Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Body in Question

The Body in QuestionThe Body in Question 
by Jill Ciment
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GoodReads describes this novel as "a spare, masterful novel about a shocking murder trial, a sequestered jury, and an affair between two of the jurors" which I think captures it perfectly. I picked it up because the author is from Montreal (so it counts toward the Canadian Reading Challenge) even though it was tagged as a thriller. I don't like thrillers as a general rule because the fast, anxious pace that defines the genre stresses me out. 
This book certainly moved quickly, but it didn't feel frantic. Ciment structures the novel brilliantly. The story is told from the point of view of one juror. We don't know anyone's name until nearly the end of the book, just juror numbers and the short-hand that the narrator thinks of them by like "cornrows." This is really effective because it keeps the reader at a bit of a distance until it is time to know more. Questions of memory, truth, trust, influence, and point-of-view are all deeply examined in less than 200 pages, along with a page-turner of a trial.  

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