The gripping true story of a young law student, an unspeakable crime and a past that refuses to stay buried.
"Utterly remarkable" The Times
"One of the best books I've read this year. Just astounding." Paula Hawkins
Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working on the retrial defence of death-row convicted murderer and child molester, Ricky Langley, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti death penalty. But the moment Ricky's face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes, the moment she 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.
Crime, even the darkest and most unspeakable acts, can happen to any one of us, and as Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky's childhood. And by examining minute details of Ricky's case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, to reckon with how her own past colours her view of his crime.
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 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.
MORE PRAISE FOR THE FACT OF A BODY
"This is a profound and riveting book" Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
"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
"Compulsive, eloquent and profoundly troubling. One of those rare books which embrace the genuine complexity of real life." Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
"This book is a marvel. ... equal parts gripping and haunting and will leave you questioning whether any one story can hold the full truth." Celeste Ng, author of New York Times bestselling Everything I Never Told You