NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW AN APPLE TV+ LIMITED SERIES STARRING CHRIS EVANS, MICHELLE DOCKERY, AND JAEDEN MARTELL • “A legal thriller that’s comparable to classics such as Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent . . . tragic and shocking.”—Associated Press
This special ebook edition features exclusive bonus content:
• A new essay by the author about the inspiration for Defending Jacob and the book’s themes
• A behind-the-scenes interview with William Landay and Apple TV+ about the making of the TV series
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Entertainment Weekly • The Boston Globe • Kansas City Star
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life: his wife, Laurie, and their teenage son, Jacob. Then Andy’s quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.
Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors’ contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy’s family. It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.
How far would you go?
Praise for Defending Jacob
“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
“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
“Disturbing, complex, and gripping, Defending Jacob is impossible to put down. William Landay is a stunning talent.”—Carla Neggers
“Riveting, suspenseful, and emotionally searing.”—Linwood Barclay
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, 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. The visceral emotion of Andy’s first-person narration adds layers of complexity to the mystery. This thought-provoking drama—the inspiration for an Apple TV+ show—left us wondering, “What would I do?”
Andy Barber, a respected First Assistant DA who lives in Newton, Mass., with his gentle wife, Laurie, and their 14-year-old son, Jacob, must face the unthinkable in Dagger Award winner Landay's harrowing third suspense novel. When Ben Rifkin, Jacob's classmate, is found stabbed to death in the woods, Internet accusations and incontrovertible evidence point to big, handsome Jacob. Andy's prosecutorial gut insists a child molester is the real killer, but as Jacob's trial proceeds and Andy's marriage crumbles under the forced revelation of old secrets, horror builds on horror toward a breathtakingly brutal outcome. Landay (The Strangler), a former DA, mixes gritty court reporting with Andy's painful confrontation with himself, forcing readers willy-nilly to realize the end is never the end when, as Landay claims, the line between truth and justice has become so indistinct as to appear imaginary. This searing narrative proves the ancient Greek tragedians were right: the worst punishment is not death but living with what you knowingly or unknowingly have done. Author tour.
Overall, I enjoyed the store even though the father annoyed me at times with his willful ignorance of the situation. The ending drag on longer than it should, and the author could have easily cut out a chapter and still kept the current ending.
I couldn't put my iPad down. This book takes some unexpected twists and left me wanting more! I'm going to purchase Mr. Landays other works expecting to lose another nights sleep. Happy reading!
None of the 3 main characters is likable. The husband is controlling, patronizing and self centered. The wife (most likable) is smart but falls apart when things get tough. The son seems unable to string more than 2 sentences together. The writer must feel the reader is stupid due to the tendency to repeat major plot points just in case we missed it the previous 3 times. I think this could have made an ok short story but as a novel it's stretched very thin.