Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.I received a hardcopy of this book via Random House's EarlyBirdRead Program
Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.
Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis—a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.
I know many reviews compare this book to Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent, but I thought this book also had similar themes to Helen Schulman's This Beautiful Life. Both books capture how a family reacts when one of their children is part of a scandal.
This book is told within a grand jury transcript of the father's testimony. The reader doesn't find out why the father is testifying until 5 pages from the end of the book. A smart reader will see some foreshadowing early in the book around why the father might be testifying.
Even with all the crime/detective dramas on TV, it was interesting to read how a case might be defended. Unfortunately, halfway through the book I got tired of the case/trial and I was ready for the outcome to be shared. I felt the last 20 pages were really unexpected and a little under developed. Landay does incorporate some modern twists into the investigation by including references to Facebook.
While there were some interesting plot twists, I wouldn't say this book was written any better than any other mystery/thriller I've read in the past year.