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Defending Jacob a Novel

Legal Thriller by William Landay where an assistant district attorney investigates a crime for which his own son will be accused.

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"Defending the truth is not something done from a sense of duty...but as a reward in itself." de Bea

  • Feb 6, 2012
As the novel begins, the prior district attorney, Andy Barber, is facing the grand jury and we know that something terrible has happened.

Neal Longiudice is questioning Andy about why he accepted the case of Ben Rifkin's killing. Ben was a schoolmate of Andy's fourteen-year-old son, Jacob.

Andy had been a successful assistant district attorney in suburban Massachusetts for years. As the story progresses, things begin to unravel and the comfortable life that Andy had, begins to shatter.

Jacob is accused of murder but Andy thinks this is ridiculous. Andy's deliberate approach to solving the crime begins to look like he wasn't giving the case his full attention and should have given the case to another attorney in his office due to a possible conflict of interest.

Loguidice's blind ambition becomes apparent as he creates enough uncertainty that Andy is placed on paid leave and Loguidice is given the case.

How far will a father go to protect his son? This is a question that arises in the book. Andy has no doubt that Jacob is innocent but it looks bad when Andy questions Jacob's friends after Andy had been placed on leave.

There is not only suspense but more. This is a story that grabs the reader's heart and squeezes it as we wonder what we would do in a similar situation.

Fans of Scott Turow will be entertained by this courtroom mystery. William Landry is a storyteller at his peak. The dialog is exceptional and as Andy speaks it is as if we are in the room with him.

The concluding moments of the novel will make the reader pause to catch their breath from astonishment.

This is a powerful novel that shouldn't be missed.

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February 06, 2012
Nice review. I might add that it is not the total fault of Loguidace (note: one reader pointed out that the pronounciation of the name is like Judas of the New Testament) but Andy's own blindness, denying his heritage and failing to be objective.
More Defending Jacob a Novel reviews
review by . February 01, 2012
William Landay knocked my socks off with this thriller that grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go until the last sentence.  The book shows how the judgment of the most professional people can be skewed when they get emotionally involved in their work with a relative.  Andrew Barber is an Assistant District Attorney called upon to open an investigation into the murder of a teen.  Andrew decides to take it on himself and doesn't get swayed by the fact that the victim …
About the reviewer
Mike Draper ()
Ranked #54
Michael A.Draper retired from working as a financial planner with Mass Mutual.   Married to Diana for 48 years, one son and daughter-in-law and two lovely granddaughters.      … more
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Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis—a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.
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