William Landay

Defending Jacob by Newton’s Own William Landay and Set in Cold Spring Park!

William Landay

My Mom Friend Melissa told me her Dad Friend Brian told her about a book written NY Times best selling author from Newton and set in Cold Spring Park. I go to the dog park a lot with my dog so I was intrigued. It turns out that Brian was William’s old neighbor from West Newton.

Then my Dad Friend Andrew, the founder of Ten Marks, an online math tutoring company sent me an email and offered to introduce me to William Landay. Hurrah!

Let’s interview him together. Please leave a comment with any questions you want to ask him and I will ask for a Q and A interview.

Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay

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.

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.

Andy Barber, a respected First Assistant DA who lives in Newton, Mass., with his gentle wife, Laurie, and their 14-year-old son, Jacob, must face the unthinkable in Dagger Award–winner Landay’s harrowing third suspense novel. When Ben Rifkin, Jacob’s classmate, is found stabbed to death in the woods, Internet accusations and incontrovertible evidence point to big, handsome Jacob. Andy’s prosecutorial gut insists a child molester is the real killer, but as Jacob’s trial proceeds and Andy’s marriage crumbles under the forced revelation of old secrets, horror builds on horror toward a breathtakingly brutal outcome. Landay (The Strangler), a former DA, mixes gritty court reporting with Andy’s painful confrontation with himself, forcing readers willy-nilly to realize the end is never the end when, as Landay claims, the line between truth and justice has become so indistinct as to appear imaginary. This searing narrative proves the ancient Greek tragedians were right: the worst punishment is not death but living with what you—knowingly or unknowingly—have done.

William Landay is the author of The Strangler, a Los Angeles Times Favorite Crime Book of the Year, and Mission Flats, winner of the Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for Best First Crime Novel and a Barry Award nominee. A former district attorney who holds degrees from Yale and Boston College Law School, Landay lives in Boston, where he is at work on his next novel of suspense.

Set in Boston in 1963, Landay’s engrossing crime novel is less about the titular strangler than the three Irish-American Daley brothers: Ricky, a thief; Michael, a lawyer; and Joe, a bent cop. A year earlier, the Daleys’ father, also a cop, was fatally shot on the job, and the killer has never been caught. The father’s partner on the force, Brendan Conroy, has insinuated himself into the family to the point that he’s now sleeping with the brothers’ mother, Margaret, and is a permanent fixture at Sunday dinner, much to the disgust of Michael and Ricky. Landay (Mission Flats) movingly explores the bonds of family and basic questions of honesty and loyalty. While the novel suggests another killer than the historical Boston Strangler, the emphasis remains on such themes as crime and punishment, love and honor, truth and justice. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Troubled cops, revenge-hungry mob bosses, dead women–these are the things that make life interesting…. [The Strangler has] plenty of violence, suspense and family intrigue.”—Esquire.com“Landay movingly explores the bonds of family and basic questions of honesty and loyalty…. The emphasis remains on such themes as crime and punishment, love and honor, truth and justice.”—Publishers Weekly“Complex…. This character-driven novel …[unfolds] against the backdrop of the oppressive atmosphere of 1963 Boston. People are reeling from the assassination of JFK and the still-on-the-loose Boston Strangler.”—USA Today

“Landay has a marvelous ear for dialogue and for relationship complexities, smartly emphasizing the impact of crime instead of on the crimes in particular.”—Baltimore Sun

“Mr. Landay combines a fictional investigation of the Strangler’s killings with a chronicle of three brothers…. The result is a gripping, atmospheric saga in which the official version of many matters (both criminal and civil) bears little resemblance to the truth.”–Wall Street Journal

From the New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob

Former D.A. William Landay explodes onto the suspense scene with an electrifying novel about the true price of crime and the hidden corners of the criminal justice system. Only an insider could so vividly capture Boston’s gritty underworld of cops and criminals. And only a natural storyteller could weave this mesmerizing tale of murder and memory, a story about the hold of time past over time present–and the story of one unforgettable young policeman who ventures into the most dangerous place of all.

By a gleaming lake in the forests of western Maine, outside a sleepy town called Versailles, the body of a man lies sprawled in a deserted cabin. The dead man was an elite D.A. from Boston, and his beat was that city’s toughest neighborhood: Mission Flats.

Now, for small-town police chief Ben Truman, investigating the murder will mean leaving his quiet, haunted home and journeying to an alien world of hard streets and hard bargains, where the fierce struggle between police and criminals is fought for the ultimate stakes.

Ben joins a manhunt through Mission Flats, where cops are scrambling to find their number-one suspect: Harold Braxton, a ruthless predator targeted for prosecution by the murdered D.A. To the Boston police, Braxton is a marked man. But as Ben watches the shadow dance of cops and suspects, he begins to voice doubts about Braxton’s guilt…especially when he uncovers a secret history of murder and retribution stretching back twenty years…back to a brutal killing now nearly forgotten. As past and present collide and a bloody mystery unfolds, only one thing remains certain: the most powerful 
revelations are yet to come.

Mission Flats is at once a relentless page-turning mystery and a vivid portrait of a cop’ s life. Here are the street corners, courtrooms, and stationhouses; the deal makers, thugs, and quiet heroes. An unforgettable world–and the luminous, boundary-breaking debut of a new voice in suspense fiction–Mission Flats will haunt you long after the final pages.

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