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The Empty Glass
336 pages; Blue Rider Press
Marilyn Monroe is dead...by suicide. So why does all the evidence suggest that she was murdered? Los Angeles County deputy coroner Ben Fitzgerald’s relentless search for answers leads him down a dangerous path away from his sanity—and takes readers along with him. The story is filtered through his clipped, Bogartesque narration, as well through entries of Marilyn’s diary—a totally credible imagining of her uncensored speech: breathy, sparingly punctuated and a little bit lost. The two voices interweave throughout the book.  One minute Marilyn speaks, the next Ben narrates his movements in the days following her death, and then he argues with a doctor, who, it becomes increasingly clear, is questioning him . As Ben’s mind unravels, the threads of the story pull together ever more tightly. The characters may be, as Marilyn recounts, “slipping, which is what I feel a slow slipping,” but Baker is totally in control, and watching him lead his hero along a precarious tightrope of reason is scary—and totally exhilarating.
— Nathalie Gorman