Megan's Reviews > Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial

Iphigenia in Forest Hills by Janet Malcolm
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's review
Mar 02, 2012

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This slim volume was a fascinating exploration of a murder trial the author covered as a newspaper reporter. A woman stood accused of hiring a man to kill her estranged husband to gain custody of her daughter. The author, without commenting directly on her belief of the guilt or innocence of the defendant, looks at many of the trial angles to discover why things turned out the way they did. She also researches some of the back story - how did this woman and the deceased find themselves at such a crossroads? The main drawback was that the book is short - only 168 pages total. Such a complicated situation accompanied by such good writing could easily have been made more in-depth. She could have gone to 250 pages and have something more fully rendered; it feels like she's holding back as a writer. However, there is plenty of food for thought, even in this skinny book.

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