“Defending Jacob” by William Landay

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ☆☆☆☆

Synopsis: Lead Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber has just caught one of the most important cases of his career – the murder of a 14-year-old boy.  Barber’s investigation leads him on a different track than his superiors, and so he is pulled from the case.  Soon, he learns the District Attorney’s prime suspect is none other than his own 14-year-old son, Jacob.

This is the detailed account of a horrific murder and the path the criminal justice system takes in order to receive “justice” for the crime committed.

Is the American Justice System hopelessly flawed, and therefore could potentially convict an innocent child for murder? Is Jacob Barber as innocent as Andy Barber believes him to be?

What happens to families when the trial is over?  Can a family go back to their lives or are they forever tainted by accusation?

Opinion: This novel asks and answers all of these questions.  An absolute thrill-ride of a novel from beginning to end, you never know where Landay will take you next.

The conflict of Jacob’s parents throughout the book was probably the most convincing aspect of the entire storyline for me.  How would I react if one of my sons was accused of murder?  Would I be an Andy Barber or a Laurie Barber?  Would I react in a completely different way altogether?  This novel truly gets you to think about what your own life would be like should such a horrific circumstance ever happen to you.

The book is a fairly straight-forward read until you start to approach the end – and then watch out!  I felt like I had boarded the craziest roller coaster ever invented once I hit those last 100 pages.  The twists, turns, loops, and spins throw you from one end of a thought process to the other end in 5 seconds flat.  Just when you think you know where Landay is going with his narrative, he changes it up on you!

A must-read for those who truly enjoy crime thrillers and roller-coaster novels.  If you enjoy a solid twist (or many!), you’ll also love this book.  It’s well worth the read!


GoodReads Link: “Defending Jacob” by William Landay

Amazon.com Link: “Defending Jacob” by William Landay