Book Review: The Fact of a Body – Alexandria Marzano-Lesenevich 

Book Review: The Fact of a Body – Alexandria Marzano-Lesenevich 


I don’t really like true crime books, they’re often poorly written and lurid but this is nothing like those. Subtitled A Murder and a Memoir, this is not only the story of one terrible crime, but also a moving meditation on family, innocence and healing. 

Marzano-Lesenevich was an intern for famed lawyer Clive Stafford Smith when she started to investigate the case of one of his clients, Ricky Langley, a convicted paedophile who murdered a young boy, Jeremy Guillory in Louisiana in 1992 and was given the death penalty, which on appeal was commuted to life in prison. 

Combined with this case history is Marzano-Lesenevich’s own story. Hers is not a happy one either, life was often cruel and confusing and she is open about the hardships she too has suffered. 

A masterful writer, who manages to weave these disparate narrative strands together in a very compelling read. 

A mixture of court transcripts, reports and reconstructed scenes provide the story of Ricky, and Jeremy, while the author’s own memories and occasional family conversation build into her own. 

This was much more readable than I’m probably making it sound, and I was really fascinated. Obviously it’s not the cheeriest of reads, it is certainly an interesting one. 

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