Book Review: Defending Jacob by William Landay

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This legal thriller will have you questioning just how far a family is willing to go to protect their own and at what cost.

From Goodreads:
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.

I love legal thrillers and the courtroom drama they provide. In Defending Jacob, we get this drama from the unique perspective of Andy Barber, being both a DA and the accused murderer’s father. It’s uniqueness comes from Andy providing the courtroom commentary and also offering a behind the scenes look of what is taking place.

Andy and his family have a lot to deal with. Their lives are uprooted by the turmoil of Jacob’s trial. They lose friendships, their standing in the community and the ability to live normal lives. Fears and doubts about themselves and Jacob cloud Andy and his wife’s judgement. They are hopelessly flawed which makes them seem that much more real.

The book was suspenseful and surprising. Twice I thought I knew how the story was going to end and both times I was pleasantly surprised with a twist of storytelling that changed the dynamics.

If you enjoy legal thrillers and want a thought-provoking drama, this is a great choice.

View this book on Goodreads.

View this book on Amazon.

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