The Fact of a Body
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What to expect
‘One of the best books I’ve read this year. Just astounding.’ – Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train.
Law student Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, working on a retrial for death-row convicted murderer and child molester, Ricky Langley, finds herself thrust into the tangled story of his childhood. As she examines the minute details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own history, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and to reckon with how her own past colours her view of his crime.
When Alexandria begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, and sees Ricky’s face flash on the screen as she reviews old tapes, and hears him speak of his crimes, she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die.
Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case, realizing that despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar.
As enthralling as true-crime classics such as In Cold Blood and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and broadcast phenomena such as The Keepers, Making a Murderer and Serial, The Fact of a Body is a groundbreaking, heart-stopping investigation into how the law is personal, composed of individual stories and proof that arriving at the truth is more complicated, and powerful, than we could ever imagine.
One of the best books I’ve read this year. Just astounding.Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
Compulsive, eloquent and profoundly troubling. One of those rare books which embrace the genuine complexity of real life.Mark Haddon
The Fact of a Body is excellent. So gripping and fascinating.Sophie Hannah, author of The Carrier and The Monogram Murders
This book is a marvel. With unflinching precision and immense compassion, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich peels apart both a murder case and her own experience to reveal how we try to make sense of the past. The Fact of a Body is equal parts gripping and haunting and will leave you questioning whether any one story can hold the full truthCeleste Ng, author of the New York Times bestselling Everything I Never Told You
The Fact of a Body is a remarkable act of witness, an anatomy of silence and the violence it abets, a book of both public and private accountings. Rejecting the false comfort of certainty, it confronts the inadequacy of all our tools for fathoming not just unforgivable crimes, but the baffling, human grace that can forgive them. This is a profound and riveting bookGarth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
Utterly remarkable . . . It isn’t just that the writing can be beautiful (the author has a very nice way with cemeteries, which is just as well because she visits enough of them), it isn’t just her coruscating honesty, it is that she understands how very partial the stories we tell ourselves are.The Times