cover image Jane Doe January: My Twenty-Year Search for Truth and Justice

Jane Doe January: My Twenty-Year Search for Truth and Justice

Emily Winslow. Morrow, $26.99 (285p) ISBN 978-0-06-243480-7

With remarkable emotional insight and precision, mystery writer Winslow (The Red House) turns to memoir to narrate the long-delayed prosecution of the man who raped her two decades ago. When her case is reopened in 2013 by a DNA match in another case, Winslow navigates a bureaucratic nightmare of delays, observing that “waiting isn’t a sea that gradually approaches a beach; it’s a wet pit with vertical walls.” She probes the depths of rape victimhood and its social connotations, comparing expectations to “be a perfect little broken princess” with the reality of her situation. As a writer obsessed with details, Winslow researches her attacker, finding his dating site profiles and his sister’s Facebook page and noting that with each discovery he “keeps getting smaller... piece by piece.” Faced with reticent friends for whom there is “my world... and the world they live in, in which [the aftermath of the rape] isn’t happening at all,” she develops surprisingly strong bonds with the detectives and legal team representing her case. When a personal tragedy is followed by a bombshell development in the case, Winslow must face dual griefs and seek out a new vision for closure. Her story is profoundly troubling, but the legitimate care and consideration of Winslow’s legal support system is powerfully redemptive. Her account bravely illuminates a process many survivors of rape must endure. [em](May) [/em]