Thursday, February 9, 2012

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Andy Barber has achieved the middle-class dream. He has a great job he loves as the lead assistant district attorney, a long-term marriage to a woman he still loves, a fourteen year old son, a wide circle of friends, a house and enough money not to worry about it. Then tragedy strikes. A child at his son's school is murdered, knifed down in a near-by park. Andy heads up the investigation and is shocked when the evidence starts to point at his son Jacob.

Jacob is arrested and everything starts to fall apart. He is suspended from his job. Their friends drop them cold. The marriage becomes strained as they struggle to extradite their family from this nightmare. Jacob is sullen and uncommunicative. Their savings are demolished by the cost of retaining a lawyer to fight the charges. Even worse, old family secrets Barber has repressed come to light.

William Landay has written a compelling novel that readers won't be able to put down until they find out what happens to this family that rings so true and that could be their own. It forces the reader to consider how precarious their own life and happiness may be, and to what lengths they would go to protect what they have. Those who have read it will want to seek out others to discuss the book with. This book is recommended for all readers, and is one of the season's best.

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