Author: William Landay
Publisher: Delacorte Press (January 31, 2012), Pgs 432
Genre: Legal Thriller
Fourteen year old Jacob Barber stands accused of killing his nemesis, there is no real proof, no eyewitness just hearsay, a thumbprint and a headstrong assistant district attorney that is looking to make his bones in not only taking down this boy, but to also putting his father, Andy Barber a fellow assistant district attorney in his place. What turns into a battle between two grown men soon takes a family beyond its emotional bounds and introduces their community and the courtroom to the “murder gene”.
Near the very end, there is a very subtle change, but one that had me rereading a particular sentence. A sentence where an idolized wife was dismissed or demoted and I wondered if this was the intended purpose. Where do a man’s loyalties belong? Where does blame and responsibility belong?
This book has stayed with me longer than I thought it would have, after the mid book ramblings with a particular character that I still do not feel added enough insight to have had so much devoted to her, I keep going back to the end of the story. To say that I did not see it coming would be an understatement. Can I understand what happened? Yes, as much as I can understand the actions of others. Yes, as much as I can explain two trains running straight at each other and no one seems to be able to stop it.
William Landay has included every part of a parent’s human nature in this book. How far would we go to protect our child? Our community? What truths, but more importantly, what lies are we willing to live with just so we can close our eyes at night.