Simple Justice (Benjamin Justice #1)

Simple Justice - John Morgan Wilson

Benjamin is a broken man. A one-time lauded journalist who won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for a series he wrote about AIDS, he's now living with a ruined name and years of regrets. After the death of his lover years before, he's been hiding from the world, getting by on bit jobs and the generosity of his landlords. When his old editor, Harry, comes walking back into his life, asking him to help his new star journalist, Alex, with a piece about the death of gay man, Ben at first refuses - until he sees news coverage of the confessed murderer and is convince something's not right.


There's a lot going on in this first book. Wilson does a great job of setting up Ben's character. His past is anything but peachy and he's been worn down by his guilt and grief. He's a bit fatalistic and prefers to duck his head than to stick his neck out, at least with his personal life. Once he gets the scent for a story beyond the facts being reported in the news though, he's all about sticking his neck out, taking chances and doing whatever he needs to do to find the truth.


There are actually two mysteries here: why did Ben lie in his story that won him - and lost him - the Pulitzer, and who is the murderer. The first was pretty obvious to me rather quickly, but getting all the details slowly uncovered as the story progressed and Alex got more and more interested in his story gave a better picture of who Ben is. As for the murderer, there are a lot of good leads and possible suspects. I did peg the real murderer early on, but the why and how come didn't get revealed until closer to the end.


A head up: This is NOT a romance series. There is a bit of dubcon here. Like I said, Ben's a broken man and his choice of bed partner is less than wise. Then again, his bed partner is also broken and using Ben right back. How much it bothers you, or doesn't bother you, or whether you think it actually goes into non-con territory, will no doubt vary.