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The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir
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The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir


Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’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. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar.

Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky's crime.

But another surprise awaits: She wasn’t the only one who saw her life in Ricky’s.

An intellectual and emotional thriller that is also a different kind of murder mystery, The Fact Of a Body is a book not only about how the story of one crime was constructed―but about how we grapple with our own personal histories. Along the way it tackles questions about the nature of forgiveness, and if a single narrative can ever really contain something as definitive as the truth. This groundbreaking, heart-stopping work, ten years in the making, shows how the law is more personal than we would like to believe―and the truth more complicated, and powerful, than we could ever imagine.

Title:The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:326 pages
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    The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir Reviews

  • Diane S ?
    May 29, 2017

    4+. Powerful and emotionally raw, I have never read anything quite like this before. Pedophiles and the harm they cause, the lasting effects on their victims, whether in family or without, the subject...

  • Elyse
    Jun 09, 2017

    "The Fact of a body: A Murder and a Memoir".....the title of this book becomes an 'acute awareness' of what this book is about - -the deeper we are pulled into this debut: This book is about a real mu...

  • Emma
    May 05, 2017

    Blending the best facets of history and historical fiction writing, this memoir of both the factual and imagined past bring alive the murder of a young boy, Jeremy Guillory, by a confessed pedophile, ...

  • Mike Scalise
    Jan 15, 2017

    If you are a fan of true crime, this book is excellent. If you are a fan of memoir, this book is excellent. If you are a fan of legal thrillers, this book is excellent. If you are a fan of beautiful l...

  • Susan
    Apr 24, 2017

    It is hard to categorise this book – partly, it is the disturbing story of a murder, but it is much more than that. Part memoir, written almost as a novel, this is a painful, thoughtful account of a...

  • Liz Barnsley
    Mar 16, 2017

    The Fact of a Body was less a non fiction narrative and more a work of art – I don’t think I have been sucked into a book in the way this one sucked me in for a good long while. Alexandria Marzano...

  • Jeanette
    May 18, 2017

    This is one of the best books I've ever read that cores a murder case which resulted in a death penalty conviction. It's one of the very few which although in the end tone seems to support a strong mo...

  • Book Riot Community
    May 17, 2017

    I mention this on the podcast several months ago, but I just want to reiterate how amazing this book is. Marzano-Lesnevich went to Louisiana to help work with prisoners on death row, and instead found...

  • Imi
    May 30, 2017

    "[B]ut over time is starts to feel appropriate, somehow, that I can't find the house. The feeling is like chasing a memory that slips from your mind just as soon as you start to grasp it. Sure, it's ...

  • Jessica Woodbury
    Dec 06, 2016

    Writing true crime nonfiction is a delicate task. I don't think most authors in the genre treat it delicately enough. I used to be a public defender, so I don't tend to romanticize crimes or criminals...