In The Fatal Gift of Beauty, journalist Nina Burleigh dives deep into the circumstances surrounding the murder of British college student Meredith Kercher and the subsequent arrest of Kercher’s American roommate Amanda Knox along with Knox’s boyfriend, an Italian college student named Raffaele Sollecito. For those who followed the American media coverage (note: I worked for news outlets in Washington state during the relevant time frame), some parts will be familiar, but much of what Burleigh explores was never presented in the coverage from Knox’s home country. Burleigh presents how the timing of Kercher’s murder shortly after Halloween was much more significant for Italians than it would likely have been for Americans as well as how other cultural differences affected perceptions. Additionally, Burleigh details the life of Rudy Guede, who was also convicted of Kercher’s murder but separately from Knox and Sollecito. The one element lacking from The Fatal Gift of Beauty and other works about the case is Kercher’s part of the story. Burleigh acknowledges this at the end in Notes on Sources and Methods by stating she contacted Kercher’s family and friends but did not receive any response.
Review copy provided by Blogging for Books.