Bill's Reviews > Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob by William Landay
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Jan 30, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery-suspense

Take a look at my Goodreads to-read list. How many legal thrillers do
you see there? One? Two? Probably just one now, huh?
The thing is, I love these but they really are a dime a dozen, and
the similarities throughout them is enough to bland you off reading entirely.
So it takes a really good rave or a buzz for me to commit one to the to-read list.

I had first heard of this book via the Books on the Nightstand podcast, and Michael Kindness was raving about it. That was good enough for me: the last time I heard him rave so much about a novel was for Await Your Reply, which I agreed was quite good.

Defending Jacob follows the murder trial of, yes, Jacob, a young teen who is accused of stabbing a classmate to death. Jacob is the son of the assistant DA, which throws a bit of a wrench into the household, not to mention Dad's career.

The best legal thrillers string the reader along with uncertainties, those unknown facts, without the oh-so-tired pulling a rabbit out of a hat device.
Landay did a pretty good job of this, and the wedge this case drove into the family dynamic was very well explored.

Yes, I love a good legal thriller, and unfortunately there are so few that stand out from the cliches, I don't read the genre as much as I would like. But when they are this absorbing and unique, they get the juices flowing in a fun brain-candy kind of way.

I recommend this one highly...just short of the five star 'amazing' rating, but a very strong four star.

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Reading Progress

January 30, 2012 – Shelved
April 2, 2012 – Started Reading
April 9, 2012 – Shelved as: mystery-suspense
April 9, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Trudi I really enjoyed this one Bill. Four stars for me too. I couldn't believe how engrossed I became and invested in the outcome.


Bill It was quite well done, eh? I'll definitely read him again.


Liza Fireman The Pact by Jodi Picoult is an outstanding legal thriller. And the attorney there is outstanding. The book is a bit too long (it is a Jodi Picoult's book :)), but very well written and the court parts are amazing.


Bill Hmm, thanks for the tip Liza. I just might check that out...


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