The Barnes & Noble Review
Raymond Chandler meets Truman Capote in the incisive, gripping writing style of Dominick Dunne. In Justice -- based on the stories published in Vanity Fair on crimes, trials, and punishments -- Dunne proves himself a master of the reportorial genre. But these stories, connected to some of society's wealthiest names and families, become more than just great reads. Dunne's work reveals, explores, -- and, sometimes, excoriates -- the world of jet-setters, country clubs, and courts themselves. They aren't lurid tales of those who see themselves as beyond the law so much as glimpses at the underbelly of the American Dream.
Two of the stories are a virtual tour de force. First, there is the opening essay, which expresses the horror of the murder of Dunne's daughter and the trial of her killer. Dunne is witness to it all and is transformed by the gross miscarriage of justice. His haunted account gives us insight into the writer's drive and interest in these kinds of crimes;in his re-telling, they become chilling moral tales. The second extraordinary piece in the book, written with all the earmarks of film noir in style and content, is on the 1943 murder of socialite Patricia Burton by gold digger Wayne Lonergan. Dunne's writing in these two essays -- and throughout the book -- shows all the cinematic acumen of the screenwriter he once was.
Almost impossible to put down, Justice is much more than just a compelling read. It is classic, hard-boiled American writing; stories drawn from reality that, in their retelling, transcend any hint of exploitation. Justice is a look at America, through a glass darkly. (Elena Simon)
Elena Simon lives in New York City.
Listening to this audiobook is like having a series of long dinners with Dominick Dunne and listening while he recounts in some detail all the famous crime cases he has covered in his 20-year career. Even better, listeners get to choose the site, can eat (or not eat) whatever they want and don't have to dress up (or at all). Dunne is coy, sly, casually amusing, outrageously brazen and even occasionally tedious as he tells what Claus von Bulow's lover wore while she waited for her comatose rival to die in the other bedroom, what Lyle and Erik Menendez were really like and why Los Angeles society (and Dunne's own writing) never really recovered from the O.J. Simpson case. His stories are even heartbreaking, especially in his cool, crushing account of the trial of the young chef who murdered his daughter, Dominique the horrid crime and supreme legal injustice that got Dunne into the justice game in the first place. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
The U.S. legal system love it or hate it, you can never say it's boring. Fraught with controversy, corruption, and occasionally even justice, Dunne's latest offering keeps the listener riveted, following every twist and turn of the trials presented. Claus von Bulow, the Menendez brothers, Martha Moxley, Michael Skakel, and O.J. Simpson: all cases thoroughly documented and masterfully told by Dunne in a tone and manner that few authors can mimic or match. But by far the most compelling story is that of his daughter Dominique's murder, a crime in which the convicted person was allowed to go free after serving only two-and-a-half years. This title reaffirms what everyone has already heard before about lawyers: some are scum and all's fair in love and law. Justice is guilty of being highly recommended. Marty D. Evensvold, Arkansas City P.L., KS Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Surging reports on high-society murder cases, featuring some of the most seamy and venal behavior this side of Gomorrah, from the man who wrote the book on such doings, Dunne (The Way We Lived Then) Collected here are Dunne's articles from Vanity Fair on high-profile courtroom dramas involving O.J. Simpson, Erik and Lyle Menendez, Claus von Bülow, the murder of Martha Moxley in Greenwich, Connecticut-nine stories in all, including a lacerating piece on the murder of his daughter, Dominique. Making no pretense at balance (Dunne is nothing if not opinionated and a great deal of the effectiveness of this work revolves around that), the author is scrupulously honest in his reporting, and thorough. He also moves at a good clip, pulling readers along as though a hand had clasped their sleeve, pointing out inconsistencies in testimony and the willful corruption of the truth by shady lawyers. O.J. gets the most pages: "The Simpson case is like a great trash novel come to life, a mammoth fireworks display of interracial marriage, love, lust, lies, hate, fame, wealth, beauty, obsession, spousal abuse, stalking, brokenhearted children, the bloodiest of bloody knife-slashing homicides, and all the justice that money can buy." Dunne has a knack for capturing the air of unreality that bathes these trials, but the crimes themselves are simply grisly: "The porno star and the unemployed dishwasher implicated each other in helping Murillo as he held a pillow over her face to muffle her screams. It had taken the three of them 15 minutes to kill her." Dunne also has a way with delivering a dig-"A man just convicted of twice attempting to murder his wife would not seem like much ofa catch to most women"-although he can also be prim: a particular judge, for example, was "noticeably dressed in a manner associated more with Hollywood agents than with superior court judges." Are the scales of justice at work here? Hardly. But Dunne's courtroom tales are a lot more lucid than most judge's instructions to their juries.
“Dunne mixes shrewd insight into the legal process with dishy use of his considerable social skills. Irresistible.” —New York Times
“Undeniably fascinating . . . an absorbing look at crimes and comeuppances.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Justice finds Dunne in his element, writing about the winning combination of gore, glitter, and greed.”—Miami Herald
“A nine-course meal of glamour, tragedy, old money, lost wealth, and accused killers walking the streets.” —San Francisco Chronicle