by William Landay
Random House, 2012
source: purchased ebook
Summary (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.
Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis—a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.
Uneasy, disquieted, anxious, and more than a little depressed. That's how I felt most of the time I was reading Defending Jacob, yet I could not put the book down. These feelings surely attest to the skill of the author, yet they also remind me why I don't read more psychological thrillers.
As a former DA in the Boston area, Landay is well versed in all aspects of the criminal justice system. He presents an almost too real account of a teenager murdered in a suburban Boston park, and the DA's son is charged with the crime. The ultimate moral dilemma ensues.
The book begs the reader to ask, "What would I have done?" or "How would I react given those circumstances?"
And the ending? Don't even get me started. This is one book I won't forget for a good long time.
Defending Jacob was the latest selection for my book club. They always seem to pull me out of my comfort zone. Unfortunately I was not able to attend the meeting, but this was a popular choice and lead to a pretty lively discussion.
Now it's time for me to get back to literary fiction and classics...
If you're reading for relaxation, choose a different title.