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The Body in Question

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  676 ratings  ·  135 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
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Pantheon Books
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3.77  · 
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 ·  676 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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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
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
Elyse Walters
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing

...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
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!
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
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
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,
Jessica Woodbury
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery, arc
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
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
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
♥ 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
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...
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
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 appearance). The story was an intriguing
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
Sarah Marie
The Body in Question by Jill Ciment

1.5 stars

The Body in Question opens up follow an unnamed woman who we only know as Juror C-2. She is a juror on a high-profile case concerning the murder of a baby boy who is alleged to have been set on fire with his diaper by his older adopted sister who is autistic. C-2 has developed an interest in Juror F-17, a younger man who works with cadavers at the local university as a professor. He offers a more promising escape from her husband who is on the brink of

Renee (itsbooktalk)
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review coming soon, I read this by the pool and really enjoyed it, it's short, well written and thought provoking
Bonnie Brody
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't let the short length of 'The Body in Question' fool you. It is visceral, powerful, and an examination of morality and ethics. At less than 200 pages, I felt the richness and detail that accompany novels of more than twice its length.

C-2 and F-17 are both jurors on a murder trial. Interestingly, the trial takes place in Florida where only 6 jurors and an alternate are required. The question at stake in the trial is whether a young woman, a twin, murdered her toddler brother. It is not till
switterbug (Betsey)
This short, taut courtroom drama is swift, gripping, and provocative. I read it in one sitting, but the takeaway still haunts me. Ciment’s wry observations of a three-week media-frenzied murder trial and sequestered jury recalls the circus appeal of the O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony trials, but that’s only one branch of this finely measured narrative. At stake is the case of a teenage defendant accused of arson and murder of her baby brother. The author seamlessly merges a sensational plot with ...more
Marcy Dermansky
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I have read by Jill Ciment and I will read more. The setting -- a sensational murder trial, and even more fascinating, the sequestering of a jury for three weeks in an Econo Lodge-- was so incredible. The writing itself was so incredibly good. The Body in Question totally transported me into this other world, which is what I want a novel to do.
The Just-About-Cocky Ms M
This little book was not quite as good as We, The Jury, but it came very close.

A mesmerizing and way off the beaten track story of six jurors and an alternate who are selected for a case where a teenager is accused of killing her 18-month brother. The case really doesn't matter, although the details are intriguing and the accused is perhaps deliberately vague. It serves more as the backdrop for the jurors and their interactions with each other.

The jurors have their assigned numbers as identifier
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
what an interesting little book.
Cherise Wolas
A slim, spare and sensational novel. It packs a wallop in quiet and elegant prose. Clocking in at 174 pages, we are at a murder trial in Central Florida. C-2 and F-17 are among the jurors, and in the first section of the book, no one, other than the young teenage defendant and her family, have names. This is a murder mystery, a dive into human behavior, the story of a marriage, of infidelity, of love and desire, and of the elusiveness of truth.
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Penguin Random House First to Read. Put this on your June TBR. A short but highly engaging book in which both the courtroom drama and the relationship drama were equally fascinating. Recommend.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting a thriller, a plot twist, a tense courtroom drama. The Body in Question was none of these. It is very well written, and I enjoyed it, but it left me wanting. Perhaps my fault for having expectations before reading.
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review at: http://www.everydayiwritethebookblog....

The Body In Question is a relatively short but addictive novel by Jill Ciment about a woman in her 50s who is chosen as a juror for a murder case in Florida. The jury is sequestered due to the sensational nature of the charges – a teenage girl is accused of setting a fire that killed her baby brother – and during the trial, the juror (#C-2) develops a sexual relationship with one of the other jurors (#F-17). She has a much older, infirm hus
Mary Lins
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
In her new novel, “The Body in Question”, Jill Ciment thrusts the reader right into a taut courtroom drama and doesn’t let up on the revelations (often horrific)! This is a fairly short novel - fewer than 200 pages – but it packs a punch! Often witty with sarcasm and irony, occasionally shocking, always interesting and thought provoking.

So DID teenager, Anca, brutally murder her baby brother? If so, WHY? How will female juror number “C-2” and male juror, “F-17”, navigate being sequestered togeth
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: canadiana
I started reading this back in June. It's a tiny book, but I have only just finished it now. I was finding it a little dry when I first began it and for that reason (and the fact that the story revolves around two jurors on a murder trial having an affair) I didn't bring it with me on my honeymoon. I was able to finish the last half of it this afternoon, and now that I've done so, I unfortunately don't feel that the story got any better, or less dry, as it concluded.

I was initially drawn to the
Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
Thanks to Pantheon and Edelweiss for an advanced copy of this book.

This slim novel is described by the publisher as a courtroom drama and it kind of is, but it’s not what you think of when you think of courtroom dramas. The trial itself is very much in the background of this story. The story is really centered around the sequestered jury and one juror in particular. It’s about what goes on within a jury…personally and related to the trial and how those two pieces intersect. Though I’ve never bee
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read several great reviews of this one but I did not enjoy it. It’s short and moves quick, but I found it strange. Nothing like I expected from the synopsis or the first few chapters. I really liked the concept for it but it feel flat. I just did not care about the characters and thought the ending was just odd.
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The Ending? 1 6 Jun 30, 2019 01:19PM  
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
“One of them is going to tell the judge for the same reason children always tattle to the teacher. For attention and a gold star.” 0 likes
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