William Landay's latest novel, Defending Jacob, has left me thinking long after I have turned the last page. This novel was so interesting to me that I began it late one night and couldn't put it down until it was finished.
Andrew Barber has spent his life building a reputation as a competent County DA, a good husband, and good father. When a fourteen year old classmate of his son Jacob's is murdered in a nearby park along a walking path, Barber does what he always does - begins looking for clues as to what happened.
However, before long he is removed from the case and his son is arrested for killing Ben Rifkin. While there is some evidence that Jacob was at the crime scene, Jacob is able to reasonably explain this. Yet other disturbing things pop up, too. Jacob lacks the ability to empathize with others. He owned a knife much like the one used to kill Ben. And he also possesses a gene that makes him prone to violence. A gene Andrew has just discovered he has as well, as does his father who is serving a life sentence in prison.
I debated over the course of this book whether I thought Jacob was guilty or not. Landay does a great job of presenting both sides and letting readers do some of their own interpreting. And in a way reminiscent of Jodi Picoult, throws in a twist at the end that will leave you with your mouth open.
I am so excited for this one to be published because I can't wait to talk about it with someone who has read it. My reading in 2012 has certainly started on a high note. I can't wait to see what other fabulous books are out there.