Nothing but Surprises

I have to say that Defending Jacob by William Landay is suspenseful, and surprising. This is not your typical murder mystery because it involves a teen ager as the victim, and who knows maybe a teen ager as the killer. I never learned who the real killer was, nor his motive, nor how he did it, but that is why I call it a suspense story.

There are so many characters in the story that I found myself trying to figure who the killer was. I partly guessed right. I admit that almost every character in the story is intimately involved. The author did not place characters in the story just to fill space.

One theory of defense postulated is the “murder gene.” If you have this gene you may be pre-disposed to violence. It is not a proven science yet, but it is far enough along to write about it.

The first eighty percent of the story is plot build up, and character development; the thrills take place in the last twenty percent. I hesitated beginning this book because so many murder mysteries are so alike; this one is not. It is so far from the ordinary, that I stayed up past my bed time to keep on reading.

This story clearly points out how clueless parents can be of a teen’s activities. The parents of this fourteen year old could not imagine that their son was into dark porn websites, but he was. He also wrote a story that mimicked the murder and all the characters involved, then posted it on a social media website for the world to see. That little act did not help his cause one bit. Much of the story depicts the family falling apart over the kid’s arrest, indictment, and trial. The father lost his job, his mother quit her teaching job, the school suspended the accused, all their friends shunned them. They were in total solitary confinement. At first, the parents did not believe their son is guilty, but as the trial opens, and they hear testimony pointing at him they begin to have doubts. By the time the trial ends, the family is held together by flimsy threads.

I have to give this story five stars. ⊕⊕⊕⊕⊕

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