No justice: the crime novels of John Morgan Wilson

Sharon Wheeler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Gay crime writers have become a significant presence in shaping, changing and challenging the genre over the past 20 years. The American writer John Morgan Wilson has taken the idea of the gay hero as outsider to extremes with his creation of the HIV+ disgraced journalist Benjamin Justice. I shall discuss how Justice breaks the boundaries of gay crime fiction heroes with a lead character verging on the anti-hero. I shall put the Justice series in a historical context and argue that without MorganWilson’s adventurous and pioneering series, the present day writers are indanger of being subsumed into cosies (lightweight crime fiction wherebloodshed happens off-stage and the investigator is generally an amateur) and pastiche, and undoing all the trailblazing work by the likes of Joseph Hansen, Michael Nava and Richard Stevenson that has gone before.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuestions of identity in detective fiction
EditorsL. Martz, A. Higgie
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781847183439
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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