Review: Defending Jacob: A Novel

Defending Jacob: A Novel
Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacob is a regular teen, living with his Mom and lawyer (actually, Asst. District Attorney) Dad, in the quiet suburbs of Boston. All is well until one day, one of his classmates is found brutally murdered in a park near the school. Cops find a fingerprint on the victim and it matches to Jacob’s. What follows is the tough battle for the family, both in the courtroom and outside, trying all they can to get Jacob out and prove his innocence.

‘Defending Jacob’ is something like a Jodi Picoult meets John Grisham type book. The emotional parts from Picoult and the courtroom drama from Grisham. I could have done without the former, but I guess that’s what made the book a bit different from the ones I’ve read so far.

It was a fast read, mostly because the author manages to keep the reader engaged through out, without any dull moments and general meandering. There are two plots happening at different times, but overlapping in between for the actual events. Good technique and I think it works well, keeping the narrative in tact.

There are some new perspectives I could read about in the book: about how an ADA feels sitting on the other side of the courtroom, next to the defendant; how a regular sub-urban Mom deals with the ostracism that comes with having a son accused of being a murderer and above all, how much of a part is played by a person’s genes in the actions that he/she does. [There are references to a ‘murder gene’ – google it up!].

I liked it. It’s one of my most-read genres (CSI fan that I am) and I wasn’t disappointed at all with this book!

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