Justice (Magill Book Reviews)
Dominick Dunne’s essays in Justice: Crimes, Trials, and Punishments give readers yet another look at several of the more notoriously lurid murders that have intrigued so many Americans over the last twenty years. The essays first appeared in Vanity Fair magazine.
Americans seem to be addicted to true crime accounts of grisly murders involving the glitterati—the idle rich, the same kind of people about whom Dunne has also written so viciously in his fiction. Justice takes its readers into the courtroom, the bedroom, and the parlors of the wealthy, exploring the psyches not only of the crime victims and their alleged murders but also of the hangers-on associated with the crime.
The title essay, “Justice,” is the most affecting, detailing Dunne’s experiences resulting from the brutal murder of his only daughter, Dominique. This piece shows readers a father attempting to come to terms with the needless violent death of a beloved daughter and with the aftermath. Dunne takes particular pains to skewer the legal system that treated her killer, John Sweeney, so lightly.
Dunne is masterful at making the sleazy rich look even more repugnant—from the victims and their killers, to the associates and hangers on, to the lawyers, judges and assorted other legal eagles associated with the trials. The portraits Dunne offer are unpleasant, perhaps more so because the people he is describing are real and their...
(The entire section is 379 words.)
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