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.
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, 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.
About The Author:
William Landay is the author of The Strangler, a Los Angeles Times Favorite Crime Book of the Year, and Mission Flats, winner of the Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for Best First Crime Novel and a Barry Award nominee. A former district attorney who holds degrees from Yale and Boston College Law School, Landay lives in Boston, where he is at work on his next novel of suspense. His latest release is Defending Jacob.
My only true reason for choosing this book to review for the tour, was the fact that I have a young son named Jakob. Spelled differently, I know, but as a parent of a young child, I instantly think of what lengths I would go to to protect him, no matter what he did. That’s the reason I chose this book to review. I will be honest. It took me weeks to read this book. Why? Simply because this is such a mind-blowing, stunningly intense novel that I had to keep thinking and reflecting on it. It’s not a light read, but it’s an addictive, captivating, deeply detailed book that will hit home with ANY parent. It will leave you reflecting the minute you read the last page, back on your life as a parent, and one the story itself.
This novel is an intense, whirl-wind, head-spinning court room drama filled with complex characters and intriguing events. Jacob, the son of Attorney Andy Barber, is sitting in court being prosecuted? Why? He is accused of murder. Not just any murder. The murder of his classmate. The story is told through the eyes of Andy…he tells of events in his marriage, both happy and difficult. His family is exposed to the media, leaving everyone from Andy to Jacob vulnerable to the secrets within the family. Stress and shame take a toll on his marriage and family. Through the eyes of Andy, we see what is going on in the middle of the courtroom, the intensity of the trial, the pain and tragedy of a broken family drama.
I absolutely LOVED every minute of this novel. Again, I say it’s not a light read, but as a fan of night time crime dramas like CSI, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, this book came to life for me, and I felt like I was watching one of these addictive shows. I was swept away by the questions that weren’t asked, and the ones that were. Seeing the lengths to which a parent would go to defend their child hit home with me. While we read about the trial and about the family secrets, and the pain and turmoil, we are taken on an emotional journey ride of ups and downs, searching for clues, cheering Andy on, and defending Jacob right along with his father.
This is most definitely, beyond a 5 Book worthy novel. I highly recommend this novel of suspense, intensity, and family drama like no other. This is a book that is high on my favorite crime novels list and I am looking forward to another well written, complex and page-turning thriller from this highly talented rising author!