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Read-Alikes: Defending Jacob

What lengths would we go to for our children? This list of books explores some of those far reaching places.


The Good Father

Dr. Paul Allen specializes in taking the cases the other doctors have abandoned. But when he is charged with trying to help his own son, who just tried to assassinate a presidential candidate, Paul must face what it means to be a good parent as well as a good doctor.


Involuntary Witness

When a child is murdered in an Italian resort town, a scrappy defense attorney takes on a dysfunctional legal system in this courtroom thriller.


To Kill a Mockingbird

About fifty years ago, Harper Lee published her sole effort, the beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird. While not often considered a "courtroom drama", the story of an ambiguous defendant being represented by an attorney whose character is elaborated by his fatherhood echoes and appropriately engages any reader interested in William Landay's new novel, Defending Jacob. How the execution of justice impacts nominal notions of social relations defines the outer boundaries of both novels, and provokes the reader of either.


House Rules

Jacob, a teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome, may be shifty-eyed and nervous, but does that mean he killed his tutor? A mother struggles to protect her son when police determine Jacob is a suspect.


We Need to Talk About Kevin

In the aftermath of a school shooting, a mother wrestles with where the responsibility lies. The shooter was her son.


Anatomy of a Murder

Though the 1959 movie is good, the literary courtroom thriller it's based on is even better. Robert Traver was the pen name of John D. Voelker, a lawyer who wrote this novel about an actual trial in which he served as the defense attorney. Anatomy of a Murder became a model for courtroom dramas, helping to establish the popular genre of the legal thriller.