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on November 20, 2017
Unbelievable. A real page turner. This author really nails it in this legal thriller. A great insight to the love of parents for their child and the quirks that we tend to overlook because of that bond. A great debate on the subject of Nature versus nurture.
1 helpful vote
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on March 16, 2014
This is the kind of mystery I like to read, fast moving, interesting characters, intriguing puzzle. It also gives you something to think about as it involves the issue of whether there's such a thing as a "murder gene" or a genetic disposition to violence. It is the story of a prosecutor who winds up with his own son as the prime suspect and the lengths he'll go to in protecting him, the reaction of the son's mother, and questions of integrity, justice, doubt, loyalty, and family secrets.
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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on September 21, 2014
Assistant DA Andrew Barber is known for prosecuting some of the toughest cases to come his way. One thing that he didn't see coming is his 14 year old son Jacob becoming a prime suspect in the high profile murder case to hit his town. Now Andrew Barber is on the other side of the courtroom trying to help with his son's defense. The story talks about how the trial changes Andrew, his son Jacob, and his wife.

One thing that I found interesting is that the whole story is told from Andrew Barber's point of view. This is the way the author kept the suspense throughout the book. The reader could only speculate what was going through other character's minds through Andrew. He of course had the DA point of view, even though he was not allowed to work the case.

I do not wat to give too much away. This book is definitely worth reading. If you like crime shows like CSI this book is for you. The trial goes into detail about the murder scene and they bring in forensics specialists. This is the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. This point of the book began to loose my interest. Parts of it were dry and redundant. That didn't last long. Every time I thought I had the book figured out I was wrong.

Also, if you like books like Gone Girl and The Husband's Secret this book is for you. It is a criminal and psychological thriller all in one.
1 helpful vote
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on November 21, 2017
The end of this story left me speechless. Very precisely constructed with characters so believable, you can develop the fear that this trauma and tragedy could live in your own house. Highly recommended reading.
1 helpful vote
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on March 13, 2015
This was a really poignant book, about a family that is falling apart. It's a legal thriller, and the author obviously knows what he is talking about. A 14-year old is found murdered, and at first, there seems to be no suspects. But then the police zone in on the son of the prosecutor who went to the same school as the victim. The victim apparently bullied the prosecutor's son, and the case seems to be circumstantial at first, but more disturbing information comes out as the case goes on.

This book brings up several important topics. How would we handle it if family member's are charged with a crime? Can we be supportive and face reality, or will we be blind to possibilities?

The ending I wasn't really prepared for. And I don't want to wreck other readers enjoyment of this book by telling any more than I already have. Needless to say, this was a very smart book that makes you stop and think about our justice system, and about what we know about our family members.
1 helpful vote
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on November 19, 2017
Oh my, I will not start to describe the story. I will say that it was upsetting, addicting to the point of staying up too late, and an ending I couldn't, wouldn't believe if I had not read the entire book.
1 helpful vote
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on May 14, 2014
I like the way the author is not afraid to use, even overuse, dialogue, and without a lot of superfluous feelings following. After all, those feelings come through very well on their own. Sometimes, in the reading of a book, I find the proceeding use of a handful of words meaning said, replied, explained, retorted, insisted, etc. to be redundant, and most times I simply pass by them.

At this point, I am over half way through the reading and am enjoying it a great deal. I have, over the years, not been much of a mystery reader, but this is the book that has gained my attention enough to want to extend my reading list to include more books of this genre. I sneak in a chapter or two at work during breaks and look forward to them. Kindle, I'm finding, is a great way to take my reading with me. I can't sing enough praises for the Kindle app I downloaded onto my tablet.

There are differences I see in how the parents of the boy accused are at odds, and I anticipate they will survive the storm. Whether or not the trailer trash who is suspected by the father, a lawyer and self taught detective, it feels like he will play a bigger part as the story unfolds. It certainly has my attention.

This is a book selection made by one of the members of my monthly book club. I'm far too glued to classics to have come up with this one. I'm glad someone suggested it.
1 helpful vote
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on December 10, 2013
A story really needs to earn 5-stars and I typically reserve these for works of non-fiction that are in my list. Defending Jacob was simply a dynamite story. While set around the courtroom drama of a murder trial, Landay has built a fantastic story about life relationships. Father and son. Husband and wife. How interactions with co-workers and friends can be dramatically changed by events. Of course, this all plays out around the events of a murder in their small town.

Landay has developed characters that evoke the desire to love them or hate them. The ability to draw out such emotion towards the characters in his story defines a story teller in my opinion. Landay does not disappoint. I seldom find a book that creates that type page-turning energy around the main and supporting characters. Well done.

To top it off, the ending will knock your socks off. I never saw it coming. Highly enjoyable and recommended read.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on March 25, 2015
This is one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read. Almost a week after finishing this book, things about it still run through my mind. I am the father of three daughters, one of whom has been in trouble with the law. This book raised, to a higher level than I have experienced, the questions that occur when a child is accused. Told through the parents view, this story shakes many of the beliefs of what families know about each other. We all worry about our children. This story shows that they are individuals, who cannot always be protects by us, and parts of its narrative will continue to haunt me. I would highly recommend this book.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on September 7, 2017
Perfectly written and keeps you running back to it. Some twists and turns that are unexpected and wonderfully surprising. Reading about murder and family trauma is never fun but I dare say this was a fun read.
1 helpful vote
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