April 15, 2012

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Note: I listened to the audio version of this book.

Andrew Barber is a DA in a small New England town.  He is meticulous with his job, a killer in the courtroom and confident about his abilities.  When news of a murder comes in, it is his job to investigate and create a case from the state against a defendant.

One April morning, news of a murder came in, and Andrew began to do his job as he always did.  Only this time, things were a little different... the victim was a 14 year old boy, Ben, who happened to be a classmate of his son's.  Instead of passing the case onto another DA, Andrew became involved in unwinding this mystery.

Ben Riffcan, the victim, was walking to school that morning through Cold Springs Park, when he was confronted and stabbed three times in the chest.  There are no clues as to who did it.  No one saw anything.  Only one person heard someone say "Stop, you're hurting me" but didn't actually see anything.  The only lead the cops have is small and weak... one bloody fingerprint located on the inside of Ben's jacket.  A fingerprint, belonging to none other than Andrew Barber's very own son, Jacob.

As the evidence begins to stack up against Jacob, it seems only Andrew truly believes in his son's innocence.  The evidence, along with a particularly bloody family history, makes this situation completely hopeless.

This book is breathtakingly good!  And, as I listened to it, rather than read it, it was even better!  The narrator, Grover Gardner is truly spectacular.  He makes you hold your breath!  The thing is, you want to believe Jacob didn't do it, but even YOU begin to doubt.  And it has an ending you NEVER EVER guess or believe.

5 stars!

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  1. This is a very powerful book. I loved it.

  2. I just finished Defending Jacob (my book club book) and have not been able to stop thinking about it. I can't help but think back to when my kids were teens. Were there things going on in their lives that I should have known about? I am looking forward to a great discussion. A very powerful, yet disturbing book!

  3. I don't read a lot of legal thrillers but I did read this one. I enjoyed it but it wasn't a favorite of mine. The style seemed a bit off for me too. Great review!


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