A veteran prosecutor.
His son accused of murder.
How far will he go?
How far would you?
Now a major television series on AppleTV+
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life: his wife, Laurie, and teenage son, Jacob.
Then Andy’s quiet suburb is rocked when a young boy is stabbed to death in a leafy park.
And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.
Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would. Any parent should.
But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. Neighbors’ contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy’s family.
It is the ultimate test for a parent: How well do you know your child? And how far would you go to protect them?
For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, the test cuts even deeper: How guilty are you?
Praise for Defending Jacob
The best crime-and-courtroom drama in years.
A novel like this comes along maybe once a decade. William Landay’s Defending Jacob is a tour de force, a full-blooded legal thriller about a murder trial and the way it shatters a family. With its relentless suspense, mesmerizing prose, and a shocking twist at the end, it’s every bit as good as Scott Turow’s great Presumed Innocent. But also something more: an indelible domestic drama that calls to mind Ordinary People and We Need to Talk About Kevin. A spellbinding and unforgettable literary crime novel.
Joseph FinderNew York Times bestselling author
In Defending Jacob, William Landay makes bold use of his genuine storytelling gift, his amazing ability to craft believable dialogue, and above all, an extraordinary understanding of what it means to be a husband and father to present us with the unforgettable tale of an ordinary marriage and family in crisis. In his hands, the tender, passionate union of Laurie and Andrew Barber—of anyone’s marriage, by implication—is tested by the notion that parenting is never quite what one imagines it to be. On the surface, this novel reads like a first-rate thriller, but at its heart, it’s a love story. It’s the story of a man who adores his wife and child, but more than that, it’s a novel that describes the fine edge between love and madness, and the lies we sometimes tell ourselves. Landay has proven himself to be an extraordinary writer, and Defending Jacob is an amazing novel. Do yourself a favor and read it. It’s that good.
Nicholas SparksNew York Times #1 bestselling author
Waiting for a new Landay novel is like waiting for a guy from Cremona to build a violin: anxious but worth it.
Lee ChildNew York Times #1 bestselling author
Defending Jacob is a stunning novel that will be compared to classic courtroom thrillers like Presumed Innocent and Anatomy of a Murder.
Phillip MargolinNew York Times bestselling author
I thought Presumed Innocent packed a punch at the end. It was a slap compared to this.
Linwood BarclayNew York Times bestselling author
Ingenious … Nothing is predictable. All bets are off.
Janet MaslinNew York Times
In the publicity material for William Landay’s Defending Jacob, its publisher and several advance readers liken the novel to Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent, arguably the finest of American legal thrillers. The hype is justified.
Patrick AndersonWashington Post
The shocking ending will have readers pulling up their bedcovers to ward off the haunting chill.
Landay’s previous award-winning two novels, Mission Flats and The Strangler, established his talent; Defending Jacob shows how breathtaking Landay’s storytelling is.
Oline CogdillSouth Florida Sun-Sentinel
Keeps you turning the pages through the shocking gut-punch of an ending.
Landay’s two previous novels (Mission Flats, 2003, and The Strangler, 2007) were award winners, but he reaches a new level of excellence with this riveting, knock-your-socks-off legal thriller. With its masterfully crafted characterizations and dialogue, emotional depth, and frightening implications, the novel rivals the best of Scott Turow and John Grisham. Don’t miss it.