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Publisher's Summary

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.

Read by Imogen Church, Deborah McBride, Sam Woolf, and Simon Ludders, with Julie Maisey.

©2019 Jo Baker (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Imogen Church leads a cast of five gifted narrators in this gripping psychological thriller... Through her narration, with its tentative starts and stops and slowing pace, Church exposes the professor's increasing vulnerability in the face of what seems to be a perverse stalking. Deborah McBride also does an excellent job of voicing Meryl, the only American in the group. First-class suspense will keep listeners on the edge of their seats." (AudioFile Magazine)

“Jo Baker’s The Body Lies is 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

“A must read... 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.” (Kristine Huntley, Booklist, starred) 

“Baker’s heroine is one of the most believable I’ve seen on the page in a long time...nuanced, non-linear, lifelike. The truthfulness of this creation carries us as long as the story shifts gear from literary fiction to thriller.... Baker manipulates these gears masterfully, and the final chapters deliver the heart-in-mouth genre denouement we’ve been waiting for.” (The Times Literary Supplement)

What listeners say about The Body Lies

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unfortunately it resembles life

This book took me down some of my own harrowing past that I hadn't re-visited in quit sometime. It was troubling, yet cathartic.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

well written and ultimately hopefully but...

Such a painful journey as main character lets men get handsy rather than complain, lets them get away with most anything without complaint I guess due to insanely low self esteem? Can't believe such a character would have had the self esteem to become a professor or a novelist as you have to be pretty strong in yourself to be either. also, we are never told what broke her to MAKE her this way - the sole described incident of random violence would not have - and it certainly would have made her more protective of both her physical space and personal space - she wouldn't have been so blindly trusting of obviously very damaged I individuals. yeah - I spent 98% of the time cringing at this characters poor choices and what she chose to just ignore in her life. last book I will read by this author, because the emotional investment is not worth the payoff - a pity for essentially an author with an exceptional way with words, etc. writing is top quality, storyline is NOT. DO editors still exist? surely publisher could have provided a bit of guidance regarding a main character you cannot identify with until the last few pages because she has no identity or backbone. narration was generally again, quality, even top notch, but if you do not know how to pronounce a name, figure it out before you record it especially when it is a name as famous as Simone de Bouvier... (hint: BooVeeYay - it is French, so you do not "sound it out" as if it is an American name).

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautifully descriptive prose and...

...an incredibly valuable lessons about risk, harm, and resilience. Imogen’s performance makes this audible book “a page turning,” stay up all night and listen.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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RECOMMEND!

I was going to listen to this while driving to work, loved it so much I ended up listening to it through out the day. Very well written and will be adding this author to my favs 🙂

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well written and impressively narrated

Good book, but hard to take in at times due to subject manner. It definitely left me with my head reeling over these situations and the realistic depiction of frustration and helplessness. I know I grew as a person from being able to understand these situations better, at least. Jo Baker is a wonderful author and keeps your interest at the same time as depicting realistic and painful situations that usually get swept under the rug.

I'd like to give 5 stars for the story but with all the trials that the main character keeps going through get mildly frustrating and I found myself just wanting her to have a win for once. But i guess that's not realistic either and we can't save everyone from their hurt.

2 people found this helpful

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  • KG
  • 02-07-21

Unique enough to stand out

Wonderful narration and a different type of story telling. Definitely one that requires a good bit of attention to follow various perspectives and excerpts of writing from multiple characters. There are some very questionable actions and behaviors that detract from the story, but overall it’s a worthwhile listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great performance

This was on my TBR list. I didn't find the time so decided to audiobook it. I was glad I did. I really think Imogen Church is fantastic. This book kept up a good pace and wrapped up pretty nicely. I really enjoyed it. would recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Must Read

Because every good story must comment on the form itself, this novel is a must read. Brilliant, complex.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Kind of a Page Turner

But pretty predictable. Like some books that probe sexual violence, this one was somewhat polarizing. The men are not the good guys--we figure this out pretty early in the novel. But life in relation to one another never ends up being fixed. So in the end, this was well-enough written, but formulaic.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Took a minute to get into

I enjoyed the performance of this novel and that saved it for me. The story was hard to get through, I felt there were some loose ends that didn’t get tied. Towards the end it grabbed my attention but the beginning felt laborious.

1 person found this helpful