Landay's legal thriller 'Defending Jacob' rings true

  • "Defending Jacob" by William Landay

    "Defending Jacob" by William Landay ASSOCIATED PRESS/DELACORTE PRESS

Associated Press
Posted1/31/2012 6:00 AM

An assistant district attorney receives a case that will change his life in William Landay's "Defending Jacob."

Andrew Barber has a beautiful wife, a wonderful son, Jacob, and great friends and colleagues. Then the murder of a 14-year-old boy in the woods near a school changes everything.


When the victim's classmates are interviewed, a terrifying pattern emerges: All the students seem to be elusive when authorities question them.

Then Jacob is charged with murder. Friends become enemies, and Barber becomes unemployed. His family life begins to crumble as he desperately tries to solve the case on his own and prove his son's innocence. The evidence begins to mount against Jacob, and when the courtroom battle begins, Barber has to face the man he trained and had considered a friend.

Secrets, political agendas and an examination of how tenuous life can be are all examined in the social microscope of the media and public opinion.

Landay has written a legal thriller that's comparable to classics such as Scott Turow's "Presumed Innocent." Jacob comes across as somewhat of an enigma, but the other characters and the storyline ring true.

Tragic and shocking, "Defending Jacob" is sure to generate buzz.

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