- File Size: 3456 KB
- Print Length: 431 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press; 1 edition (January 31, 2012)
- Publication Date: January 31, 2012
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0050DIWFC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$15.99|
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Defending Jacob: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 431 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
The life of the Barber family is shattered by bits and pieces when what little evidence found at the crime scene points to Jacob as the killer. Jacob denies that he had anything to do with it, but because of a dark secret that Andy has kept from Laurie that he finally discloses, Laurie begins to doubt her son's honesty. One of the themes that "Defending Jacob" tackles is the idea of an inherited tendency for violent behavior such as the "murder gene." Nature and nurture play their separate parts, but is violence and murder in the DNA of Jacob?
Andy Barber must take leave of his ADA position while his son's trial before a grand jury is going on and he assigns himself as one of the defense lawyers. The prosecuting attorney is trying to be the lofty lawyer that he isn't, and is met with more objections than he can count. Before the end of Jacob's trial, a twist in the story occurs, but the biggest twist of all is at the end of the book.
"Defending Jacob" is narrated by the father, Andy Barber, and transcripts of parts of the trial have his voice, also. He tells the story looking on as more suspicions about his son and even evidence turn up, and he watches his wife Laurie become a shell of herself as she was before. Laurie becomes distant, suspicious of Jacob and loses so much weight that she never gains back. She is also angry that Andy refuses to see the flaws in Jacob that she sees. Slowly this once loving and close family is broken down over the course of the story and the ending has a shocking twist.
The characters in this book are people who could live next door, and who are worthy of the reader's care and concern. A lot is learned about them and their own families of origin as the book progresses. Since the author was an assistant district attorney before he starting writing full-time, the legal aspects of the story are compelling and accurate. Mr. Landay knows what he is writing about.
Even when things are going better for the Barber family, there is a dark feeling that hovers just above that doesn't leave when the book is put down. It is intrinsic throughout the story and makes it seem more like reality. In an interview with the author at the back of the book, he says he wanted this story to be one of those "what if" situations, and he met that goal with "Defending Jacob." The interview gives some information and insight into the author's writing, and there is also a list of questions for a study guide.
I found this to be quite a page-turner and not ever dull or slow. The court scenes were especially interesting and informative. The end will hit you like a brick wall.
Highly recommended for readers who like legal thrillers and mysteries and also literary fiction.
I did think that some of the trial testimony dragged, since the reader already knew the content of what most of the witnesses were testifying about and I wish there had been more of a wrap up of what happened to the poor cat outside the window one night. Also, we never got to see Laurie's reaction to learning about certain pieces of evidence. But these are completely minor points that do not take away from a great story.
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