Questions about freedom of the press, defamation, libel, and slander have been in the news quite a bit lately. Bad Lies (Mascot Books, 2017) tells the story of Eddie Bennison, who is over 50 when he makes it into the professional golf circuit. In two years, he wins millions of dollars in endorsements and prize money. Then a leading golf magazine publishes articles that suggest he unfairly tampered with his clubs and used performance-enhancing drugs. Bennison loses all his endorsements and his ability to play the game. His lawyer, Charlie Mayfield, files a libel and slander lawsuit against the magazine and its powerful corporate owner. Then a woman accuses Bennison of sexually assaulting and beating her. While the lawyers on both sides build their arguments and tensions rise, we’re kept guessing right up to the moment when the jury foreman announces the verdict.
Lawyer and author Shelby Yastrow, formerly General Counsel and Executive Vice President for McDonald’s Corporation, wrote two previous novels based on civil lawsuits that he litigated, and one non-fiction book about franchising the world’s largest hair-salon franchise. World-famous British professional golfer Tony Jacklin, who won many tournaments and helped popularize golf around the world, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002. He is also the author of several autobiographical books about golf.