The Ending

Discuss the September 2015 book of the month Defending Jacob by William Landay
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The Ending

Post by bookowlie »

What was everyone's opinion of the ending?

I thought the part where the girl dies while they are on vacation was a surprising twist that I didn't see coming, but it fit well with the rest of the story. Although it's not spelled out that Ben did it, killers that don't get caught usually keep on killing.

The extreme step that Laurie took at the end was shocking! I can't imagine any mother doing that.
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Post by gali »

bookowlie wrote:What was everyone's opinion of the ending?

I thought the part where the girl dies while they are on vacation was a surprising twist that I didn't see coming, but it fit well with the rest of the story. Although it's not spelled out that Ben did it, killers that don't get caught usually keep on killing.

The extreme step that Laurie took at the end was shocking! I can't imagine any mother doing that.
I thought the same and the death of that girl enforced my belief of Ben's guilt.

I also thought that the extreme step Laurie took was difficult to imagine, though Ben got his just deserves.
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Post by bookowlie »

I agree Gali. Still, I think the twist about Laurie made me feel that the author included it for the sole purpose of shocking the reader.
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Post by gali »

bookowlie wrote:I agree Gali. Still, I think the twist about Laurie made me feel that the author included it for the sole purpose of shocking the reader.
I agree and it does seem a bit overboard.
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Post by ashley_claire »

I think you mean Jacob did it, not Ben ;)

I know I'm in the minority, but I'm still a little torn. My main problem is this: how in the world could someone be so stupid that a month after getting off the hook for one murder, they would do it again? In a situation where it would be very obvious that the girl was missing and Jacob had been the main person spending time with her, no less. I know he's a teenager and impulsive, but I have to give him a bit more credit than that.

But if Jacob didn't do it, then what else could have happened to her?

Laurie's decision at the end was truly shocking. The fact that she didn't even try to get him some sort of help and just took matters into her own hands was tough to read.

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Post by bookowlie »

ashley_claire wrote:I think you mean Jacob did it, not Ben ;)

I know I'm in the minority, but I'm still a little torn. My main problem is this: how in the world could someone be so stupid that a month after getting off the hook for one murder, they would do it again? In a situation where it would be very obvious that the girl was missing and Jacob had been the main person spending time with her, no less. I know he's a teenager and impulsive, but I have to give him a bit more credit than that.

But if Jacob didn't do it, then what else could have happened to her?

Laurie's decision at the end was truly shocking. The fact that she didn't even try to get him some sort of help and just took matters into her own hands was tough to read.
@ashley_claire Good catch! Sorry about the mix-up in the names. :) You brought up a good point about whether could be so stupid to commit a murder a month after getting off the hook in another murder. I can see this happening if the person gets emboldened to think they can get away with anything. Also, serial-type murderers often have impulses that they can't control. Otherwise, why would they kill so many people?

-- 20 Sep 2015, 11:05 --

I think Jacob's character had the potential to be a serial killer.
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Post by zeldas_lullaby »

Wow, maybe I should hang in there until the ending and find out what his mother does!! :o How shocking could it be?

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Post by ashley_claire »

zeldas_lullaby wrote:Wow, maybe I should hang in there until the ending and find out what his mother does!! :o How shocking could it be?
Haha, honestly if you're not really enjoying it I would say skip ahead to the last few chapters and pick it up when they go on vacation. That's where it gets interesting again.

-- 21 Sep 2015, 05:46 --

@bookowlie I can definitely understand the lack of impulse control. Especially being a teenager, the time when your impulse control is at its worst.

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Post by peprica21 »

I think the end with Laurie and Jacob is pretty shocking and almost non believable. I don't have children, but I can't imagine doing something like that to my own child. Maybe just me. I assume Laurie just got so desperate she didn't know what else to do.
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Post by lmmallia »

The girl dying at the end of the book surprised me as well but I think the most shocking was what Laurie did. During the book you can see where she started to distance herself from Jacob and began to voice concerns about his behavior and whether he was capable of murdering Ben but even taking that into consideration I just didn't find her actions believable. I have kids, boys, of my own, and even if I thought one of them had murdered someone I would do everything in my power to get them help. I'm not saying I would cover up for them if they committed crimes but I would try to find ways to help them. I would never write them off as a lost cause.
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Post by ashley_claire »

lmmallia wrote:The girl dying at the end of the book surprised me as well but I think the most shocking was what Laurie did. During the book you can see where she started to distance herself from Jacob and began to voice concerns about his behavior and whether he was capable of murdering Ben but even taking that into consideration I just didn't find her actions believable. I have kids, boys, of my own, and even if I thought one of them had murdered someone I would do everything in my power to get them help. I'm not saying I would cover up for them if they committed crimes but I would try to find ways to help them. I would never write them off as a lost cause.
I thought exactly the same in regards to thinking my own child had actually done it. And if trying to get them help wasn't working and I truly wanted them punished, then I think I would try to gather evidence to give to the police. Intentionally killing my child would not be an option.

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Post by quadbrookie »

I was speechless at the ending left me floored. I thought Jacob was going to be wrongfully convicted, mostly by the damming evidence of his best friend. I was relieved when Jonathan called with news of the "suicide" and the "confession." After the girl had gone missing on the family vacation, I couldn't believe it was all Jacob. The ending involving Laurie was so shocking I gave it another star than I had originally planned!

-- 26 Sep 2015, 06:27 --
lmmallia wrote:The girl dying at the end of the book surprised me as well but I think the most shocking was what Laurie did. During the book you can see where she started to distance herself from Jacob and began to voice concerns about his behavior and whether he was capable of murdering Ben but even taking that into consideration I just didn't find her actions believable. I have kids, boys, of my own, and even if I thought one of them had murdered someone I would do everything in my power to get them help. I'm not saying I would cover up for them if they committed crimes but I would try to find ways to help them. I would never write them off as a lost cause.
I agree with you. She seemed so desperate that I thought she would take him back to the psychiatrist because she said that they could work on some of his diagnosis so some of it would no longer be a factor.

-- 26 Sep 2015, 06:27 --
lmmallia wrote:The girl dying at the end of the book surprised me as well but I think the most shocking was what Laurie did. During the book you can see where she started to distance herself from Jacob and began to voice concerns about his behavior and whether he was capable of murdering Ben but even taking that into consideration I just didn't find her actions believable. I have kids, boys, of my own, and even if I thought one of them had murdered someone I would do everything in my power to get them help. I'm not saying I would cover up for them if they committed crimes but I would try to find ways to help them. I would never write them off as a lost cause.
I agree with you. She seemed so desperate that I thought she would take him back to the psychiatrist because she said that they could work on some of his diagnosis so some of it would no longer be a factor.

-- 29 Sep 2015, 23:34 --

If you ask me the ending made the book worth reading!
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Post by bookowlie »

I agree that the ending was jaw-dropping. I did think it was unrealistic. However, it fit in well with the overall concept of the book - how each of the parents reacted to their son being a murder suspect.
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Post by quadbrookie »

I can agree with that. If she hadn't stopped him, do you believe he could have become a serial killer?
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Post by gali »

bookowlie wrote:I agree that the ending was jaw-dropping. I did think it was unrealistic. However, it fit in well with the overall concept of the book - how each of the parents reacted to their son being a murder suspect.
I agree with you.

-- October 5th, 2015, 7:32 am --
quadbrokie45 wrote:I can agree with that. If she hadn't stopped him, do you believe he could have become a serial killer?
I think so.
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