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The Empty Glass by J.I. Baker

abstract:"In the early morning hours of August 5th, 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. 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 cover-up that implicates the Kennedy's, the Mafia and the CIA. Soon the sinister and surreal accounts in the Book bleed into Ben's own life, and he finds himself trapped - like Monroe - in a deepening paranoid conspiracy.

A knockout combination of fact and legend, The Empty Glass is a rivetting debut thriller."

James Ireland Baker is the executive editor of Condé Nast Traveler. Before that, he was development editor at Time Inc. He has also worked at Real Simple, Glamour, and Us, and is a founding editor of Time Out New York. The Empty Glass is his first novel. Baker lives in Westchester County, New York. This book is published by Penguin, USA

It's not often you re-read the back cover blurb on a paperback novel after you've completed reading the book itself and realize that it captures the essence perfectly. It's not often that the book's cover art, a photo of Marilyn Monroe with red lipstick letters scrawled across that famous-tragic face, commands you to pick up the book and continue reading it every time you pass the table on which it sits in your house. It's not often that the combination of fact and fiction blend so seamlessly that you are compelled to search the Internet to establish the facts so you can confirm the depth of the vortex you are being sucked into by some pretty darn captivating noir fiction writing.

I used to live in Los Angeles where occasionally a movie theatre located on Wilshire Boulevard at the edge of Santa Monica and Westwood


May 12, 2013
— had a film playing that I would drive to see from our home in nearby Pacific Palisades. Everything in LA is big: Wilshire is a boulevard with 10 lanes, which means that the tiny cemetary behind the theatre on that block which holds Marilyn Monroe's grave is the most unlikely place one would expect her to be buried. You park behind the theatre and 50 meters away is the tiny stone flat marker--a sobering reminder before each movie-going experience about the sad and mysterious demise of one of Hollywood's legendary actresses. How much do we really know about her death? This book brings up all kinds of intriguing scenarios about the triumvirate of people associated with Monroe at the time of her death. Like Natalie Wood and Kennedy himself there are plenty of stories and speculation about motivation. We collectively mourn their loss, and are captivated by all forms of speculation of fact or fiction relating to their final days and reasons for their demise.



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