Defending Jacob by William Landay
Synopsis: Andy Barber has a wonderful life – a successful career as an Assistant DA and a picture perfect family. But all of that is about to change. A horrific murder happens in Andy’s small town, and he is naturally the first pick to investigate. But not a minute later, Andy’s son is accused of murder and Andy is immediately removed from the case. He will now be forced to look at the flip-side of the law to protect Jacob, who he knows is innocent.
Thoughts: Sometimes I feel like a broken record on these things. I read a good book and tend to say the same things over and over. Yes, I am fully aware that I tout characters, plot, and writing over and over. And yes, I probably use words like “interesting” and “amazing” far too often. But then I read a book that bowls me over and throws new words in my head. So I’m thinking stuff like “snakey plot” and “holy bananas” and “bazooka bubble gum” and I need a minute to collect my thoughts because that. was. AWESOME!
For starters, William Landay creates some of the most complex characters I’ve read about in a long time. And not dumb complex, but totally believable. The flawed end up being perfect and the perfect end up being flawed. Strangely enough, it wasn’t the relationships that I drooled over as usual, but the actual characters themselves. Individually (and together, for that matter), these people were just magnificent.
But the thing that differentiated this novel from other crime fiction were the little snippets of information that would reveal part of the plot in the future. As much as I enjoyed reading the story (and obviously learning more about those characters), it was these small clues that made it almost impossible to put down the book. I knew something was up the whole time – there had to be answers to questions that were left behind! And through some sort of witch magic, Landay brings out the hidden puzzle piece (You know the one that somehow turns up unexpectedly in your sister’s left shoe?) and we’re left with a most pristine explanation – and a complete picture of lunacy.
“Damage hardens us all. It will harden you too when it finds you – and it will find you.” SO GOOOOD!!
Overall Grade: A
Up Next: Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See by Juliann Garey