Brief Review of ‘Defending Jacob’ by William Landay

Reading is something that I have left sat on the shelf for the past few years. The amount of reading required for my degree meant that when I had some spare time, I just didn’t want to read another word of any book, whether academic or non-academic – that’s when, unfortunately, Netflix became my down time activity. However, now that I’m temporarily no longer a student, I have a lot of time on my hands. Two days ago I picked up a non-academic book for the first time in at least two years, and two days later I have already finished it.

That feeling of loving a book so much that you can’t put it down is one that I have missed. Defending Jacob had me gripped from the very first page and all the way to the end, it was so easy to sit and read whilst the hours passed by. Reading the book didn’t feel like it was a chore, as it had started to become with all of the Criminology literature for university. William Landay’s writing style is one that isn’t complicated, but certainly isn’t too simple either. It is descriptive in all the right places, it almost makes you feel as if you are right there in the book with the characters, as any good book should.

And just when you’re wondering how the book is going to end, there are shocking twists thrown your way that make you want to go back a few pages to read them again, in order to see if you had actually read them correctly. It was thrilling and exciting, and the only disappointment is that there isn’t a sequel. A positive for fans of this book, though, is that a web series is currently in production, which will no doubt be just as successful as the book. I have seen that Chris Evans, who plays Captain America for the MCU, will be in the role of  Andy Barber, with Michelle Dockery playing Jacob’s mother, Laurie. I have to say that I’m excited to see how they portray these characters, especially as they have both demonstrated extraordinary talent in their previous roles. It will be interesting to see how they play the role of parents to a teenager, as they are both only in their late 30’s, but I have no doubt that we will not be disappointed with this series.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has very quickly become one of my favourites that I’ll definitely end up reading several more times. Prior to reading Defending Jacob I had not read any of William Landay’s work, but I will certainly be heading out to find some of his other books as I’m sure they are page-turners much like Defending Jacob.


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