The body in question

by Ciment, Jill, 1953-

Format: Print Book [2019]
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Summary
From the author of Heroic Measures ("Smart and funny and completely surprising . . . I loved every page" --Ann Patchett), Act of God ("A feat of literary magic"-- Booklist ) and, with Amy Hempel, The Hand That Feeds You ("An unnerving, elegant page-turner" -- Vanity Fair ), a spare, masterful novel.

The place: central Florida. The situation: a sensational murder trial, set in a courthouse more Soviet than Le Corbusier; a rich, white teenage girl--a twin--on trial for murdering her toddler brother.

Two of the jurors: Hannah, a married fifty-two-year-old former Rolling Stone and Interview Magazine photographer of rock stars and socialites (she began to photograph animals when she realized she saw people "as a species"), and Graham, a forty-one-year-old anatomy professor. Both are sequestered (she, juror C-2; he, F-17) along with the other jurors at the Econo Lodge off I-75. As the shocking and numbing details of the crime are revealed during a string of days and courtroom hours, and the nights play out in a series of court-financed meals at Outback Steak House (the state isn't paying for their drinks) and Red Lobster, Hannah and Graham fall into a furtive affair, keeping their oath as jurors never to discuss the trial. During deliberations the lovers learn that they are on opposing sides of the case. Suddenly they look at one another through an altogether different lens, as things become more complicated . . .

After the verdict, Hannah returns home to her much older husband, but the case ignites once again and Hannah's "one last dalliance before she is too old" takes on profoundly personal and moral consequences as The Body in Question moves to its affecting, powerful, and surprising conclusion.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "It's a Florida murder case ready-made for social-media frenzy: teenage twin sisters, adopted Romanian orphans, are suspected in the fiery death of their mother's miracle baby, 18-month-old Caleb. It's both a sensational and subtle puzzle, and the sequestered jurors need to pay close attention. C-2, a prominent photographer, shouldn't serve. Her much older husband, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is unwell and shouldn't be left alone. But C-2 is flirting with F-17, a younger, clever anatomy professor, and enters the dreary Econo-Lodge in an erotic fugue state. They fail to conceal their affair, and ultimately it becomes public knowledge as outrage over the verdict surges. Ciment (Act of God, 2015), a virtuoso of the situational novel, has created a hypnotizing, forked tale of trust and guilt, masks and doubling, lies and desire, life and death. As she stealthily readjusts the depth of field and provokes the reader into questioning testimony personal and judicial in this intricately unsettling tale of morality and longing, Ciment dramatizes the anguish of betrayal, age, and illness and the many forms that acts of love can take.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Trials (Murder) -- Fiction.
Jurors -- Fiction.
Florida -- Fiction.
Thrillers (Fiction)
Publisher New York :[2019]
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 173 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781524747985
152474798X
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