Landay gets it right with Defending Jacob,
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This review is from: Defending Jacob: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
There have been a number of former prosecutors who have turned there talents to writing legal thrillers, often with varying degrees of success. With Defending Jacob former assistant DA William Landay shows that he understands not only the workings of the legal system, but its heart and soul as well.
When Andy Barber's 14-year-old son Jacob is charged with murdering a classmate in an upper class suburban community in Massachusetts, Landay shows that he understands the gray areas that crowd in against the strict black and white of the law. Not only is the defendent accused, but his family stands accused, too. That's the case here where the Barbers' are snubbed by their neighbors and former friends and fault lines begin to appear between Andy, his wife and his son.
More than just a legal thriller, Landay is as much a meditation on nature vs. nurture, the possibility of a "murder gene," bounds between parents and children (and how far we might go to protect a child).
Many others have summarized the plot of Defending Jacob and I see no reason to add my own synopsis. Suffice it to say that I've read my share of legal thrillers and have seldom found one that gets not only the "facts" about the law but the emotions behind it so on-spot perfect. Watching the Barber family go from typical suburban family to a family rubbed raw by fear and doubt is harrowing.