The Body Lies: A novel (Paperback)
A dark, thrilling new novel from the best-selling author of Longbourn: a work of riveting psychological suspense that grapples with how to live as a woman in the world--or in the pages of a book--when the stakes are dangerously high.
When a young writer accepts a job at a university in the remote English countryside, it's meant to be a fresh start, away from the bustle of London and the scene of a violent assault she is desperate to forget. But despite the distractions of her new life and the demands of single motherhood, her nerves continue to jangle. To make matters worse, a vicious debate about violence against women inflames the tensions and mounting rivalries in her creative-writing class. When a troubled student starts turning in chapters that blur the lines between fiction and reality, the professor recognizes herself as the main character in his book--and he has written her a horrific fate. Will she be able to stop life imitating art before it's too late? At once a breathless cat-and-mouse game and a layered interrogation of the fetishization of the female body, The Body Lies gives us an essential story for our time that will have you checking the locks on your doors.
About the Author
Jo Baker was born in Lancashire and educated at Oxford University and Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of the bestselling novel Longbourn, as well as A Country Road, A Tree; The Undertow; The Telling; The Mermaid’s Child; and Offcomer. She lives in Lancaster, England.
“Gripping and strange in the best possible way: the perfect marriage of risky literary fiction and full-on thriller.” —Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
“Ingenious and electrifying. . . . A gripping psychological thriller.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Baker is a writer who can make it all work. . . . The pleasure of reading this novel is seeing writerly ambition fulfilled.” —The Guardian
“I read The Body Lies in one sitting. As a thriller, it grips and shocks; as a portrayal of the way women move through the world, and the way men see them, it has never been more timely. Absolutely stunning.” —Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said
“With high-stakes storytelling and riveting suspense, this story goes beyond just a simple mystery as it addresses some of our own major societal problems.” —Today
“Truly masterful.” —BookReporter
“All too plausible, Baker’s powerful tale is at times heart-rending to read—and impossible to put down.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Beautiful words wrapped around brutal truths—The Body Lies is a novel for now . . . It’s an outstanding story.” —Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go
“With an unflinching eye, Baker deftly explores the pressure, judgment, and dangers women are subjected to on a daily basis simply because they are female. Her brilliant novel is a scathing indictment of the many ways society excoriates women while excusing violent men. A must read.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Baker boldly and refreshingly insists on changing the narrative surrounding sexual assault. The Body Lies isn’t another story of a silent, naked, dead girl. . . . Indeed, this novel is the story of a survivor, not a victim.” —BookPage
“A literary exploration of consent, entitlement and how narratives can be bent, misappropriated and wrested back. I loved it.” —Sarah Vaughan, bestselling author of The Anatomy of a Scandal