Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Defending Jacob

I had been wanting to read Defending Jacob by William Landay for awhile, so I was glad that my book
group decided to chose it for our July read.  It is the story of a family torn apart as old truths and new accusations come to light.

The Barber family consisted of Andy, an Assistant District Attorney, Laurie, his artistic wife, and their fourteen year old son, Jacob.  One of Jacob's schoolmates, Ben,  was found brutally murdered in a city park and Andy was called to the scene.  Andy decided to lead the investigation into the stabbing and began to suspect a known pedophile who lived near the park.  However, soon some of Jacob's classmates began posting messages on Facebook about Jacob and his problems with Ben and it became known that Jacob had a "cool knife".  Police began to suspect Jacob of the murder.  Meanwhile, Andy found the knife that Jacob had and he disposed of it.  Because he thought Jacob was guilty, or because he didn't want the knife to hurt Jacob's case because he was innocent? 

Jacob's mother, Laurie, suspected that perhaps Jacob did commit the murder and, understandably, this caused a serious rift in Andy and Laurie's relationship.  That rift widened when Laurie learned that both Andy's father and his grandfather had been murderers and that his father was still in prison-facts that Andy had never shared with his family.

So, how far do you go to protect your children?  That's the gist of the book.  Very reminiscent for me of The Dinner, which I had read a couple of months ago.

The first half of the book went slowly for me, but picked up after that.  I was of the opinion that it was just a pretty good book.  Until the end.  The end pushed the book into the "very good" category for me!  A very unexpected ending!  Certainly a thought-provoking book!

And, by the way, lent itself to a good discussion for book group!

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