Burleigh gives her readers a criminal fiction story that no other of the modern times has ever matched. Her novel, “The fatal gift of beauty: The trials of Amanda Knox”, reveals to use the tribulations of the youth in a city full of every aspect of everything, life, culture, fun and so forth. However, death of a young beauty occurs and the trial that unfolds is used by the writer to expose a fouled justice system and in a way gives a comparison to the operations of two legal systems; US and Italy. Arriving at the conclusion of the novel then one is able to reflect on everything in the novel and thus gain clear understanding of what the author attempts to pass to the readers.

From the conclusion, readers actually know that the writer lived at the place where everything that led to the trial took place, Perugia. It is also from the conclusion that it becomes crystal clear to the readers that she was in correspondence with the defendants in the murder trial, which she also attended. Having lived in Perugia and witnessed among many other things including the trial that is brought out as fouled, Nina was into everything that was associated with Perugia most notably art and its  history.

Readers of this compelling novel have to reflect on the meaning of beauty upon reading the conclusion of the novel. Everyone appreciates beauty and that was the case with the female eroticism presented in the earlier parts of the novel as associated with the city of Perugia. Here beauty is brought out to be a fatal gift, one that brings a misery and surrounded by unending mystery.

The conclusion takes us to the minds of those who take the centre stage in the novels and lead it towards its end, the defendants in the trial and the Italian magistrate. The magistrate at this point comes out as a conservative whereas the defendants including Amanda Knox are brought out to have been carried into the shadows of youthfulness and the freedoms that come with it.

From this we as readers are given a better understanding of the Amanda Knox trial in Perugia as the conclusion convinces readers that the case in Perugia has its roots not in the murder but at the misunderstanding of two different cultures; cultures of the US and Italian culture. Thus the conservative nature of the Italian magistrate in the trial thus results into a miscarriage of justice for Amanda Knox and her co-accused.

The trial of Amanda Knox was without question tainted. The conclusion reveals this to the readers. Nina however in the conclusion also attempts to reveal to her readers the truth of matters as they really were and thus we are able to look at a tainted version and an untainted version of the circumstances that led to the trial of Amanda Knox and her co-accused.

Readers are able to understand that Amanda Knox and her co-accused would have received a fair trial as any other legal system would accord the two were it not for the differences in the cultures of the United States and Italy and also the differences in how the two legal system works. Thus, what is represented in the trial is a fouled attempt at justice as the conclusion of the novel reveals.

In conclusion, Nina Burleigh reveals the many unsettling revelations of her novel in the conclusion and thus we as readers are able to understand it better and appreciate it as one of the best titles of the modern crime novels.





Burleigh, Nina. The fatal gift of beauty: The trials of Amanda Knox. Random House Digital, Inc., 2012.


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