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Full Version: The Empty Glass J.i. Baker
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Publication Date: July 19, 2012
In the early-morning hours of August 5, 1962, Los Angeles County deputy coroner Ben Fitzgerald arrives at the home of the world's most famous movie star, now lying dead in her bedroom, naked and still clutching a telephone. There he discovers The Book of Secrets - Marilyn Monroe's diary - revealing a doomed love affair with a man she refers to only as "The General." In the following days, Ben unravels a wide-ranging cover-up and some heartbreaking truths about the fragile, luminous woman behind the celebrity. Soon the sinister and surreal accounts in The Book of Secrets bleed into Ben's own life, and he finds himself, like Monroe, trapped in a deepening paranoid conspiracy. The Empty Glass is an unforgettable combination of the riveting facts and legendary theories that have dogged Monroe, the Kennedy's, the Mafia, and even the CIA for decades. It is an exciting debut from a remarkable new thriller writer.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Blue Rider Press (July 19, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399158197
ISBN-13: 978-0399158193
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
My review...

Loosely based on the many conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Marilyn Monroe, some of which are rather far-fetched - although serious questions remain. Disappointingly perhaps, Marilyn herself is only a minor character. And the supposed red diary, FBI tapes, and friendship with Jeanne Carmen are all based on shaky evidence. Obviously this is fiction, but if you know Marilyn's story well, this rendering leaves something to be desired. It is quite similar to Max Allan Collins' recent take on the same subject, Bye Bye Baby, but a lot more confusing. J.I. Baker is a magazine editor, and his style has the gloss of journalism - snappy dialogue, descriptive prose - but due to thin characterisation, and an overly busy plot with too much peripheral detail, The Empty Glass lacks the high suspense that a great crime novel demands.
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