A few years ago I read Defending Jacob by William Landay and loved it, and even before that I read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and loved it. Now, I just finished up Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon, and will happily be recommending this book to friends.
Simon is a stay at home dad, raising two teens, Jake and Laney. Where Jake is introverted and finds social situations difficult, Laney is outgoing and exuberant. Simon sees Jake struggle, wishing he could be more like his sister, and does a lot of reflecting on his parenting and if he is doing a good job.
When there is a high school shooting where both kids attend, Simon rushes to the school just like all the parents do. But as all of them are reunited with their children, or given devastating news, Simon hears nothing, until the police approach him wanting to have access to Jake's fingerprints which are on file at school. It seems that Jake and a friend are suspected of having killed thirteen students, and instantly Simon and his family are under attack from the media and other parents who believe that he and his wife Rachel haven't done their job in properly raising their child.
Although Rachel never waivers in believing Jake is innocent, Simon reflects on any signs he should have acted on throughout Jake's childhood. The novel moves seamlessly between the present time as they hunt for Jake who is missing to the past, where bits and pieces of Jake's childhood are revealed.
And when Jake's role in the shooting are revealed, the suspense in getting there is well worth it.
I had pretty much determined how this novel was going to end, yet knowing ahead of time didn't decrease my enjoyment while reading. Finding Jake is a novel that provides plenty to discuss, suspense, and characters that are well developed.