Iphigenia In Forest Hills: Anatomy Of A Murder Trial by Janet Malcolm
8vo. pp. 155. quarter cloth. dw. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, .
"Iphigenia In Forest Hills is another dazzling triumph from Janet Malcolm. Here, as always, Malcolm's work inspires the best kind of disquiet in a reader - the obligation to think." - Jeffrey Toobin
"She couldn't have done it and she must have done it." This is the enigma at the heart of Janet Malcolm's riveting new book about a murder trial in the insular Bukharan-Jewish community of Forest Hills, Queens, that captured national attention. The defendant, Mazoltuv Borukhova, a beautiful young physician, is accused of hiring an assassin to kill her estranged husband, Daniel Malakov, a respected orthodontist, in the presence of their four-year old child. The prosecutor calls it an act of vengeance: just weeks before Malakov was killed in cold blood, he was given custody of Michelle for inexplicable reasons. It is the "Dickensian ordeal" of Borukhova's innocent child that drives Malcolm's inquiry.
"Evidence in trials," writes Malcolm, "is the thread out of which lawyers spin their tales of guilt or innocence." Indeed, every facet of this trial