Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob

Hardback

By (author) William Landay

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Product description

When a teenaged boy is discovered stabbed to death in the woods adjoining the local high school, a wave of shock ripples through the suburban community of Newton, outside of Boston. Assistant district attorney Andy Barber is used to dealing with murder and its after-effects, but with his own son, Jacob, also a student at the school, he too is anxious for a swift arrest and conviction. But as the kids appear to be stonewalling the cops and the investigation stalls, evidence emerges that ties Jacob to the crime - and suddenly Andy faces a very different challenge: preventing his son from being convicted of murder. Together with his wife, Laurie, the family closes ranks in the midst of an increasingly hostile community as Andy prepares for the trial of his life, the one trial he cannot afford to lose. Especially when the emergence of his own dark family secrets threatens to undermine Jacob's defence. And as the drama reaches its climax, Andy and Laurie have to face every parent's toughest questions: how well do you really know your own child, and how far would you go to save them?

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Author information

William Landay was an assistant district attorney before he turned to writing. He lives in Boston.

Review quote

Not since the novels of Scott Turow has a crime thriller - any thriller, though this too happens to be a literary legal thriller - shaken me by the throat like this. It's a stunning, shocking, emotionally harrowing ride in which the reader is plunged into a riveting but terrible murder trial and the heartbreaking implosion of a loving family. I had to lie down when I finished it (all too soon) to still my beating heart. ... What sets this apart from many thrillers is Landay's remarkable storytelling which allows him to craft the most sensational twists without forfeiting belief. But it's not just about suspense. Landay has written an unflinching account of the complexities of family life in a changing world -- Carla McKay DAILY MAIL 20120217 Landay clearly derives his premise from Scott Turow's prosecutor-in-the-dock thriller Presumed Innocent, and to say Defending Jacob is almost as good as Turow is high, not faint praise; the handling of Barber's voice is impeccable, the use of interwoven transcripts of his appearance before a grand jury is a distinctive and cunning device. THE SUNDAY TIMES 20120305 a clever blend of legal thriller and issue-oriented family implosion NEW YORK TIMES 20120213 This is a legal thriller worthy of mention in the same breath as Turow's masterpiece. A compelling read -- Marcel Berlins THE TIMES 20120317 Defending Jacob's skill as a psychological thriller is what we aren't told; we view Jacob via a parents eyes. And the books twist provides a chilling conclusion. STYLIST 20120320 Word of mouth on a new novel is not always to be trusted but sometimes a new book handsomely fulfils all the expectations. This is such a novel. ... If Turow's Presumed Innocent remains the definitive legal thriller, Defending Jacob is one of the most accomplished to have followed in its wake. A final word of advice. Tackle this quickly before friends start to discuss the shocking ending. -- Barry Forshaw DAILY EXPRESS 20120406 William Landay is being talked about as a new Scott Turow or John Grisham, having been one of Boston's district attorneys. He is at home with both the processes of detection and courtroom scenes ... a taut, tense, well-written thriller. LITERARY REVIEW 20120402 an excellent legal thriller ... Defending Jacob gets you by the throat precisely because of the skill with which Landay makes one identify with the increasingly terrified Barber as he attempts to ignore unpalatable facts about Jacob and marshals the evidence in favour of his son. THE OLDIE 20120702 Landay's first legal thriller makes Scott Turow and John Grisham seem like amateurs. -- Mark Sanderson EVENING STANDARD 20120705

Back cover copy

DEFENDING JACOB 'Riveting, suspenseful, and emotionally searing...I thought Presumed Innocent packed a punch at the end.It was a slap compared to this' LINWOOD BARCLAY 'An unforgettable tale of an ordinary marriage and family in crisis... Landay has proven himself to be an extraordinary writer and Defending Jacob is an amazing novel' NICHOLAS SPARKS "Defending Jacob is smart, sophisticated, and suspenseful-capturing both the complexity and stunning fragility of family life" LEE CHILD "Powerful . . . leaves you gasping breathlessly at each shocking revelation" LISA GARDNER "A stunning novel that will be compared to classic courtroom thrillers like Presumed Innocent and Anatomy of a Murder" PHILLIP MARGOLIN "More than a terrific legal thrill ride, Defending Jacob is an unflinching appraisal of the darkest, most poignant consequences of the love that binds, and blinds, families" STEPHEN WHITE "A novel like this comes along maybe once a decade . . . a tour de force, a full-blooded legal thriller about a murder trial and the way it shatters a family. With its relentless suspense, its mesmerizing prose, and a shocking twist at the end, it's every bit as good as Scott Turow's great Presumed Innocent. But it's also something more: an indelible domestic drama that calls to mind Ordinary People and We Need to Talk About Kevin. A spellbinding and unforgettable literary crime novel" JOSEPH FINDER "Brilliantly conceived . . . combines a harrowing family drama with riveting courtroom scenes that make readers feel they are actually witnessing the trial unfold"STEPHEN FREY

Flap copy

Andy Barber's job is to put killers behind bars.And when a boy from his son Jacob's school is found stabbed to death, Andy is doubly determined to find and prosecute the perpetrator. Until a crucial piece of evidence turns up linking Jacob to the murder.And suddenly Andy and his wife Laurie find their son accused of being a cold-blooded killer. In the face of every parent's worst nightmare, they will do anything to defend their child.Because, deep down, they know him better than anyone. Don't they?