Audie's Reviews > Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob by William Landay
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's review
Sep 27, 2012

liked it

Decent read in that it was quick, easy, and entertaining. I found it a bit hard to follow though...was J a sociopathic killer who just liked to harm for the pleasure he obtained through the act of harming (i.e. the cat in the alley outside of his home) or was this a revenge killing (i.e. 1st vic was bullying J and he needed to "defend" himself)? To be frank, these incongruities were frustrating and likely prevented me from really getting absorbed into the novel.

What was the motive for killing the girl on the island? Why would a thrill killer be so sloppy (he just got out of trouble for another murder - why kill the girl on the island when it would be obvious who the murderer was)?

I do agree w/ the notion of pure sociopathy developing in someone from a seemingly "good" family - there's plenty of historical proof of that (Dahmer, Bundy, etc), however, the author kept the reader steeped in so much ambivalence re: J's guilt that I wasn't sure how to respond to the ending (am I glad that a dangerous sociopath is gone or was he actually innocent?).

Anyways, it was a decent read but there were too many holes in the plot for me to be able to be really spooked by it - in other words, it was clearly supposed to be a realistic story but I found myself saying "yeah right" quite a few times throughout the book.

Overall - decent, entertaining in the moment, but ultimately not memorable.

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