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Blind Eye: A Benjamin Justice Novel Hardcover – October 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Benjamin Justice Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312309198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312309190
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,192,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edgar-winner Wilson (Simple Justice) was certainly ahead of the news curve when he invented a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter disgraced and fired for inventing sources. Now, in his fifth book about Benjamin Justice, Wilson again mines recent headlines, sending his wounded hero on a quest for the Catholic priest who molested him when he was 12 years old. It's a viable idea, and the HIV-positive Justice has some interesting edges, but the author seems determined to test him-and his readers-with so much high-impact paranoia that the story quickly goes over the top. The trouble starts when Joe Soto, the ace Los Angeles Times columnist engaged to Justice's friend Alexandra Templeton, shows Justice an outline for a book he plans to write about an infamous assassin who works for various drug cartels. Then Joe obligingly writes a story about Justice's missing priest and is promptly murdered by a hit-and-run driver outside a restaurant. Was it the assassin? Or could it have been a suspicious-looking police detective who lusts after Alexandra? How about a hit man hired by the increasingly edgy Los Angeles archbishop and his chief aide, who offer Justice a million dollars to drop his investigation into the pedophile priest? Long before the frantic ending in a new cathedral being built at vast expense in downtown L.A., most readers will have concluded that the point of wretched excess has already been achieved.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

At a time when so many mystery and suspense novels rely not on a compelling major character who embodies a moral center in a world gone awry, but instead on the glitter and glitz of exotic locales and high-tech chases, Wilson's latest, outstanding Benjamin Justice mystery, thanks to its dark, groping, fatally flawed, but redeemable hero, comes like food to starving genre buffs. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who later had to surrender the award because he had invented sources, Justice floundered for years after--years of decline and drinking, punctuated by a few, successful, free-lance gigs combining journalistic research and private investigation. Now, he is HIV-positive but regrouping and writing his autobiography. Flashbacks from his own childhood molestation by a priest dovetail with the murder of a journalist who was investigating the Catholic Church's cover-up of an L.A. priest's sordid activities. When Justice, a prete manque in so many ways, looks into the crime, he advances to new levels of risk and confrontation, both within himself and without. At its best, Wilson's work recalls the best of Graham Greene's mysteries. He writes meditations on repentance and forgiveness as well as whodunits, giving discerning readers reason to rejoice. His contemplation of the anguished soul and its redemption makes him Greene's heir apparent and the savior of the mystery as morality play. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

The writing is touching, moving, and suspenseful.
RMS Bear
Benjamin Justice is humane, intelligent, alcoholic, gay...and tarnished.
Samuel Augustus Jennings
This is a book to keep you reading right to the end.
Glynn Marsh Alam

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lind on October 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Now in his mid-40's, HIV+ and single since his boyfriend moved out of the country, the Benjamin Justice we find here seems
significantly subdued from the fiery, brash investigative journalist we met in Wilson's first four books in the series, which started a dozen years earlier. Back then, Justice had managed to short-circuit a promising journalism career by fabricating some interviews for a story which won a Pulitzer Prize, and was caught. Writing assignments had been few and far between since then. In the past five years, Benjamin had not worked, living simply and frugally, but recently got an advance to write his biography, which gives him some apprehensions about reliving part of his past he'd rather not revisit. His only current link to his former profession is his best friend Alexandra Templeton, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who is secretly engaged to columnist Joe Soto, a longtime friend as well.
In making notes on his biography, Justice faces his long-buried
feelings about having been molested at ages 12-13 by a parish priest back in Buffalo NY. To bring closure to that episode in his life, he seeks out information about the priest, and learns that he actually had been transferred to the Los Angeles archdiocese a few years after his encounters, and died in a reported hiking accident about ten years ago. Justice presses the local diocese officials for more information, whether there had been further reports of molestations or if he had indeed been "rehabilitated," and is surprised when the "sorry, that's confidential" response comes from the office of the Bishop himself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. A McCoy on August 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was absolutely thrilled when I found out that John Morgan Wilson had written a fifth Benjamin Justice novel, because I was heartbroken when the series ended (or so I thought). I wasn't sure how Wilson could top The Limits of Justice, but he did, managing to take on vaunting ambition, the Catholic Church, institutionalized pedophilia, corrupt media, and spiritual alienation, all in one fell swoop.

Ben is, as ever, a fantastic character...a man of both nobility and carnal appetite, of deeply felt compassion and reckless bravado. He's a lost soul, struggling not to succumb to fear and darkness and despair. I adore him and his struggle, which always, inevitably, costs him something in the end. This story is no different. I actually gasped out loud at one point in the book, stricken to my very heart by the price Ben pays for contending with evil.

I would highly, highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kaye Barlow on March 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
This latest book by John Morgan Wilson manages to be extremely timely, relevant and although, written with his usual skill, quite unbelievable. Wilson's protagonist, Benjamin Justice, is in the process of writing his memoirs and while delving into his past and searching for information about the priest who sexually abused him as a child, he starts upon a series of catastrophes and mayhem.

First, his best friend's fiancé is assassinated; though in the beginning his death is considered an accident. There is a hired assassin and skullduggery and corruption in the highest echelons of the Catholic Church. The story proceeds pell-mell to a quite unbelievable conclusion.

As always, Wilson imbues Justice with depth and humanity and compassion and his friends and neighbors are delightful and entertaining. But unfortunately, this foray by Justice is just a little too much over the top. Hopefully, his next adventure will return to some semblance of reality
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mojosmom VINE VOICE on November 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
So if I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. to finish this, does that mean it's a good book? Yes, it certainly is.

This is a Benjamin Justice novel, and Ben is going through his usual angst. He's broken up with his last partner, and is coping with his HIV meds, while trying to write his autobiography. He decides that he needs to track down the whereabouts of the priest who molested him when he was twelve years old. Though he discovers the man has since died, he also discovers that there were more victims. Then a reporter who is helping his investigate, and who writes a column about priest molestations, is murdered, and it looks like the Archdiocese, which tries to bribe Justice into silence about the priest, itself may be involved.

With Wilson, there is no black-and-white, only shades of grey. Even a vicious killer's back story hints at some reasons for sympathy. Justice struggles with his history, feeling guilt for things he did (and didn't do) as a child that are affecting the present. In what will surely offend some people, pure evil here is confined to the hierarchy of the Catholic church. It is not only the molestations and the cover-ups, which could be taken from any headline, but the total lack of empathy and caring, the hypocrisy, that makes these men evil. This is one of the darkest of a dark series.

And well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Marsh Alam on January 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wilson's latest book is not for the weak stomached, nor for those who would "blindly" follow the Church's orders. There is a lot of hard boiled grit here. Much of it is about the gay society in West Los Angeles. To my surprise, I didn't find it much different from the other areas of LA. Wilson's writing is fast paced and shocking. He gives the church its due, and it's about time! This is a book to keep you reading right to the end. And don't forget to think about the multi-meaning of the title!
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