I’m not a usual reader of mystery thrillers, but when a patron raved about Defending Jacob I gave it a try. A start is all you need to get hooked. The writing is fast-paced in that hard-boiled detective style. But Andy Barber isn’t a detective, he’s the district attorney for Newton, Mass.—or was until his son Jacob becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a 14-year-old classmate. Here’s a crime in the heart of suburbia with all the nuances of the comfortable life facing the grit of human violence. As Andy and his wife, Laurie, descend into unbelief, doubt and anger to defend their son, the haunting question of guilt and innate violence divides their lives. With all the upheaval in this couple’s lives, I didn’t develop a feeling for the characters. But the book is heavy on plot twists and turns while, and the reader is caught in the grip of compelling courtroom drama and the personal terror each family member faces to know the truth.
Sep 29, 2012