Defending Jacob by William Landay

By: Ashley Staff Email
By: Ashley Staff Email

Every now and then I feel like I come across a book that completely shocks me and has me thinking about it constantly. Well ladies and gentleman I have just finished a book that has done just that. Defending Jacob was not what I was expecting at all when I first read the summary last week. When I was finished with the book I couldn’t wait to tell everyone I know to read it, but first let’s start off with a quick summary of the book.

Andy Barber has been a district attorney for Massachusetts for 20 years and is well-known for his hard-working reputation. Andy is married to the love of his life, Laurie, and has a 14-year-old son, Jacob, who he adores. Andy resides in a quiet suburban town where not a lot happens, but everything changes when a young boy is found murdered in the park. Being the district attorney Andy takes the case right away, but is blindsided when he is taken off the case. Andy then finds out his worst nightmare, his son is now being charged for the murder of the boy. Every parental instinct Andy has tells him Jacob is innocent and he is determined to do all he can to prove it, but as time goes by more and more incriminating evidence surfaces and things are not looking good for Jacob. Andy is suddenly faced with a fact he doesn’t want to think about, does he really know who his son is? This book is a test of loyalty and justice and shows you how little we may know about the people we love.

The book starts off with Andy Barber as a witness for a grand jury hearing and from the summary of the book I knew his son was going to be charged so I was instantly trying to figure out if he is testifying for his son’s trial, is he charged with something or is this a completely different case. Right from the beginning I had so many questions and scenarios running through my head and I hadn’t even made it to page ten. These are the kinds of books I absolutely love! I love being challenged and trying to figure out which direction the story will go in. The book then flashes back a year ago and we are taken to the day of the murder. The book keeps going back and forth between these two scenarios and it made me very anxious to figure out how it was all going to end, that could be the reason I finished it in two days.

Andy and Laurie think they know their son so well, but then Andy starts investigating and finds that his son has a knife hidden in his room, the same type of knife that was described as the murder weapon, he finds Facebook posts of Jacob’s “friends” saying that they know he did it and the more digging Andy does he starts to wonder who his son really is. There has always been a dark thought in the back of Andy’s head, the fact that his father and grandfather are murders. Suddenly the term “murder gene” is brought to everyone’s attention and it is a fact that Andy and Laurie can’t ignore.

The way Landay portrays Jacob had me thinking that Jacob could have committed this murder, but then I would see how much faith his father had in him and I was going back and forth with my decision the whole time.

This book was one of the best books I have read in a long time. There was this one sentence towards the end of the book, three words is all it was, that left me completely in chills. It changes everything in the book and I was left speechless.

Defending Jacob has a lot of twists and turns and it is the type of book that makes you go back and rethink everything that has happened. I highly recommend this book to any and every one and if you do take the time to read it feel free to leave me a comment on what you thought about it!


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