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review 2017-12-15 14:25
The Fact of a Body
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir - Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

A Murder and A Memoir

By:  Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

ISBN: 9781250080547

Publisher: Flatiron 

Publication Date: 5/16/2017

Format: Hardcover

My  Rating: 5 Stars ++

 

30 Best Books of 2017

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich weaves an emotional, gripping— beautifully and intelligently written debut; a haunting work of art— THE FACT OF A BODY A Murder and a Memoir. 

A cross-genre, an extraordinary mix of literary, memoir, true-crime, legal, mystery, suspense, and historical in one powerful story—traveling between a murder case and the author’s own personal childhood tragic abuse. A story that demands to be told. 

When the two begin to mesh together the author begins her journey for answers. A tale of two crimes. 

In 1992 Louisiana, Rick Langley (26 yrs. old) brutally murdered a (6 yr. old) boy, Jeremy Guillory. This was not the first time his name was in the news. A pedophile, he had served time in Georgia for molesting a girl. 

In 2003, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (Harvard Law), was working an intern at a law firm. The firm was defending Langley in his death-penalty appeal. 

No stranger to the law, both her parents are prominent New Jersey lawyers. For some reason, she feels a strong pull to this case. She becomes obsessed with learning more about this case, yet it seems to bring out strong emotions about her own life. 

A shameful secret buried by her family. Her family was opposed to the death penalty, but yet she wants him to die. She must define, and make sense of this strong feeling. 

In this harrowing, raw, and emotional journey, the author pieces together the story of murder, and her own personal story. Courageously she steps out of the darkness and silence, with the accounting of her own sexual abuse as a child by her grandfather. The story begins. 

A grandfather who made his way up the steps and into their room. The two sisters. She recalls when she told her parents, they did nothing. Love and hurt. How to be safe. Did the grandmother know? 

They did not want to embarrass or shame the family, damper careers, or hurt the grandmother. They only attempted to keep the grandfather away and move forward as though nothing happened. 

The case triggered deeply buried ugly evil and damaging secrets. The unpleasant truths. At the same time, she begins to dig further into the scars while attempting to understand Langley and her own abuser (her grandfather). What caused them to be monsters? Whom to blame? 

A journey of self-discovery for over ten years. Leaving the law behind to begin her intense work. There is a story to be told. To be uncovered. A message. 

 




Heartbreaking, moving, and gripping. The darkness of sexual abuse. The blackness of her own family. In the process, there are even more family secrets which are unraveled. 

The astounding and shocking conclusion. Her family buried the abuse. The painful emotional scars turned into depression and eating disorders. Shame. Probing questions. How will the events from the past affect her relationships in the future? 

How many times has this occurred in other families? Is it passed down through generations? At what point could have the abuse ceased? When the person reaches out for help. The abuser and the victim. Through generations, what breaks the patterns? By hiding the abuse, what is gained? What is lost? Can mercy be shown? Forgiveness or acceptance? 

“Is what happens in a family the problem of the family, or the problem of the one harmed by it”? There is a cost. 

Thought-provoking, the author’s writing is spellbinding. A highly-skilled writer, meticulously researched; hard to believe this is a debut. A cautionary tale. Guard your children. 

Marzano-Lesnevich became a lawyer because she believed that the law simplified and made sense of stories; however, are they too complicated to be contained? Can the abuser be a victim as well?

I purchased the audiobook for my personal collection, narrated by the author. Her performance was outstanding. Raw and emotional. Exposed. The author having to relive five years of pain. How do you get past the hate? 

Even though I had read the book back in May when it came out and rated it 5 stars, I was sidetracked with my dad’s illness in NC, as his POA; hiring in-home health care nurses, later Hospice, a car accident, his death, funeral, remaining out of town for a few months; preparing his house to sell, being the executor of his estate, probate, and closing. Later, back home in South Florida, dealing with Hurricane Irma, damages, power outages, and loss of internet. Therefore, book reviews during May-Sept did not get written or posted. 

When choosing my Best 30 Books of 2017, (which is a difficult task), realized I had not written my review when linking the book. Immediately this week, have gone back to the audiobook and listened once again to THE FACT OF A BODY. I highly recommend the audiobook and the second time around experience, was even more powerful than the first. 

The emotions are real. A desperate need to understand. Did her parent’s sacrifice their daughter’s welfare for the sake of family stability? Unspeakable crimes. What about Langley? Can the past be left behind? Do we protect the abuser or the victim? A cry for help goes unnoticed. 

In Ricky, the author writes her own story. What about Lorelei, Jeremy’s mother? The man who murdered her son? Should he be put to death or spared? The questions and what ifs? Where does the sickness begin? 

For me, the author’s personal tragic story is more moving, intimate, and personal than Langleys. Her bravery is commendable and admirable with the difficult subject matter. Vivid descriptions which will remain with you after the book ends. Cannot even imagine having to be around a grandfather which remains in your life, after the unspeakable acts. 

Mercy. Forgiveness. Is this humanly possible? An encouragement for others to come forward, which is a timely subject in our cruel world today. An example how we carry our life experiences with us. They influence our opinions and feelings while shaping both our present and future. 

Award-winning writing and gracefully rendered. Told with sensitivity and compassion, THE FACT OF A BODY will leave a lasting impression. Each reader will be left with their own individual thoughts of victim and abuser— where the lines are often blurred. 

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/04/27/The-Fact-of-a-Body
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review 2017-12-15 07:41
A Tale of One Man and His Hammer Bend on Revenge!
You Were Never Really Here - Jonathan Ames

There are times when I read a crime novel, I always felt the protagonist have to be a hard case hero with a death wish. You Were Never Really Here pulls up that darkness I never thought that is so good, that I am looking forward to the upcoming movie adaptation to be released next year. When it comes to such genre, I always wonder how good can it get. This book, really hits the spot.

 

Joe is a man with an abused past. He is an ex-marine and an ex-FBI agent and now he is a man for hire for doing dirty clean up jobs secretly for important people. When a senator hires him to retrieve his captive daughter in a brothel, Joe is on a quest with his only weapon of choice - a hammer. Little did he know after rescuing the senator's daughter, he is about to be paid a price in a conspiracy that is unexpected.

 

I have never heard of Jonathan Ames but it was that movie trailer starring Joaquin Phoenix caught my attention to read this book. Its dark, gritty and straight to your face in 96 pages. Yes, only 96 pages and already its a compelling crime novel I never expect to enjoy. Its not predictable, its straight forward and its brutal. Not many stories about a protagonist that enjoys darkness without light in many books but this hits it right. I can say I love the attitude this book has and how amazing this book turn out to be. If you can handle a dark thriller and if you really love hammer as a weapon, read this.

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review 2017-12-15 01:41
Christmas With the Billionaire Rancher
Christmas With the Billionaire Rancher - Mandy Baxter

Nate's father was a rich, nasty bastard. He treated Nate horribly. Nate ended up enlisting in the military to get away from him. This story opens up at Nate's father memorial service. It turns out each of the Bastard's 4 sons inherits his money. Nate's decided he doesn't want it and plans to give it away.
Chloe founded a charity that supports at-risk youth. She is in need of funds to keep the doors open. She crashes the memorial service in hopes of getting at least some of that money Nate is so eager to give away. 
Even though Christmas is mentioned in the title, the holiday doesn't factor into the story in any way. Nate and Chloe fall hard into love lust. What follows has a beginning, middle, and an end. I enjoyed this one!

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review 2017-12-14 18:16
Review: "Undertow" (Whyborne & Griffin, #8.5) by Jordan L. Hawk
Undertow: A Whyborne & Griffin Universe Story - Jordan L. Hawk

 

~ 4 stars ~

 

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review 2017-12-14 17:05
Buried Alive in Sinful Vows by Kristine Mason @KristineMason7
Sinful Vows (Book 3 Sinful C.O.R.E.) (C.O.R.E. Series) - Kristine Mason

WOO HOO, get your copy of Sinful Vows by Kristine Mason now.

 

OMG. What a fabulous cover for Sinful Vows by Kristine Mason.

 

I am a huge fan of Kristine Mason’s and I am so happy to be back in her world. I know there will be laughs, danger and death, not necessarily in that order, and I look forward to digging in. LOL

 

Goodreads  /  Amazon

 

MY REVIEW

 

Kristine Mason can go from light and sweet to dark and deadly at the snap of a finger.

A secret to be kept. How far to go to keep it? He went all the way, and once started, his nightmares drove him.

 

Whitney was patiently waiting for the right man to come along, taking a ribbing from Andy. Her and Andy had an easy relationship, working side by side, sharing lively banter. She looks at him as an older brother.

 

Whitney is the first female detective in the narc unit of Cuyoga County Sheriff’s Department in Cleveland, Ohio. But, her biological clock is tick, tick, ticking away, so when she goes undercover in the burbs, with a fake husband and ‘white picket fence’, I know there is romance in the air. Enter CORE. And a hunka burning love is coming her way.

 

Let’s meet Sloan North, ‘a giant, hairy beast, covered in leather, denim and chains.’

 

She’s an ‘Amazonian Barbie’ and a bit too mouthy and bossy for him. Guess he’ll need to get over it, because between you and me, they will be hooking up for the long term.

 

Kristine Mason has a way with writing and descriptions, bringing her characters to life with a humorous hint and lively banter.

 

“How do you fit in this thing?” “Just fine.” They are talking about her Fiat 500 hatchback.

 

“You should too. If not, I’ll open the sunroof and you can put your head through there.”

It keeps on going and I can’t help but laugh out loud. Wonderful dialogue and I commend Kristine Mason’s ability to write it. It appears to be done so effortlessly.

 

I love when he pulled off his shirt at the department store, to try on the shirt Whitney had chosen for him in his new role as a suburban husband. WHOA, I can see it now. And the women shoppers reaction. “I’d keep him naked.” LOL

 

Hilarious writing of Whitney and Sloan’s dialogue and thoughts. Kept me in stitches.

 

Usually Kristine Mason’s stories are dark and dangerous and I have a feeling we’ll get to that, but I am liking all the fun dialogue and thoughts running through their heads.

 

I love when he forgot he was carrying her around their new fake home…and she let him.

 

The kids at the door were so sweet and funny.

 

I love Whitney leaving sticky notes for him everywhere, bossing him from afar. For being so organized, she sure is a slob.

 

Suburbia – we have the slut, the gossip, the dickhead…Sloan fights the whole shebang…suburbia, fake wife…but begins to nest, fixing this, planting that, buying this.

The Goldhirsch brothers…

 

I even feel bad for the serial killer. How is it possible for me to feel bad for someone that buries people alive? I hope that doesn’t say bad things about me. LOL I think it just says great things about Kristine Mason’s writing. She has several plots running simultaneously.

 

Whitney and Sloan act like a couple of teenagers trying to show the other they don’t like each other, afraid of being hurt or embarrassed. When they finally confront their interest, it is so cute, innocent, and childishly sweet.

 

Her best friend, Morgan…what a hoot. Sometimes the peripheral characters pop in and steal the show.

 

When Whitney’s parents come to their pretend home, I couldn’t help but laugh at her mother’s comments. Kristine does seem to sneak in an Ohio State fan in her novels. I catch it, because I am a Michigan Wolverine fan. Have no fear. We get along great.

 

I bounced back and forth on the rating, because I LOVE Kristine’s ability to take me into a deep, dark place with characters that scare the holy crap out of me and make me revel in the evil that men do. Sinful Vows does not quite take me there. Sure, we have some evil guys, doing evil things, but we are in suburbia, playing pretend house and enjoying all the humor that entails.

 

BUT, as you can see from my rambling review, I just want to keep sharing more and more and more, so…you bet ya…5 Stars it is.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Sinful Vows by Kristine Mason.

 

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 5 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

MY REVIEWS FOR KRISTINE MASON’S NOVELS

 

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/buried-alive-in-sinful-vows-by-kristine-mason-kristinemason7
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