Defending Jacob (Paperback)

By William Landay

Bantam, 9780345533661, 435pp.

Publication Date: September 3, 2013

February 2012 Indie Next List

“Engrossing from the first page, Defending Jacob will keep you on the edge of your seat and then it will break your heart. What appears to be the story of a lovely family with a teenage son becomes a nightmare of suspicions, accusations, isolation, condemnation, and ultimately tragedy when an assistant district attorney and his wife watch as their only son is arrested for the murder of a classmate. We tend to see those we love with our hearts, which is not always the same as reality, and life can come crashing down in a hurry. I was blown away by this book!”
— Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM
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Description

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Entertainment Weekly - The Boston Globe - Kansas City Star

"A legal thriller that's comparable to classics such as Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent . . . Tragic and shocking, Defending Jacob is sure to generate buzz."--Associated Press

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life: his wife, Laurie, and their teenage son, Jacob.

Then Andy's quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy's own son--shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob's innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors' contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy's family.

It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.

How far would you go?

Praise for Defending Jacob

"Ingenious . . . Nothing is predictable. All bets are off."--The New York Times

"Stunning . . . a novel that comes to you out of the blue and manages to keep you reading feverishly until the whole thing is completed."--The Huffington Post

"Gripping, emotional murder saga . . . The shocking ending will have readers pulling up their bedcovers to ward off the haunting chill."--People

"The hype is justified. . . . Exceptionally serious, suspenseful, engrossing."--The Washington Post

"Even with unexpected twists and turns, the two narratives interlock like the teeth of a zipper, building to a tough and unflinching finale. This novel has major motion picture written all over it."--The Boston Globe

"Yes, this book came out in January. No, we are not done talking about it."--Entertainment Weekly


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.


Praise For Defending Jacob

“Ingenious . . .  Nothing is predictable. All bets are off.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“A legal thriller that’s comparable to classics such as Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent . . . Tragic and shocking, Defending Jacob is sure to generate buzz.”—Associated Press

“Stunning . . . a novel that comes to you out of the blue and manages to keep you reading feverishly until the whole thing is completed.”—The Huffington Post

“Gripping . . . [Landay] keeps you turning the pages through the shocking gut-punch of an ending.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Gripping, emotional murder saga . . . The shocking ending will have readers pulling up their bedcovers to ward off the haunting chill.”—People

“The hype is justified. . . . Exceptionally serious, suspenseful, engrossing.”—The Washington Post

“Not since Scott Turow has a crime thriller—any thriller, though this too happens to be a literary legal thriller—shaken me by the throat like this. It’s a stunning, shocking, emotionally harrowing ride in which the reader is plunged into a riveting but terrible murder trial and the equally heartbreaking implosion of a loving family.”—Daily Mail

“Even with unexpected twists and turns, the two narratives interlock like the teeth of a zipper, building to a tough and unflinching finale. This novel has major motion picture written all over it.”—The Boston Globe

“[William] Landay does the seemingly impossible by coming up with a new wrinkle in the crowded subgenre of courtroom thrillers. . . . It’s inevitable that he’ll be compared to Scott Turow, but this novel succeeds on its own merits.”—Kirkus Reviews



Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. How would you have handled this situation if you were Andy?Would you make the same choices he made? Where would you differ the most?
  2. Before and during the trial, how would you have handled the situation if you were Laurie? Do you feel she made strong choices as a mother and a wife?
  3. Is Andy a good father?Why or why not?
  4. Do you believe Jacob is guilty?
  5. Is Jacob a product of his upbringing? Do you think he is a violent person because his environment made him violent, or do you think he has had violent inclinations since birth?
  6. How do you think people could or should stop adolescent bullying?
  7. How much of a factor did Jacob’s age play into your sympathies for him or lack thereof? If Jacob were seventeen, would you view him differently?What about if he were nine?
  8. Do you think Neal Logiudice acts ethically in this novel? What about Andy?
  9. What is the most damning piece of evidence against Jacob? Is there anything that you felt exonerated him?
  10. If Jacob hadn’t been accused, how do you think his life would have turned out? What kind of a man do you think he would grow up to be?
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