Friday, June 8, 2012

Defending Jacob -- by William Landay

This novel tells its story in the context of the grand jury testimony of Andy Barber, a former Assistant District Attorney in upscale Newton, Massachusetts.  His testimony is interspersed throughout the more complete version of his story that he tells the reader. He begins his narration by telling about the tragic murder of a 14 year-old boy, Ben Rifkin, who was stabbed to death in the woods near the local school.  The reader sees the crime from both his viewpoint as the ADA trying to find and bring the killer to justice as well as a a member of the community and father of a 14-year-old boy who was a classmate of the murder victim.  When his son Jacob is arrested, he must expose the truth about his murderous ancestry and defend his son.

This book is the blend of a criminal thriller with the drama of a couple (Andy Barber and his wife Laurie) wrestling with thoughts of whether or not their son might be a monster who committed an unthinkable act.  I loved this book and couldn't recommend it more highly.  I can't remember ever before experiencing a page-turner such as this that simultaneously made me empathize with the narrator and ponder what I might do in such trying circumstances.


  1. I was wondering whether you would be happy to put up a link in my monthly series called “Books You Love”. The idea is for people to link up posts about a book they loved – it doesn’t have to be one they just posted about. It could be an old fave. I am hoping we will end up with a nice collection of books that can go on our reading lists. Here is the link Books You Loved June Edition

    1. Great that you linked in, thanks.
      Have a great week.