JUSTICE AT RISK by John Morgan Wilson


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So what if the electronic media are driving Benjamin Justice’s old newspaper colleagues to compromise and bankruptcy? Justice, the disgraced Los Angeles Times reporter who had to give back his Pulitzer, is drawing a paycheck again. Television producer Cecile Chang has hired him to replace floundering videotape editor Tommy Callahan as the writer of a segment of her AIDS series for PBS. But the whiff of mortality, never far from Justice’s first two cases (Revision of Justice, 1998, etc.), fills the airwaves. Tommy Callahan is found tortured and tossed into a shallow grave; the documentary Justice has inherited from him on unprotected gay sex can’t help reminding Justice of all the friends he’s lost before turning 40; even the two men he’s met come with warnings prominently displayed. Oree Joffriend, UCLA anthropology prof, a great interview source, seems unnervingly wary, and Peter Graff, the straight young associate producer Justice effortlessly seduces, is still loyal to his girlfriend. When Melissa Zeigler, a second murder victim’s fiance, links the crimes to an ancient gay-bashing by the LAPD, Justice knows he’s treading on thin ice. But he can’t imagine the frightful toll his investigation of AIDS will end up taking on him and the people he loves most. Justice is as infuriatingly oracular as ever, but Wilson handles the complex, ambitious plot with resonance and maturity even as he hits the obligatory emotional high spots.

Pub Date: July 20th, 1999
ISBN: 0-385-49116-6
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1999


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