Thursday, May 24, 2012

There has been so much buzz among my reading friends regarding the book, Defending Jacob by William Landay that I had to read it for myself. Maybe there was a little too much hype because I found the book to be Just Okay. This book is about the Barber family...Andy, the father is an assistant District Attorney. Coming from a humble background, Andy has worked his way up the ladder. Along the way he married the golden girl from his college days, Laurie. They seem to have it all, a nice home in the suburbs and a 14 year old son named Jacob.  But when one of Jacob's classmates is killed on the way to school one morning the Barbers lives are forever changed. Word among Jacob's classmates is that he and Ben, the young man who was killed were at odds with each other. Ben had been bullying Jacob and most of the students think Jacob killed Ben. Andy Barber must admit to his wife that he has kept a secret from her for over 30 years of marriage. Andy comes from a family of men who committed violent crimes. His own father is serving a life sentence without parole in prison for murder.  This family slowly unravels as they face the wrath of the court system and their friends and community. Much discussion is given to nature versus nurture. Is there a Murder Gene that might be responsible for the violent behavior in the Barber family? Andy Barber cannot believe his son could be a murderer while mother, Laurie, begins to remember other instances where children around Jacob had been injured...but that was years ago when he was in day care. Could Jacob be a killer? After Jacob's trial is over there are some surprising revelations. Now I have to say, I was not so surprised because this book reminded me of an old movie that really gives me the creeps! And that movie is The Bad Seed. If I could ask the author a question, it would have to be "Did you ever see this movie?" The plot of the book is very similar but brought into the 21st century!  So, if you like police procedurals and CSI, you will find this book interesting. And it will definitely cause you to think about what EVIL really is!!

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