Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story

Dey St. Jul. 2021. 464p. ISBN 9780063000582. $27.99. CRIME
Jeffrey Epstein’s decades-long criminal sex trafficking enterprise is laid bare by Brown, the Miami Herald reporter who shined the brightest spotlight on the case in 2018. The book is based on her original reporting of interviews, court documents, and government records that name everyone from Donald Trump and Prince Andrew to Stephen Hawking as beneficiaries of Epstein’s sexual or financial favors. Brown interweaves the Epstein story with that of her experience investigating it, including receiving threats from private investigators presumably hired by Epstein. Though the chapters on the survivors’ stories are explicit, they are also the most affecting part of the book, and Brown gives the survivors the respect they deserve and have often been denied. She offers detailed accounts of claims against Trump and Prince Andrew that she says lend credibility to previous allegations. The biggest takeaway will be Epstein’s sweeping reach; Brown writes that initially he got away from the accusations thanks to powerful people who saw Epstein as “an emperor worthy of entertaining because there was cash in those new clothes.”
VERDICT While the book would benefit from more specific notes about interviews with the people involved, Brown tells a gripping, horrifying tale, and few are spared her critique. A must for public library collections, and especially noteworthy for readers of Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy To Protect Predators.
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