Jay Jacobs (A&S’64) authored a nonfiction courtroom drama, The Widow Wave. The book answers many questions non-lawyers have about the justice system.
Will anyone ever know what happened to the Aloha, a sport-fishing boat that vanished with all on board in the Pacific Ocean off San Francisco’s coast? Knowing is a complex, inexact business. There’s real truth and then there’s courtroom truth; a jury’s verdict may or may not approach what actually happened. Nor can someone reading about such an event — one that had no witnesses or hard evidence to explain it — be sure where the truth lies. But trials, judges and juries are what we have in our legal system for finding truth.
The Widow Wave explores this alternate reality. It is a fascinating true-life mystery and courtroom drama rolled into one. Jacobs offers no facile answers — and he’s not the flawless protagonist typically portrayed in such dramas. He lets us see how a big wrongful death case really unfolds, in a true story that reads like a novel. Will the jury find the truth? Will the reader?
“An intelligently told true story of honor, integrity and justice. The Widow Wave reminded me of The Perfect Storm, played out in a taut courtroom thriller. Jay Jacobs masterfully weaves the harrowing tale of the last voyage of the Aloha, and the courtroom battle that followed. A great read.” — Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Grave