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The Body in Question

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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  5,214 ratings  ·  748 reviews
A spare, masterful novel about a shocking murder trial, a sequestered jury, and an affair between two of the jurors--the woman, in free fall in her life and marriage to a much older man.

The place: central Florida. The situation: a sensational murder trial involving a rich, white teenage girl--a twin--on trial for the horrific murder of her toddler brother, and the sequeste
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Hardcover, 173 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Pantheon Books
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Bas I was confused by this as well.
I finally decided to interpret it to mean that, although their "marital relations" had changed physically due to the hu…more
I was confused by this as well.
I finally decided to interpret it to mean that, although their "marital relations" had changed physically due to the husband's advanced age (he was 86 and she was 52), the emotion behind the act continued to have a profound impact on her, specifically when she thought about his life force that continued to seek out intimacy with her, and that was when she felt "slayed." (less)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  5,214 ratings  ·  748 reviews


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Julie
The Body in Question by Jill Ciment is a 2019 Pantheon Books publication.

An unvarnished but addictive legal drama!

The jury has been selected for a sensational criminal trial where a teenage girl is accused of murdering her younger brother. The story follows the shocking developments of the trial, but the primary focus is on the jury, which has been sequestered. The spotlight zeroes in on juror C- 2, a 52- year old photographer, and F-17 – a 41- year old anatomy professor who forge a complicated
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Elyse  Walters
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
...AVOID REVIEWS...

...READ IT...

....READ IT! READ IT!! READ IT!!!

Magnificent & Brilliant!!!!

One sitting read for most readers. You won’t be able to put it down!!!

A few small excerpts- but no spoilers in this review:

“The point of no return is the moment when continuing a journey becomes less dangerous than turning back”......

“What else but guilt”, asks the defense counsel, “would cause an innocent person to confess?”

“You either photograph what you know, or photograph what you want to know. Bu
...more
Beata
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tense court drama, superbly written, that focuses on the jury rather than the defendant. A teenage girl is accused of killing her toddler brother and the jury of 6 are tasked with giving the verdict. Sounds familiar? Yes, quite, but I was surprised by the Author who, apart from unravelling the story of the tragic death of a baby, tells a story of an unexpected relationship between two jury members, and how jurors relate to one another. Still familiar? I can assure you that the narration makes ...more
JanB
Spoiler-free review:
Far more than a simple courtroom drama, this book puts the sequestered jury as the focus. We learn details of the trial of a wealthy teenager accused of murdering her toddler brother only through their eyes, or, more specifically, through juror C-2’s eyes (we learn her name only in the last half). Her observations, her thoughts, her notes, and her relationship with juror F-17 are what drives this story and makes it so fascinating. The first half of this book deals with the ti
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Jen
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I almost think this should be called the anatomy of a body. A crime takes place and a jury is selected. However, in this clever narrative, characters are only known by their jury number.
The jurors are sequestered. An affair begins between C-2, in what she believes to be her last fling at 52 and married to an aging husband, and F-17 an anatomy professor.
When the trial is over, an unravelling of character begins.
There is a sacred beauty depicted in the dissection of a body donated to science. It’
...more
Karen
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I resented the time I had to take away from this book due to family obligations... seriously an addictive and riveting story, a real page turner!
A murder trial, a sequestered jury.... things happen...
Thank you Elyse for bringing this to my attention!
Michelle
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c-w-mars
A teen girl, a twin that is on the spectrum, has been accused of murdering her 18 month old brother. A jury is chosen. We follow along with the jury.

Two of the jurors (which are only referred to by their juror #'s rather than names) C-2, a 52 yr old photographer that is married to a much older man, and F-17, a 41 yr old anatomy professor decide to carry on an affair while being sequestered at the Econo Lodge. When it comes time for the jury to deliberate C-2 can't believe that F-17 is on the op
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Holly  B (semi-hiatus until Jan)
What a different novel with so many elements that I enjoy...

courtroom drama, the behind the scenes jury discussions/happenings, deliberations, a side affair, complications at home, controversy and so much more!

Thanks to Elyse for her review that prompted me to pick this one up (library loan). Would be a good buddy read or book club discussion.

There is so much to think about... even after finishing...

Although some may question the ending, I was satisfied.

Look forward to her next novel!
Marialyce
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are times when a short little book can pack in a lot of very strong feelings, excellent writing, and encourage a taste for information, discussion, and awareness. Jan and I found this little book packed with a plethora of questions, ones we often struggled to comprehend, and yet this story is powerful and timely.

For what seems to be a very long time, courtroom drama has become a voyeuristic look into the workings of our legal system. Spurred on by the now famous OJ Simpson trial followed
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Fran
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A sensational murder trial would soon commence in Central Florida. A six-person jury would be selected. Potential jurors C-2 and F-17 flirt while waiting to be interviewed. The jury box chosen consists of five women and one man with one alternate, if needed. C-2 and F-17 are both chosen to serve on the jury. The trial, requiring sequestration, will last for approximately three weeks.

Juror C-2 is a former portrait photographer for Rolling Stone Magazine. Uninterested in working in this capacity,
...more
Michelle
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dec-2019-reads
This was a superb, little novel that served as my last read of 2019. I was shocked when I went back and read the Goodreads summary that it gives so much away. I think it serves a person considering this as their next read well to completely ignore the summary and know one thing: This is not a typical courtroom drama. The drama surrounds the jury; particularly jurors C-2 and F-17. The case itself takes a backseat to the lives of our two main jurors, their affair and the outcome that affair has on ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

2.5 Stars

I picked up The Body In Question after reading JanB’s amazing review (proving once again that Goodreads has some seriously talented bookpushers in its midst). I followed her suggestion and went in blind, but fully admit I had presuppositions (is that the word I’m looking for? probably not) since this was a book that focused on the jury rather than the accused, victim or attorney parties that it would be a bit . . . .



If I
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Jessica Woodbury
You know all those fancy literary novels where you read hundreds of pages of beautiful prose but nothing happens? This is not that. This is a fancy literary novel, but at its center is a whole lot of plot. It is still Literary Fiction, so of course there are well-off middle-aged white people and double of course there is marital infidelity. But there is also a high-profile trial where a teenage girl is accused of murder. (Note: this involves the death of a child, and it's rather gruesome if that ...more
Carol
Thought I would like this but didn't. Should have more to say but don't.
Victoria
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Was this about a murder trial? An elicit affair to while away the hours in between the trial? Dealing with end of life issues? There is too much and also not enough.

This author and I are not a good fit. I read a previous book, Heroic Measures, and I had the same feelings of detachment from the story and characters turning the last page and asking myself…and the point was?

There are many glowing reviews, I’m definitely in the minority on this jury, but my verdict is guilty by reason of inconsequen
...more
Tooter
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tooter by: Elyse Walters
5 Stars. Loved it! Thank you Elyse...
Paltia
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Do human impulses need reasons? A hard hitting novel that explores the potential damages of infidelity. Almost unrelenting tension builds towards an emotionally satisfying ending. You may want to set some uninterrupted time aside for this. Once you start you likely won’t want to stop.
Cathrine ☯️
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
4✚ 🚬 🚬 🚬 🚬
This is a short and smart intoxicating read. Just like the six jurors have to discuss and deliberate their verdict, so too the reader will wish (s)he has an in person book club to mull this one over. The acts of judging others and self-indulgence with all accompanying consequences are all over the pages and will remain in your brain for a while after completion.
Caution: this one may make you want to take up smoking or start again if you've quit. Once the smoke clears you're not sure a
...more
Jill
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the first page of The Body in Question, there was no question: this was going to be a riveting read. I picked it up mid-afternoon and by nightfall, the house could have fallen down on me and I would not have even noticed. That’s how good this book is.

The book centers around a sensationalistic trial in Central Florida – think something like Casey Anderson. The defendant: a wealthy teenage girl who may be on the spectrum who is accused of a heinous murder. Jurors are chosen and sequestered, a
...more
Jeanette
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars and my second enthralling modern read within one week. Unheard of!

This one is short and like a flaming arrow hitting a target 100 yards away within 2 inches of the bulls' eye in the end zone. It's adult and starkly real. And the first 2/3rds didn't at all lead me to believe what the last 1/3rd ending entailed at all. And I'm a fairly good guesser.

Jill Clement has gotten the mundane reality of jury duty even within homicide trials of wide acclaim/ media exposure. Plus she has another HU
...more
Esil
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I wouldn’t have chosen this one, but I read it for a book club. The Body in Question is an odd little novel. It seems a bit disjointed, with lots of plot strands that eventually come together at the end. Hannah is in her 50s, married to a man in his late 70s. She is called for jury duty, for a horrendous murder trial. The story focuses on the relationship between the jurors, Hannah’s relationship with her husband, and the family at the centre of the murder trial. It’s not a mystery, but
...more
Blair
In central Florida, a photographer is called to jury duty. The trial is sensational, high-profile stuff: a teenage girl is accused of murdering her 18-month-old brother by way of arson. During sequestration, the photographer begins an affair with another juror, an anatomy professor. Throughout the trial, we only know the photographer and her lover by their court aliases, C-2 and F-17. Only much later are we told what they're really called; it's funny how those real names never quite seem to fit. ...more
Kelli
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a mistake not reviewing this book immediately upon finishing it. After a week long beach vacation, this book seems just out of mental reach. It is a quick read that presents the jury in an interesting light. Different, but forgettable for me.
♥ Sandi ❣
4 stars Thank you to Penguins First to Read and Pantheon for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Publishes June 11, 2019.

This was a story within a story. While sitting on a jury, two of the jurors started an affair. Juror C-2 and Juror F-17, as they are known throughout most of the novel, are sneaking around and quickly falling in love. C-2 is married to an older man. F-17 is a single anatomy professor.

The trial the jurors become sequestered for involves a set of twin girls, one of whom se
...more
Anna Luce
★★★✰✰ 3.25 stars

“A flirtation would make the sequestered nights more interesting. ”


This was an interesting novella that reminded me of some short stories by Joyce Carol Oates. There is this sense of unease which permeates the narrative as well as a growing sense of foreboding. The writing style is intentionally detached, for instance addressing two of the main character as C-2 and F-17, and the other jurors by nicknames (deriving from their profession or some physical attribute). The story was
...more
Justin
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a tiny little book, barely five hours to listen to the whole thing. If it had been much longer, I don’t know if I would have stuck with it. The story just didn’t land with me, and I never really connected with any of the characters. I was mildly entertained enough, but just never really invested enough to care too much about what was happening.

And, yes, some pretty wild things happen! There is a horrific murder which brings these jurors together, but even that felt flat to me. The trial
...more
Marjorie
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A teenage girl has been accused of murdering her toddler brother in a horrific way. The jury for her murder trial has been chosen and sequestered in an Econo Lodge. Jurist Hannah, known in much of the book as juror C-2, is a 52-year old married well-known photographer. She’s married to a much-older man, an 85-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner. She finds that she’s very attracted to one of the jurists, Graham (known as juror F-17), who is a 41-year-old anatomy professor. Hannah and Graham find ways ...more
❤️
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: canlit, fiction
I started reading this back in June. It's a tiny book, but I have only just finished it now. Considering its subject matter... it wasn't really the type of book I wanted to bring with me on my honeymoon. Plus, I was finding it a little dry when I first began it, so kind of just wanted to put it aside for a while anyway. And after finally finishing the last half of it this afternoon, I unfortunately don't feel that the story got any better, or less dry, as it concluded.

I was initially drawn to th
...more
Annie
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm the outlier here on this one. This sounded so good and had such good reviews that I had to get it right away. I gave it 3 stars because I couldn't put it down. The writing pulled me in. But I'd give fewer stars if I rated it by how much I liked it. I really struggled with the main character. I didn't like her, especially because she lacked a moral compass. That is always a turn off for me unless you are suppose to hate the character. There wasn't much to the trial, which I would have preferr ...more
Erin (from Long Island, NY)
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was different then what I usually go for and I’m glad I read it. I’m not sure I agree that it’s a mystery or thriller, there is a crime but the book is based more on individuals in the jury. I’d say it’s more of a character study. (Mostly on 2 jury members, but also on the rest of the jury, some of their families, the defendant & her family, even the media. Independently but more so on their interactions and effects on one another.) It was good, I was completely invested. It has an even, dr ...more
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Jill Ciment was born in Montreal, Canada. She is the author of Small Claims, a collection of short stories and novellas; The Law of Falling Bodies, Teeth of the Dog, The Tattoo Artist, and Heroic Measures, novels; and Half a Life, a memoir. She has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts, a NEA Japan Fellowship Prize, two New York State Fellowships for the Arts, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Pr ...more

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