In Edgar-winner Wilson's solid eighth Benjamin Justice novel (after 2006's Rhapsody in Blood), two characters come out of the woodwork after the disgraced West Hollywood reporter publishes a revealing memoir: Lance, a young ex-marine bent on instigating a fight with Benjamin, and Jason Holt, a manipulative middle-aged man with a zealous interest in spiders. Shamed years earlier after his Pulitzer Prize was rescinded because he made up his sources, Benjamin struggles to untangle these two figures' mysterious ties to him. Meanwhile, he has to deal with a former rival reporter, the unscrupulous Cathryn Conroy, who's intent on digging up more truth than he chose to admit in his book. Wilson gives his dynamic hero a laundry list of self-destructive behaviors to work out, but the scenes in which Benjamin confronts either Jason, Lance or Cathryn appear in a systematic rotation for too long before they advance the story. (Dec.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Spider Season (Benjamin Justice Series #8)by John Morgan Wilson
Benjamin Justice was once one of the most prominent and respected journalists in Los Angeles, even the country. But when it was discovered that he'd invented the sources for his Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles, he lost everything - his job, his reputation, his friends. Now, many years later, Justice has finally published a memoir revealing the truth
Benjamin Justice was once one of the most prominent and respected journalists in Los Angeles, even the country. But when it was discovered that he'd invented the sources for his Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles, he lost everything - his job, his reputation, his friends. Now, many years later, Justice has finally published a memoir revealing the truth behind the events that cost him so much and made him permanently radioactive in the journalism community. And this book may be his last chance to turn things around, to make a living writing as he'd always wanted.
But his memoir brings out more than the truth - it brings out long-forgotten , long hidden ghosts from his past. And Justice finds himself, and everyone/everything he holds dear under attack.
Disgraced journalist Benjamin Justice, who treats so many of his cases (Rhapsody in Blood, 2006, etc.) as if they're all about him, finally gets one that is.
Long before he returned his Pulitzer for fabricating information in an AIDS feature, Benjamin Justice had already made news as the 17-year-old who shot his father to death when he caught him raping Benjamin's sister. Now he's written Deep Background, a memoir that lays bare the most unsavory facts of his life. But evidently not bare enough for everyone. Justice's longtime professional rival, bulldog freelance reporter Cathryn Conroy, is sniffing around every source in West Hollywood in an attempt to tarnish Justice even further. Never-been actor Jason Holt is sending Justice vicious anonymous postcards and following them up with nasty phone calls. And a skinhead biker is stalking Justice, lurking outside his meetings and sitting in his restored Mustang but mysteriously refusing to attack him, even when Justice, always ready to get physical, throws the first punch. Justice's attempts to look beyond his budding romance with ex-priest Ismael Aragon to the trouble his book has stirred up eventually reopen the case of an accidental death ten years ago, but the mystery is so perfunctory, transparent and poorly integrated that it's much less interesting than Justice's endless struggle with the demons from his past.
Just the thing for fans who want to hear Justice reading extended passages from Deep Background at bookstores, including an audience limited to a single dozing homeless man who provokes deep sympathy.
Agent: Alice Martell/Alice Martell Agency
Meet the Author
John Morgan Wilson is the author of several novels in the Benjamin Justice series as well as two co-written books with band leader Peter Duchin. He's the winner of the Edgar Award and three-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for the Benjamin Justice novels. He lives in West Hollywood, CA.
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Benjamin Justice was revered as a fine journalist who deservedly won a Pulitzer for his articles on nursing his lover who was dying from AIDS. When it was substantiated that Ben fabricated his story, he became despised, black balled and the only person forced to return a Pulitzer. He changed careers solving mysteries instead of writing articles, but the disgraced former West Hollywood reporter publishes a memoir.
Ben is shocked that two people, former marine Lance and middle age arachnid aficionado Jason, neither whom he knows, seem to want to beat the crap out of him since his memoir went public. Not one to sit idly by, Ben decides to make inquiries into the two radically different males who want a piece of him so that he can find what in his book stirred their testosterone. However, they are not his biggest problem; unprincipled reporter Cathryn knows Ben did not uncover all his scandalous muck; she investigates him so she can pile more dirt on him and more fame on her.
The latest Benjamin Justice thriller (see RHAPSODY IN BLOOD and THE LIMITS OF JUSTICE) is a solid entry as the hero continues his self flogging behavior that only leads to more trouble. He still has not been able to move on beyond his fifteen minutes of shame as if he wears the Scarlet Letter L on his face though almost two decades have past. His inquiries into Lance and Jason is fascinating and well done, but also somewhat slow paced especially while rotating between investigating his two antagonists and his real enemy Cathryn. Still this is a fine tale as the disgraced lead character struggles with learning why the two men are after him and keeping further dirt interred.