Defending Jacob


Defending Jacob by William Landay

Pub: 2012

2.5 of 5 stars

An assistant district attorney must defend his 14-year-old son, who is arrested for the murder of a classmate.

“Andy, as hard as this is for you, it’s not about you.  It’s about Jacob.  The question is, how far will you go for Jacob?  What will you do to protect your son?”

What do I even say about a book like this?

Just the concept of having to stand by your child as s/he is accused of a heinous crime is just too horrible and depressing to even think about.  I’d never have picked this up if it weren’t a book club book, and for good reason — it’s an awful topic to dwell on, and the emotions experienced by the characters were just… painful.

I think what bothered me most, though, was the ending.  Highlight for spoilers: [The mother’s actions made me feel literally sick, and the fact that Jacob’s guilt or innocence was never determined made the whole thing feel unresolved, especially since we never find out what happened with the mother, either.]

While it definitely held my attention and kept me wondering, I’m not sure that I could really recommend this book.  It reminded me a lot of The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne, so if you enjoyed that, you may like this one as well.


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