14 May 2013

Defending Jacob by William Landay

I finished Defending Jacob a few weeks ago, but it has taken me a while to process it and get to a point where I felt I could talk about it coherently.  Incidentally, I'm back at The Wilderness Warrior, and nearing the three-quarters mark.  T.R. is currently in his second term and just finished his wolf hunt in the Oklahoma Territory.

A confession: I used to be addicted to Law & Order.  All of them.  Back when I was in college TNT used to run L&O reruns pretty much all day long, so whenever I was in my room doing homework or whatever, L&O was on in the background.  I used to watch every new episode of it, plus SVU and Criminal Intent, and even the short-lived Trial by Jury.  Obviously this was a while ago...

So, coming at a novel like Defending Jacob, I could not help sometimes reading it through the lens of so many hours of L&O.  Even so, Defending Jacob was different: truly unexpected at several turns, and a very gripping read.

The premise is simple enough: Andy Barber, an assistant DA in a small town close to Boston, MA, gets assigned to investigate the murder of a classmate of his son, Jacob, only for his son to end up as the prime suspect.

The execution is far from simple, though, bringing in all kinds of philosophical quandaries: nature vs. nurture, the roles (and responsibilities) of parents, personal loyalty...the list goes on.  I find it hard to be too specific without risking giving things away, and even though I'm pretty sure no one reads this blog, I would hate to be a spoiler.

Anyway, through it all, Landay kept me guessing.  I suppose you could say there were more than one Law & Order Twist.  Certainly, the ending, more than anything, left me a little shaken.  Even now I'm not entirely sure what I think about it.  Truth be told, I wish some of my friends had read the book, so I could talk to them about it.  Oh well.

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Books: The above; and almost 75% done with The Wilderness Warrior.  Only 230 pages left!

Bottles: Some good ones: Joseph Burrier Pouilly-Fuisse Classique and Continuum 2010(!!!!).  The Continuum was especially amazing.

Writing: Still querying about Into the Shining Sun, and otherwise working on sketches for Stand N Deliver.  Which continues to amuse me.  I actually got a few books on songwriting to support it.  So far I've just written one song for it.

Guitar: Nearly done fixing the tabs for "Marooned," so going to look at that soon!  Meanwhile, I soldered some patch cables for my pedal board a bit wrong, so I can pick up ESPN Radio on my amp when I use the pedal board.  Fun times.