacob's mother is literally dying from stress, and the whole family becomes outcasts in the community.

From there, Landay takes you on a roller coaster ride of a trial along including betrayal from friends and relatives, conflicts between professional and personal lives, and suspicious characters lurking in dark places. In the end, the author offers up, what I deem two plot twists that leave you jaw ajar. There is a conclusion, but I wouldn't say it's a particularly tidy one.

I enjoyed the legal aspect of this story as well as the moral question - how far will a parent (or parents) go for their child(ren)? There are parts in the book that flash forward to present day, making the reading a little confusing. I gave this book 3 stars because I guessed one of the plot twists, which is really saying something because I'm not that great at solving mysteries. However, the writer's style was thought-provoking and interesting enough to keep me engaged as a reader throughout its 400+ pages.

Recommendation: If you are a parent and enjoy mysteries and don't mind graphic murder descriptions, you might find this one worth picking up. At $0.50 investment, you won't lose too much in return.

Until next time ... Read on!


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