The year begins with a Target Book Club selection—Defending Jacob by William Landay. It seems to be very popular with Target, Costco, and local bookstores. The fact that even the snooty, high-brow City Lights carries the book convinces me to pick it up. I’ve always had a weakness for these mystery/crime thrillers but too careful not to delve in those nickel-and-dime pedestrian ones.
I’m trying to put my finger on what makes Defending Jacob such a compulsive read. Another reason I picked it up is I want to compare it with We Need to Talk about Kevin. Landay clearly has a killer storytelling instinct. (So far) the pacing of this novel is near perfect. He drops just enough clues, teases with just enough foreshadowing to keep the reader completely engrossed at all times. This story isn’t about proving Jacob is innocent or guilty. At least I didn’t think so. For me this story was about fathers unconditional love for his son, no matter the outcome.
Starting January 6, I’ll be off to Asia—Thailand and Hong Kong—for a month. The blog will not be updated on a regular basis. I would check in where wi-fi is available and post book reviews during the trip. The reading list includes:
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
Innocent by Scott Turow
Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes
Travel with Charley by John Steinbeck
In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont