William Landay wrote one of my favorite books, MISSION FLATS, back in 2003 and since then I have been a huge fan of his work. DEFENDING JACOB takes his writing to a whole new level of both plotting and character development.
Jacob Barber is a young boy accused of murdering his eighth-grade schoolmate. As the family awaits his trial, they are forced to confront a whole myriad of issues --- guilt, shame, and the very real fear that Jacob will be headed to prison. Jacob’s father, Andrew, is the Assistant District Attorney in their town, thus Jacob grew up at a dinner table where crimes were part of the dinner discussion --- so he knows just what is hanging in the balance. And his dad knows how the law can be interpreted to send this case either way. Really gripping.
And in an aside, I shared this book with a fewfellow readers before publication, and each of them wrote or called upon finishing it with the same reaction as me --- complete and abject praise!