I Have Some Questions for You

Viking. Feb. 2023. 448p. Tr $28. ISBN 9780593490143.
Bodie Caine, a successful podcaster, returns to the boarding school she attended to teach a mini-semester class on podcasting. This provides her with the opportunity to encourage her students to investigate the murder of her classmate Thalia Keith. A Black staff member, Omar Evans, was convicted of her murder, but Bodie believes it was a wrongful conviction, and the killer is a teacher who may have been grooming Thalia. Her actions set into motion an investigation that raises more questions and reveals some truths. The narrative moves back and forth between Bodie when she was a student and current events, starkly illustrating the casual sexual harassment and assault of female students by their male classmates that was brushed off as “boys will be boys.” Omar is granted a hearing, the result of new information uncovered by Bodie’s student podcasters, bringing former classmates back to town. These adults now find themselves facing the dark parts of their teen past. Throughout the narrative are brief montages of women killed by violence: “Wasn’t it the one where she was stabbed?—no. The one where she got in a cab with–different girl. The one where she went to the frat party, the one where he used a stick, the one where he used a hammer....” These run like a lament. Bodie is introspective and manipulative and writes her story directed at the teacher Thalia was involved with. The ending is realistic and not what Bodie hoped for, but she does find some closure.
VERDICT A page-turning examination of power, sex, and murder as characters revisit their pasts with a new perspective.

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