Wednesday, May 02, 2012
First Wednesday Book Review Club: DEFENDING JACOB, William Landary
This is the story of prosecutor, Andy Barber, who's about to begin investigating the murder of his son's classmate when his fourteen-year old son is accused of the crime. Andy Barber is convinced a known pedophile in the town is guilty. There is some evidence to back him up.
But various issues complicate the arrest of this man. Facebook entries shows Jacob's classmates believe him guilty. Family history complicates things too. And Jacob himself has shown signs of violent behavior. Even his best friend is wary of him.
There are lots of twists and turns in DEFENDING JACOB. I am not a particular fan of courtroom novels and I grew somewhat weary of the pages of testimony here. Especially since two trials become part of the story. And I am also wary of using genetic explanations for behavior. Sociobiology both excuses bad behavior and condemns it as involuntary.
But this was a compelling read, with lots of twists and turns to keep the pages turning quickly. It had enough psychological underpinnings and believable family interplay to carry me along.