The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by [Marzano-Lesnevich, Alexandria]

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 unspeakable 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.

This is the Blurb for the book. The author has to be an incredibly strong woman to tell her own story of childhood abuse by a family member while telling the true story of a convicted pedophile.

This was a hard book to read. It’s honest and raw and difficult to read about. My heart bled for her and what she went through but she stuck with it and ended up finding she wasn’t the only one abused, this was a long chain of secrets, no one mentioning the elephant in the room.

A story of abuse of children, murder of a child, and the state of our Mental Health system, this will grab you and hold you for a long time.

Beautifully written and brutally honest.


  1. It sounds very dark. I have a hard time reading books, or watching movies, when there’s a a child murder. I know it’s fiction, but still. Thanks for the review!


  2. aClockworkGeek Avatar

    This sounds super intriguing and I’m definitely going to read it. Great write-up

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It was hard to read emotionally but she is a good writer.


  3. Wow! That sounds like a tough subject to read. I think most who have been abused tend to block the incident from their memory until something triggers it so it can no longer be suppressed. This sounds like a well written memoir. I’ll have to think about it for awhile though. Not sure I can handle the subject matter.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great review! I loved this book – as difficult as that is to say, considering how brutal the subject matter was. But it was just so extraordinarily written and I had such endless respect for the author. What a brave lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. Mad respect for the author and it was so well written. Hard to read but worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is going on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds like a must-read. Personal histories definitely influence how one reads a book, or here, writes a book.

    Liked by 1 person

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