Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob

A Novel

Book - 2013
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Entertainment Weekly * The Boston Globe * Kansas City Star
"A legal thriller that's comparable to classics such as Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent . . . Tragic and shocking, Defending Jacob is sure to generate buzz."--Associated Press

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life, his wife, Laurie, and teenage son, Jacob.

Then Andy's quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy's own son--shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob's innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors' contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy's family.

It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.

How far would you go?

Praise for Defending Jacob
"Ingenious . . . Nothing is predictable. All bets are off."-- The New York Times
"Stunning . . . a novel that comes to you out of the blue and manages to keep you reading feverishly until the whole thing is completed."--The Huffington Post
"Gripping, emotional murder saga . . . The shocking ending will have readers pulling up their bedcovers to ward off the haunting chill."-- People
"The hype is justified. . . . Exceptionally serious, suspenseful, engrossing."-- The Washington Post
"Even with unexpected twists and turns, the two narratives interlock like the teeth of a zipper, building to a tough and unflinching finale. This novel has major motion picture written all over it."-- The Boston Globe
"Yes, this book came out in January. No, we are not done talking about it."-- Entertainment Weekly
Publisher: New York :, Dell Books,, 2013.
Edition: Dell mass market ed.
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780440246138
Characteristics: 476 pages ;,18 cm.


From the critics

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Nov 15, 2020

Suspenseful and disturbing. Couldn't put it down!

Oct 17, 2020

I like to watch Law and Order but with this book I couldn’t really get into the legal proceedings. It took me awhile to get through this book also. It’s not that the writing wasn’t good. Some parts are even funny but it’s just so slow. Definitely didn’t see that ending. The answer is not exactly there.

Oct 14, 2020

Potential spoilers!! I watched the TV series first and wanted to read the book cause I heard the ending was slightly different. The climactic reveal makes more sense in the book than the TV series and definitely has a shock factor (I knew it was coming but still...). The story keeps you hooked. My only issues were a couple of grammar mistakes "you couldn't stay with friends with Jacob", and the teenagers sometimes stopped sounding like teenagers. Overall I recommend due to the exciting plot.

Aug 17, 2020

I enjoyed most of the book. There were a few parts that were rather slow and boring, but I am glad that I read it. Even though this was a novel, it sounded like real life and got me really interested in it.

May 14, 2020

The plot of this book is good. The underlying premise is that a fourteen year old boy who kills his classmate does so because of a "murder gene." However, to weave a story is difficult and the author falters. The result is a somewhat boring extensive treatise. The ending or what we think is the ending is quite standard but then the action begins. It's a case of buy one get two free and there are a lot of twists and turns for which the author has not spared enough pages. An OK read.

May 11, 2020

Kept me on my toes. Everytime, I thought I had figured it all out...Wrong!!

Apr 29, 2020

Right from the start this book grabs you it never lets go until the very last page. A respected lawyer's teen son is accused of murdering a classmate. While he never doubts his son's innocence, he seems to be the only one. How far would he go to protect his family? This book keeps you guessing.

Sep 14, 2019


Apr 15, 2019

This book could have used some major editing, as I found it to be a bit unnecessarily bloated. However the story is good, and the twists are interesting. The mini series should be a fun watch.

Apr 12, 2019

Being made into a mini-series with Chris Evans.

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Jun 10, 2014

Bluejay_4 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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JODI ARONOFF Jun 11, 2012

Andy Barber has been an assistant district atorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his comunity, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with hish wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His 14 year old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He's his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies as the crisis reveals how little a father intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son. Andy will face a trial of his own between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he's tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.


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