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"Complex and challenging... push[es] the boundaries of writing about trauma." —The New York Times “A True Crime Masterpiece” – Vogue Entertainment Weekly "Must" List and Best Books of the Year So Far Real Simple's Best New Books Guardian Best Book of the Year Lambda Literary Award Finalist "The Fact of a Body is one of the best books I've read this year. It's just astounding." — Paula Hawkins, author of Into the Water and The Girl on the Train "This book is a marvel. The Fact of a Body is equal parts gripping and haunting and will leave you questioning whether any one story can hold the full truth." — Celeste Ng, author of the New York Times bestselling Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere 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.
When law student Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is asked to work on a death-row hearing for convicted murderer and child molester Ricky Langley, she finds herself thrust into the tangled story of his childhood. As she digs deeper and deeper into the case she realizes that, despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. The Fact of a Body is both an enthralling memoir and 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.
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
Late in 2004, Maggie Nelson was looking forward to the publication of her book Jane: A Murder, a narrative in verse about the life and death of her aunt, who had been murdered thirty-five years before. The case remained unsolved, but Jane was assumed to have been the victim of an infamous serial killer in Michigan in 1969. Then, one November afternoon, Nelson received a call from her mother, who announced that the case had been reopened; a new suspect would be arrested and tried on the basis of a DNA match. Over the months that followed, Nelson found herself attending the trial with her mother and reflecting anew on the aura of dread and fear that hung over her family and childhood--an aura that derived not only from the terrible facts of her aunt's murder but also from her own complicated journey through sisterhood, daughterhood, and girlhood. The Red Parts is a memoir, an account of a trial, and a provocative essay that interrogates the American obsession with violence and missing white women, and that scrupulously explores the nature of grief, justice, and empathy.
Spanning murder cases from the beginning of the twentieth century to today, this is a must-read for fans of true crime and will also be compelling to mystery and thriller readers. The contributors include Harold Schechter, Katherine Ramsland, Carol Anne Davis, Burl Barer, and other leading writers in this genre. In February 1975, nine-year-old Marcia Trimble left her house in Nashville to deliver Girl Scout cookies in the neighborhood. She never returned. After a massive but fruitless search, her body was discovered on Easter Sunday. Outrage and horror gripped the community of Nashville, but the murder investigation was frustrated at every turn. The case went cold for three decades until it was finally solved. In January 1997, Herbert Blitzstein was found murdered in the living room of his Las Vegas townhouse. A notorious mob insider, "Fat Herbie" had pursued loan sharking and other rackets for decades. Now, Blitzstein had been dispatched gangland style—by three bullets to the back of the head—in what appeared to be a classic contract killing. But the details of who killed him and why turned out to be much more complicated, and the real motives and circumstances remain murky to this day. These are just two examples of the riveting stories assembled in this unparalleled collection of some of the top true-crime writers in the world. Each of the seventeen contributors draws on his or her own strengths, backgrounds, interests, and research skills to describe in a vivid narrative not only the facts of each notorious case but also the terrible emotions and macabre circumstances surrounding the crimes. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A seminal work and examination of the psychopathology of journalism. Using a strange and unprecedented lawsuit as her larger-than-life example -- the lawsuit of Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, against Joe McGinniss, the author of Fatal Vision, a book about the crime -- she delves into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject. In Malcolm's view, neither journalist nor subject can avoid the moral impasse that is built into the journalistic situation. When the text first appeared, as a two-part article in The New Yorker, its thesis seemed so radical and its irony so pitiless that journalists across the country reacted as if stung. Her book is a work of journalism as well as an essay on journalism: it at once exemplifies and dissects its subject. In her interviews with the leading and subsidiary characters in the MacDonald-McGinniss case -- the principals, their lawyers, the members of the jury, and the various persons who testified as expert witnesses at the trial -- Malcolm is always aware of herself as a player in a game that, as she points out, she cannot lose. The journalist-subject encounter has always troubled journalists, but never before has it been looked at so unflinchingly and so ruefully. Hovering over the narrative -- and always on the edge of the reader's consciousness -- is the MacDonald murder case itself, which imparts to the book an atmosphere of anxiety and uncanniness. The Journalist and the Murderer derives from and reflects many of the dominant intellectual concerns of our time, and it will have a particular appeal for those who cherish the odd, the off-center, and the unsolved.
From Pulitzer Prize winner Raymond Bonner, the gripping story of a grievously mishandled murder case that put a twenty-three-year-old man on death row. In January 1982, an elderly white widow was found brutally murdered in the small town of Greenwood, South Carolina. Police immediately arrested Edward Lee Elmore, a semiliterate, mentally retarded black man with no previous felony record. His only connection to the victim was having cleaned her gutters and windows, but barely ninety days after the victim's body was found, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Elmore had been on death row for eleven years when a young attorney named Diana Holt first learned of his case. With the exemplary moral commitment and tenacious investigation that have distinguished his reporting career, Bonner follows Holt's battle to save Elmore's life and shows us how his case is a textbook example of what can go wrong in the American justice system. Moving, enraging, suspenseful, and enlightening, Anatomy of Injustice is a vital contribution to our nation's ongoing, increasingly important debate about inequality and the death penalty.

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