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, and 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Discovering that your child has been killed is any parent’s worst nightmare—but discovering your child has been accused of murder would be its own special hell. With Defending Jacob, author William Landay plays on both of these fears. His riveting legal thriller centers on prosecutor Andy Barber, who’s investigating the brutal stabbing death of a teenage boy named Ben Rifkin when the probe takes an unexpected turn right into the Barber family home. Once Andy’s 14-year-old son, Jacob, becomes the prime suspect in the shocking crime, we experience a real sense of terror right alongside his father. Narrator Grover Gardner does a great job with all the character voices, but the hint of a growl he gives Barber’s voice is perfect for a man whose life is coming apart at the seams. Andy and his wife, Laurie, do everything in their power to clear their son, but twists keep coming, chipping away at their resolve. This thought-provoking drama—the inspiration for an Apple Original starring Chris Evans—left us wondering, “What would I do?”
Worth the purchase
I wasn’t too keen on the narrator at first but the story took off and I was compelled to finish it. Good plot twist, great ending. Worth the purchase.
Really interesting listen!
Kept me guessing, surprising ending. Enjoyable.
A powerful portrait of the limits of our self-knowledge