Why do reviewers spew forth quotes like "NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Entertainment Weekly • The Boston Globe • Kansas City Star"? Defending Jacob was a pretty good read, but "one of the best books of the year"? Not having read ALL of the books published this year I suppose I'm in no position to say, but have these reviewers read ALL of the books published this year? Now that I've gotten that off my chest, back to Defending Jacob.
When I first heard a blurb about it on the radio I got the impression that it was a true story. "Son of local DA charged with murder". Well, that sounds interesting. I bought the Audible version because it seemed like an easy listen. I learned quickly, of course, that it was fiction, but it didn't lessen the interest. I've always loved courtroom dramas, since I first watched Perry Mason as a kid. The original Perry Mason - not Ironsides. Defending Jacob keeps up the suspense right from the start and leads you to thinking "did he really do it? Could he have really done it?" right into "Yes. I think he really did it".
The interplay between the prosecutor and the defense attorney was right on. The interplay between the father and son and the father and the mother wasn't quite as sharp, but it did the job. Enough questions were raised and the timing was just right so that it kept my interest throughout. Couldn't wait to get in the old truck and plug in the ipod to continue listening as I made my rounds.
Unfortunately (sort of spoiler alert) there is a surprise twist at the end that fails the whole book. Almost as bad as "then I woke up". It was a cheap way out of a plot that the author couldn't end with enough of a bang by his own writing merits, so he throws in an ending that is bizarrely out of character for the person involved and pretty much trashed the whole book for me. Sorry, Mr. Landay, but you're not ready for prime time yet.