Following the death of his lover and a scandal involving his Pulitzer Prize-winning article, crime reporter Benjamin Justice has fallen into a hazy, alcoholic reclusiveness, hiding out in the West Hollywood neighborhood known as the Norma Triangle. He is called back to the world of the living by an unexpected, and unwelcome, visit from Harry Brofsky, his former boss. Brofsky wants Ben to do some background work (strictly off the record) with another reporter on the investigation of a seemingly motiveless killing outside a local gay bar.
Sucked in for reasons even he doesn't quite understand, Justice finds himself back in the life of gay bars, spurned lovers, dysfunctional families, and tawdry secrets--all the things he had been trying to escape. While fending off passes from his sexy, young female partner, he finds himself falling hopelessly in love with the man he must ultimately nail for murder--a killing that turns out to have far more personal and political implications than a simple bias crime.
Simple Justice is a subtly plotted mystery that takes a piercing look at not only violent crime but violations of the heart and soul in the sometimes glamorous, more often dark and dangerous gay life of West Hollywood.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Benjamin Justice is so tortured he makes Brandstetter and Rios (leads of other well regarded top notch mystery series with gay protagonists) look happy go lucky. He's a fascinating complex character who makes for a marvelous narrator - razor sharp intelligence, acerbic, cynical, compassionate, vulnerable, dangerous, tough as nails, self-loathing and destructive (not because he's gay), but self aware and a great investigative journalist. It's evident John Morgan Wilson, a journalist and former editor at the LA Times knows this profession inside out and what it takes to truly investigate a story as you see Justice doing his legwork and collecting his clues. Wonderful writing, complex characterization and a marvelous sense of time and place make it a great start to mystery series.