The Fact of a Body

The Fact of A Body is subtitled A Memoir and a Murder. I was interested in reading this book to see how the two stories would be woven together. I have to say that had the author just stuck to the murder, the book would have been far more interesting.

I was also a bit confused about the format of the book. For the first two-thirds, she alternated between the past of the crime and her past. The last third was written in straight chapters. It was done because the last third was about her investigation of the murder and the second and third trial of the defendant. But to me, the shifting narrative was confusing.

The story focuses on Ricky Langley, who molested and killed a six year-old boy in Louisiana. He was ultimately tried three times and is spending life in prison. The author wanted to be a lawyer and went to law school. She was opposed to the death penalty – until she was sent to a law firm in Louisiana that was helping Ricky. She found out he was molester and her attitude changed because she was molested as a child by her grandfather.

The reason that I gave this book two stars (I would have given 2.5 if I could have) is that I thought it was a bit long and I didn’t like the style switch at the two-thirds mark. I think the book would have been better organized if it was divided into sections. Section 1 about her; section 2 about the crime; and section 3 when the crime and the author meet.

I won this book from Goodreads. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.


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