Rarely do I read a book right when the hype around it is still going on. After seeing this on NetGalley I just had to pick it up and read it. And I am so thankful I did. A book that is more than a criminal case, it is about the family that is at the heart of the case. A small family unit that is solely made up of mother, father and son that takes quite a hit when a classmate at school is found dead in a local park.
The reader is taken behind the scenes and out of the courtroom to their home between the days of the case when it is hard to continue on. I fell in love with this family and was intrigued by the struggle they faced trying to first determine in their own minds if their son was innocent and then defending him to the end. The reader is in the middle of the journey trying to decide if they believe that Jacob is innocent or not.
Just when you thought the book was coming to close there were four more chapters that took this story to a whole different level. As I always do, I will not share about the twist ending that takes you completely by surprise and is almost a sucker punch to the gut. Because of this twist ending, this book is a terrific ride to the very last page.
Wow! What a read! I picked this book up on a whim at Barnes and Noble and once I started it, I absolutely could not put this down. I think I read these 400-something pages in 2 days. This author is a force to be reckoned with. The story is about a man, Andy Barber, who is an assistant district attorney who finds himself investigating the homicide of a teenager from his own son's elite private school. When the evidence points to his son, Jacob, he does everything conceivably possible to make sure his son gets the absolute best defense. Landay never once tells the reader whether Jacob is innocent or guilty, but lets the reader decide for himself. The story is about the lengths a family will go to to protect one of their own and whether that price is worth it in the end.
I had to step away from this book for awhile after finishing it because if I reviewed it immediately after, Id have given it 1 star max; mostly because of the overwhelming 5 star reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. This book was set up like it was the holy grail of legal thrillers. When I finished it I wanted to throw it against the wall.
Im going to get a little off topic and complain about the reviews first. More and more lately it has been very transparent that reviews for books are set up from the beginning. I knew this before but with the amount of book bloggers out there receiving free copy from publishers it has become even worse.
Back to the book, I will add one more star to this book and make it a 2. Which by standards is it was ok. It wasnt bad, it wasnt great, it was just ok. There is nothing wrong with an ok book. I didnt find it emotionally taut. I found it emotionally irritating. The whole family needed a cold dose of reality into their lives. I wanted to keep asking the mom and dad Are you alive in your life? Have you any clue what is going on in your own lives...in your own kid? As more details emerged about early childhood, the more irritated I got. Insert some Samuel Jackson here and scream Wake the **** up!
Most of this book was predictable. Andy (the father) insinuated a lot continuously throughout the book, so we could see what was coming ahead by his own prompting. What missed for me was emotional connection to the Andy (dad), Laurie (mom), and Jacob (son). I felt nothing for Laurie and absolutely zero for Jacob. Without an emotional connection to the characters...something loveable...I can't feel for their predicament.
Engrossing and unpredictable. Could not have seen the ending coming. In a good way. I'm way to fast to imagine every outcome and this one....well it's well worth the suspense. :)