Defending Jacob, by William Landay

28 Oct
THREE of FIVE stars

THREE of FIVE stars

I’m just going to have to be honest, I’m not super excited about this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I held my eyelids open as long as I could every night until it was done, but in the end it just wasn’t that great.

There were things I loved. The premise of your own child being suspected of murder, and how long you can hold your belief that they are innocent in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. The Grand Jury framework that told you there was more to this story than we were led to believe. And I really really loved the narrator, for the same reasons others seem to not like him: There were clues dropped from the very beginning that Andy was not quite right, that he likely carried that special gene he’s worried about. It wasn’t that he used odd language, it was the language of another sociopath. You could see this in how he constantly described the behavior of others, his detailed descriptions of their motives, and his complete lack of understanding and misinterpreting of both. His complete lack of any real emotion all the way to the very end.

However it was the ending(s) that stole the whole thing. They dragged. They were abrupt. They were tied up with a bow. Because Andy is a completely unreliable narrator, we don’t really know for sure what happened. It was all just… a let down for me at the end. “And then now we’re done, The End.” That’s what it felt like.

But again, the rest was great. I wouldn’t argue with anyone about this book or discourage anyone from reading it, I just wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it.

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