Not since the novels of Scott Turow has a crime thriller - any thriller, though this too happens to be a literary legal thriller - shaken me by the throat like this. It's a stunning, shocking, emotionally harrowing ride in which the reader is plunged into a riveting but terrible murder trial and the heartbreaking implosion of a loving family. I had to lie down when I finished it (all too soon) to still my beating heart. ... What sets this apart from many thrillers is Landay's remarkable storytelling which allows him to craft the most sensational twists without forfeiting belief. But it's not just about suspense. Landay has written an unflinching account of the complexities of family life in a changing world
Landay clearly derives his premise from Scott Turow's prosecutor-in-the-dock thriller Presumed Innocent, and to say Defending Jacob is almost as good as Turow is high, not faint praise; the handling of Barber's voice is impeccable, the use of interwoven transcripts of his appearance before a grand jury is a distinctive and cunning device.
A clever blend of legal thriller and issue-oriented family implosion
This is a legal thriller worthy of mention in the same breath as Turow's masterpiece. A compelling read
Word of mouth on a new novel is not always to be trusted but sometimes a new book handsomely fulfils all the expectations. This is such a novel. ... If Turow's Presumed Innocent remains the definitive legal thriller, Defending Jacob is one of the most accomplished to have followed in its wake. A final word of advice. Tackle this quickly before friends start to discuss the shocking ending.
William Landay is being talked about as a new Scott Turow or John Grisham, having been one of Boston's district attorneys. He is at home with both the processes of detection and courtroom scenes ... a taut, tense, well-written thriller
Landay's first legal thriller makes Scott Turow and John Grisham seem like amateurs
Defending Jacob is smart, sophisticated, and suspenseful - capturing both the complexity and stunning fragility of family life
Riveting, suspenseful, and emotionally searing