Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob takes a look at a family in crisis. The father, Andy, is a District Attorney investigating the horrific murder of a child. Andy investigates this murder in a somewhat detached way and doesn’t even consider that the suspect might be his own son. As the story moves along the reader learns some details about Jacob that are disturbing and tragic. What is more interesting is how the father, Andy, goes to great lengths to view his son as “normal”. The mother sees her son more clearly and this sets the strange dynamic within the family unit.  It is also interesting that the parents of the boy that was murdered did not appear to see the bullying that their son was engaged in.  The community of parents is definitely challenged by the events in this story.  The author shows the mundane and then slowly peels the covers away to reveal the judgmental nature that can happen in an instant when trouble comes.

William Landay has brilliantly told a story about bad things that can happen in seemingly normal families. How the actions of a child can put the parents in jeopardy of loosing everything. This story told from Andy’s point of view is sad as it is tragic. Andy should have seen the signs long ago that his son needed help. The question of culpability of that parent plays subtly into this storyline.  By not addressing the problems as they were uncovered eventually put the safety of others in jeopardy.   It is surprising how little both Andy and Laurie knew their son.  They did not appear to have a clue about his friends, his life at school or anything other than surface information.  The author, through Andy’s point of view,  looks back  into Jacob’s and his own history to  start assembling the pieces and drawing conclusions.  Andy and Laurie do not appear to reach the same one. There is a twist at the end of the story that raises the question of a parent’s love. It is the mother in the end that perhaps did what she saw as the best thing for her son.

At the Childfree Life there is often discussion about the life script and how the sugar coated image of family is often portrayed in literature. That is not the case in this book. The life script goes terribly wrong in the lives of this family.

This thriller held my attention from start to finish.

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Featured Book for October

The featured book over on TCFL group on goodreads is W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton.   I have read all of the Kinsey Millhone books over the years.  Sue Grafton has created a very smart and wonderful childfree character in  Kinsey.  She is a bit of a loner, but she has an eclectic group of friends who form her family.  I find her easy to relate to;  perhaps because she is from a generation not far from my own.  Kinsey’s character was born in the 1950s and her world view is shaped by some tragic events that occur in her formative years.   Kinsey is orphaned at an early age and is estranged from her surviving family members.  She has a toughness that serves her well in the life of a private investigator.   Sue Grafton reveals bits and pieces of Kinsey’s past over the series of alphabet books from A to now W.

I am looking forward to finding out more about Kinsey in this newest installment.  I enjoy spending time with her and am somewhat sad to see that the end of the alphabet is near.  I am glad that Sue Grafton has developed a character that is smart and strong and content in her decisions.  Kinsey Millhone  is that strong female CF fictional character that many members on TCFL forums want to see in more novels.

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