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It's the murder case that has caught the attention of the world's media like no other in recent memory - the brutal slaying of young British student Meredith Kercher in the apartment she shared with three other girls in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007. Standing trial accused of this gruesome act are two young people: 21-year-old Amanda Knox and her 24-year-old Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Prosecutors allege that during a group sex game which turned violent, Miss Knox used a kitchen knife to stab the Leeds University student in the neck while she was being held down by Mr Sollecito and sexually assaulted by a second man, Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede. Guede, 22, was found guilty of murder and sexual assault in a separate trial in October 2008 and sentenced to 30 years in jail. Kercher was a model student whilst American Knox, nicknamed 'Foxy Knoxy' for her football skills, has acquired a reputation for fast living and hard partying, which has fuelled specualtion about her character. The trial is ongoing in Italy, and further details will emerge about this highly complex case. A verdict is expected in late July. Whatever the outcome, the events surrounding the murder and the accused's alleged behaviour are nothing less than sensational.
Widely praised for his deft prose and brilliant characterizations, Paul Russell has become increasingly regarded as one of the finest contemporary American novelists. Now, with War Against the Animals , he returns with his richest, most accomplished, and most compelling work yet. Living in small town in upstate New York, middle-aged Cameron Barnes has, after almost dying, recently recovered a measure of health and is trying to find a way to reenter the world outside. As part of this, Cameron hires two local brothers in their early twenties, Jesse and Kyle, to renovate a barn on his property. Kyle sees an opportunity in Cameron, pushing his brother Jesse to befriend him and take advantage of Cameron's boredom and directionlessness. Caught between the opposing worlds embodied by Cameron and Kyle, Jesse is torn by the demands of his brother, the expectations of his family and community, and his own mix of volatile, contradictory emotions.
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