A revelatory exploration of the long fight to bring a monstrous man to justice.



The lawyer who represented Jeffrey Epstein’s victims tells his riveting story. In 2008, Courtney Wild approached Edwards about being sexually abused by Epstein. When Edwards agreed to seek damages on her behalf, that case became the trigger for an 11-year odyssey, ending with Epstein's death in federal custody. In graphic, sometimes nauseating detail, the author powerfully illuminates how Epstein used his wealth and connections to rape and traffic hundreds of girls, most of them teenagers. Edwards was able to document Epstein's illegal exploits going back to at least 1994, showing his use of payment and manipulation to coerce his victims. Law enforcement agencies received reports about Epstein's assaults as early as 1996, but no punishment occurred until 2008, when Epstein pled guilty to minor charges, served no meaningful jail time, and resumed his predatory behavior almost immediately. Edwards shares his outrage not only at the cop-out by Florida prosecutors, but also the federal prosecutors, who lied to Epstein's victims, lawyers, and even a judge about why they chose not to file harsher charges. Throughout the book, the author seeks to understand the suspicious roles played by the famous, powerful men within Epstein’s orbit. Did they hide his crimes? Did they also engage in rape? Though he doesn’t draw significant conclusions, the names include, among others, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, Prince Andrew, and Alan Dershowitz. In numerous passages, Edwards explores his mix of personal fascination and revulsion. Among the many important elements of the story that the author effectively conveys are the vital role played by Julie Brown, investigative reporter at the Miami Herald, and the shocking retaliatory measures mounted by Epstein to frighten those he raped, their lawyers (including the author, against whom Epstein filed a lawsuit), and his own employees. Edwards is also to be commended for his time-consuming, costly efforts to get Epstein’s victims to go on the record. A revelatory exploration of the long fight to bring a monstrous man to justice.

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-4813-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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