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The Fact of a Body

A Gripping True Crime Murder Investigation

3.91 based on 3237 ratings & 744 reviews on Goodreads.com

2017 Long-listed

The Gordon Burn Prize

Macmillan Digital Audio

18 May 17
9781509852147
0
£21.99
638 mins
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Synopsis

'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.

In the media

I haven’t read anything quite like this before..we must congratulate Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. She has made us understand things we might not have understood before
The Spectator
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
As gripping as a thriller, The Fact of a Body is a disturbing work that explores the toughest questions of law and morality without offering any easy answers.
Literary Review