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Defending Jacob (2012) By William Landay BOOK REVIEW/RATING

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This is an easy to read book.   BELOW-I have inserted part of a professional book review.

This book has an ending that I did not expect.   The main characters are well developed.

MY RATING: 9 out of 10

(BELOW)  By , Published: February 5, 2012   Washington Post.Com

In the publicity material for William Landay’s Defending Jacob,” its publisher and several advance readers liken the novel to Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent,” arguably the finest of American legal thrillers. The hype is justified. I don’t think Landay’s novel has quite the elegance or gravitas of Turow’s, but it’s an exceptionally serious, suspenseful, engrossing story that deserves and should achieve a large audience.The similarities start with the fact that Turow and Landay are lawyers who began as prosecutors, and each novel is narrated by a prosecutor who finds himself in grave legal trouble. Each book delves deep into the character of its protagonist and his family, and both offer caustic but informed indictments of our legal system. Finally, both provide a stunning ending. If you remember the surprise at the end of “Presumed Innocent,” be warned that the outcome of “Defending Jacob” is even more unexpected.

 

(Random House) – “Defending Jacob: A Novel” by William Landay

The two novels differ in one important regard. Turow’s Rusty Sabich was charged with murdering his lover. Landay’s Andy Barber, a prosecutor in Newton, Mass., has his world upended when his 14-year-old son is accused of murder. Before that calamity, Andy and his wife, Laurie, had shared a comfortable, happy suburban lifestyle with Jacob, their only child. The boy was often withdrawn and monosyllabic, but no more so than many other teenagers.One of Jacob’s classmates is found stabbed to death in a park near their middle school. Andy, called to the scene by police, suspects a pedophile who lives nearby. However, his son soon admits that he found the body but insists that he told no one for fear of becoming involved. Andy is taken off the case, and his rival in the prosecutor’s office takes over. A classmate tells police that Jacob had a knife and a motive. The evidence against him is ambiguous but might be enough for the zealous, politically ambitious prosecutor to win a conviction.As Jacob’s trial nears, Landay draws an agonizing portrait of a family in distress. Even close friends desert them; Laurie, a cheerful, loving but fragile woman, begins to crack under the pressure. A sullen Jacob holes up in his room but posts messages on Facebook — jokes, he says — that could be used against him. Andy knows that, whatever the outcome of the trial, he’ll never again work as a prosecutor and the family will be ruined financially. Beautiful suburban life has become a nightmare.

 We did not include all of Mr. Anderson’s Book Review.
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Written by joelmp98

February 18, 2012 at 8:13 PM

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