Rosepoint Reviews – November Recap—Hello Holidays!—You’ve Come Too Soon!

Rosepoint Reviews-RecapNovember was a mere flash of a month, eclipsing present goals, and creating new ones. Never a dull moment—guess that’s a good thing at this age!

November weather was so mild that the CE and I got to explore a new trail close by and walking was inspired by the cyclists whizzing by. Remembering the years we rode our own bikes, nostalgia took over and I went on the quest for a bike—not the motorcycle kind (had to give that up), a bicycle. My new, used Trek bicycle.Our son delivered his wife’s mountain bike and proving too big and heavy for me, defaulted to the CE. I finally found a guy who carefully guided me into a good used Trek that fits. LOVE this hybrid cruiser!

Then a crisis with our daughter diverted our attention to a quick trip to southern Illinois and another crisis in our son’s wife’s family short-circuited Thanksgiving plans, so it turned out to be a quiet, private Thanksgiving. How was yours? I hope you enjoyed family, a fabulous dinner, and lots of love. Speaking of—our little great-grandson had his first birthday the latter portion of November. Phew!

We did manage to do some reading in November though. (I did some reading, the CE the driving.) Together we read or listened to twelve books in November, most from NetGalley (still our primary resource).

November reads

  1. The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves (audiobook)
  2. Back in the USSR by Patrick D Joyce (CE review)
  3. Defending Jacob by William Landay (audiobook)
  4. What Have We Done by Alex Finlay(CE review)
  5. More Harm Than Good by Jean Grainger
  6. Hell and Back by Craig Johnson (audiobook)
  7. The Nature of Secrets by Debra Webb (CE review)
  8. The Sandcastle Hurricane by Carolyn Brown
  9. Mitzy Moon Mysteries Books 2 and 3 by Trixie Silvertale
  10. Clive Cussler The Sea Wolves by Jack Du Brul (audiobook)
  11. Devil’s Way by Robert Bryndza (CE review)
  12. Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls

2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Reading Challenges

I think I pretty well caught up my challenges page. As mentioned before, all my challenges have been achieved with the exception of the Goodreads Challenge of 180, now at 177 and 98% which is also my Feedback Ratio on NetGalley. Check my Reading Challenges page for updates.

I cranked up the speaker and listened to a number of my YouTube favorites, Queen, Abba, Andrea Bocelli, and 2Cellos (which, btw, did you know they quit as a team? Gees!!), and started my inside Christmas decorations. Almost done—next, the outside lights. Are you getting ready for the season as well? Do you celebrate with a crèche, cards, trees, and lights? Next week, my annual trek to the post office with my boxes. Pray for me. Ack! Boxes to the PO

I appreciate the follows; thank you to those who like, share, and comment—especially comment! And, please, let me know if you saw something above that got your interest.

©2022 V Williams

Me and the CE

Defending Jacob by William Landay – #Audiobook Review – #throwbackthursday

Audiobook review-Defending Jacob by William Landay

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 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 14-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, and 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.

My Review:

I must admit that I chose this audiobook because I saw that it was narrated by Grover Gardner and I’m a huge fan of Mr. Gardner—the “Andy” of the Andy Carpenter series (by another author). His artistic rendition carries most any book to new heights, not just reading the book, but making the characters come alive—flesh and blood—along with their foibles. Such is the Andy in this book.

The hook at the beginning manages to jump what will become the meat and potatoes of this book—the POV by Andy Barber. Andy is happily married and they have a fourteen-year-old son, Jacob. Every now and then, the POV jumps over the catastrophic event in the family’s life that propels the legal thriller to a heartbreaking family drama.

Jacob is accused of the murder of a classmate. Andy becomes convinced that Jacob would not—could not—commit the heinous crime—stabbing three times the chest of the boy found murdered and left in the park. He is temporarily suspended from his position as ADA and becomes convinced beyond all reason (and mostly circumstantial evidence) that his son is innocent.

Defending Jacob by William LandayMeanwhile, Laurie, his wife is becoming alarmed at her crushing emotions and conflicting beliefs—then guilt over her thoughts. Could her son have killed that boy? The atmosphere in the air becomes increasingly contentious, Andy defending his son beyond reason. Jacob declaring his innocence. His mother no longer so positive—doubts seeping into the bedrock, loosening her private shocking fears and revelations to her husband.

Meanwhile, as Andy works second chair with the attorney they hired to defend Jacob, they are confronted with Andy’s own history—dark secrets he’d never shared even with Laurie. She becomes horrified and as her experience with her baby boy begins to shed more light on him, Andy continues the unreasonable and dogged resistance to the possibility.

The reader is first left with a child—yes, sometimes children can be cruel—but this is far beyond bullying—and increasing questions as to the veracity of Andy’s arguments. The toll on the family is unimaginable, threatening to ruin the marriage, his mother’s belief in Jacob’s innocence flailing wildly in the wind. While Andy is a well-developed main character, Laurie is more a strong periphery character and Jacob only known through the insight of Andy and his mother.

I’m a fan of legal thrillers and the courtroom dance in the narrative proceeds with all the drama a reader could want, the push-pull, win-lose. Written by a former ADA, the author knows the timing, the procedure, the lingo—it’s high drama in itself.

The family appears to survive the process albeit briefly when another event sends the reader back into high-pressure territory, gasping with shock at the turn of events.

And then; the final twist. I don’t care who you are. You never saw this coming. Yes, I know you’ve heard that before. No, trust me. This one is so beyond what you might have imagined it echoes over and over in your head, leaving you with a book hangover.  The unthinkable. No do-overs here. You can run it over in your mind. It won’t change. I was almost sick.

Does that mean I wouldn’t recommend it? Are you kidding? This is crazy unique, gripping, heart-pounding, and unquestionably a novel both engaging and entertaining. The narration by Gardner is mesmerizing. (I guess it was turned into a TV series released in 2020.)

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Fiction, Legal Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio, Inc.
ASIN: B0073OGZNM
Listening Length: 12 hrs 24 mins
Narrator: Grover Gardner
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Defending Jacob [Amazon]

 

Add to Goodreads

William Landay - authorThe Author: William Landay’s latest novel is the New York Times bestseller “Defending Jacob.” His previous novels are “Mission Flats,” which won the Dagger Award as best debut crime novel of 2003, and “The Strangler,” which was an L.A. Times favorite crime novel and was nominated for the Strand Magazine Critics Award as best crime novel of 2007.

Visit the author at http://www.williamlanday.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/williamlanday

Grover Gardner - narratorNarrator: Grover Gardner is an American narrator of audiobooks. As of May 2018, he has narrated over 1,200 books. He was the Publishers Weekly “Audiobook Narrator of the Year” and is among AudioFile magazine’s “Best Voices of the Century”. Wikipedia

Born: 1956 (age 66 years).

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday

 

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