Defending Jacob by William Landay

Defending Jacob

By William Landay

  • Release Date: 2012-01-31
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 2,939 Ratings
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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

BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from William Landay's Mission Flats and The Strangler and a Defending Jacob discussion guide.


  • Top 5 books ever

    By Timmy's Take
    Gripping from beginning to end
  • Absolutely enthralling!

    By Canoe ski
    Love this book just amazing writing I was questioning until the end!
  • Great crime thriller + courtroom drama!

    By KatieBower
    I loved this book. It worked really well as a crime thriller & a courtroom drama, bc it unfolded the events of the crime as it happened in the past. The narrator is the DA & Jacob's father. I appreciated how the various court-specific vocabulary was defined in a way that felt natural, not like I was being talked down to. I definitely recommend this book!!!
  • In Defense of Jacob

    By Vickielr
    This is quite a good story with surprises when you aren't expecting them. It's very much the way I think a family would handle the things they have to face, meaning I think it's very true to life-like. I enjoyed it more and more until finally I couldn't do any of my work because I couldn't stop reading it. I'll Recommend it to all of my reading friends. VR in Wichata
  • Defending Jacob

    By BookWork97
    Wow!! This book was incredible. The suspense continued to build on itself, I couldn't put it down. I didn't see the ending coming. This book isn't over until you turn the last page. It will keep you entertained the whole time. I would definitely recommend reading this book.
  • Not worth the read.

    By Papillion727
    I bought this on sale and am glad I didn't pay full price. The book is biased to make fools of the reader.
  • Very boring

    By Pj16287
    This book was really boring and made no sense
  • A Must-Read

    By HappyMommyOf5
    This book is a must-read for any fan of thrillers and mysteries. Full of twists and turns, it keeps you guessing to the last pages.
  • Addictive

    By Haug5
    This book had me from Word One. Never saw the ending coming. Could have read 40 more chapters of this book. Left me wanting more. Downloaded all of this author's other books.
  • Stunned

    By Mortimer's Friend
    I can usually read a book and see what's coming. Not so with Defending Jacob. It was a wonderful read. I never put it down. At the last line, I looked for more. I did not want to find myself an unwitting member of that final Grand Jury. As P. T. Barnum said, "Leave them wanting more." I wanted more.