The Anatomy of Desire
William and Morrow
May 11, 2021
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The book is told in a docuseries format. Cleo Ray and her murder trial are the focus of the series. She is a fitness influencer that is accused of killing her girlfriend. I must admit I don’t listen to podcasts or follow docuseries, but I am fascinated to read about them. While it was missing the victim’s POV, which I guess is impossible to include since she is dead by the time the docuseries started, interviews with family, friends, the accused, prosecutors, defense team and a journalist are included. I really liked that we covered so many different versions of the arrest and trial, because no two people experience the same event in the same way.
And while there are many interviews with the accused, you have to decide how reliable she is. I found myself drawn in trying to figure out her innocence or guilt and what other characters had ulterior motives in their tellings.
I must mention that this book won’t be for everyone. It is written like a podcast/docuseries. It bounces back and forth in snippets between interviewees, pieced together for documentary’s angle. I had a slightly hard time following in the beginning because we start off with so many characters and are thrown into the middle of the story. But I am glad I persevered because I really liked the book. And by the end I actually enjoyed the interview style.
While I’m sure this isn’t the first book written like this, I think this could fit a reading challenge to read something in a different format than your usual read. I think anyone interested in true crime, docuseries or podcasts will appreciate this book.