Synopsis of The Fact of a Body
Law student Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, working on a retrial for death-row convicted murderer and child molester, Ricky Langley, finds herself thrust into the tangled story of his childhood. As she examines the minute details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own history. To unearth long-buried family secrets, and to reckon with how her own past colours her view of his crime. When Alexandria begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, and sees Ricky’s face flash on the screen as she reviews old tapes, and 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. She realizes that despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. As enthralling as true-crime In Cold Blood, 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.
Before Alex Marzano-Lesnevich begins their summer job, working to help defend men accused of murder, they think their position is clear. The child of two lawyers, they are staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as they review old tapes—the moment they hear him speak of his crimes — they are overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by their reaction, they dig 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 Alex pores over the facts of the murder, they find themself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, they are forced to face their own story. To unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors their view of Ricky’s crime.
But another surprise awaits: They weren’t the only one who saw their life in Ricky’s.