Book: Simple Justice

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Simple Justice: A Benjamin Justice Mystery

Author: John Morgan Wilson
Publisher: Bantam Books

Simple Justice is the first in a new series featuring crime reporter Benjamin Justice. His investigations into crime and passion on the mean and violent streets of West Hollywood are sure to appeal to the fans of such enormously popular series detectives as Joe Hansens’s Dave Brandstetter and Sandra Scoppetone’s Laura Laurano.

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 life, 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. The investigation throws Justice back into the life of gay bars, spurned lovers, dysfunctional families, and tawdry secrets—all the things he had been trying to escape. And it leads, ultimately, to the reexamination of his own dark past, and his own crimes of passion. Simple Justice is a subtly plotted mystery that takes a piercing look at not only violent crime but also violations of the heart and soul in the sometimes glamorous, more often dark and gritty gay world of West Hollywood.


A killing outside a West Hollywood gay bar called The Out Crowd is what brings reporter Benjamin Justice out of a long, boozy funk in what looks to be the start of a lively, literate new series. Justice blew a Pulitzer when an article about two AIDS victims turned out to be fiction. Now, carrying that and other wounds, he gets the chance to pull himself together by helping another reporter look into the political and social implications of the murder.

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