Thieves, liars, killers, and conspirators--it's a criminal world out there, and someone has got to write about it. An eclectic collection of the year's best reportage, The Best American Crime Reporting 2007 brings together the murderers and muscle men, the masterminds, and the mysteries and missteps that make for brilliant stories, told by the aces of the true crime genre. This latest addition to the highly acclaimed series features guest editor Linda Fairstein, the bestselling crime novelist and former chief prosecutor of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office's pioneering Special Victims' Unit.
Thieves, liars, killers, and conspirators--it's a criminal world out there, and someone has got to write about it. An eclectic collection of the year's best reportage, The Best American Crime Reporting 2008 brings together the murderers and the masterminds, the mysteries and missteps that make for brilliant stories, told by the aces of the true-crime genre. This latest addition to the highly acclaimed series features guest editor Jonathan Kellerman, bestselling author of more than twenty crime novels, most recently Compulsion and the forthcoming Bones.
Thieves, liars, and killers--it's a criminal world out there, and someone has to write about it. A thrilling collection of the year's best reportage by the aces of the true-crime genre, The Best American Crime Reporting 2009 brings together the mysteries and missteps of an eclectic and unforgettable set of criminals. Gripping, suspenseful, and brilliant, this latest addition to the highly acclaimed series features guest editor Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker staff writer, CNN senior legal analyst, and bestselling author of The Nine.
A riveting new anthology series--a year's worth of the most powerful, the most startling, the smartest and most astute, in short, the best crime journalism. Scouring hundreds of publications, guest editor Nicholas Pileggi, and series editors Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook have created a remarkable compilation of the best examples of the most current and vibrant of our literary traditions: crime reporting. Ranging in style from Mark Singer's ribald "The Chicken Warriors," an up-close look at the tawdry, wildly popular, illegal world of cock-fighting, to David McClintick's harrowing "Fatal Bondage," the tale of a grifter with an attraction to sado-masochistic sex and serial killing, this collection showcases the wide variety of writing in the field today. Criminal behavior itself also falls into a spectrum, from the isolated and idiosyncratic misdeed, such as that documented in Skip Hollandsworth's "The Killing of Alydar," an investigation into the greed that spawned the killing of a thoroughbred horse, to the large-scale malignancies that can shake an entire nation, as recounted in "The Day of the Attack," Nancy Gibbs's sobering retelling of the events of September 11, 2001. Good crime writing is never just about the crime or the criminals, so this collection also has moving and often troubling portraits of the victims, their families, and the communities in which they lived, and, in pieces such as D. Graham Burnett's "Anatomy of a Verdict," a reminder of the immensely difficult process that is coming to judgment. Entertaining, at times alarming,Best American Crime Writingis compelling evidence of the furthest reaches of human behavior.
The 2005 edition of The Best American Crime Writing offers the year's most shocking, compelling, and gripping writing about real-life crime, including Peter Landesman's article about female sex slaves (the most requested and widely read New York Times story of 2004), a piece from The New Yorker by Stephen J. Dubner (the coauthor of Freakanomics) about a high-society silver thief, and an extraordinarily memorable "ode to bar fights" written by Jonathan Miles for Men's Journal after he punched an editor at a staff party. But this year's edition includes a bonus -- an original essay by James Ellroy detailing his fascination with Joseph Wambaugh and how it fed his obsession with crime -- even to the point of selling his own blood to buy Wambaugh's books. Smart, entertaining, and controversial, The Best American Crime Writing is an essential edition to any crime enthusiast's bookshelf.
The 2005 edition of The Best American Crime Writing offers the year's most shocking, compelling, and gripping writing about real-life crime, including Peter Landesman's article about female sex slaves (the most requested and widely read New York Times story of 2004), a piece from The New Yorker by Stephen J. Dubner (the coauthor of Freakanomics) about a high-society silver thief, and an extraordinarily memorable "ode to bar fights" written by Jonathan Miles for Men's Journal after he punched an editor at a staff party. But this year's edition includes a bonus -- an original essay by James Ellroy detailing his fascination with Joseph Wambaugh and how it fed his obsession with crime -- even to the point of selling his own blood to buy Wambaugh's books.
A sterling collection of the year's most shocking, compelling, and gripping writing about real-life crime, the 2006 edition of The Best American Crime Writing offers fascinating vicarious journeys into a world of felons and their felonious acts. This thrilling compendium includes: Jeffrey Toobin's eye-opening exposé in The New Yorker about a famous prosecutor who may have put the wrong man on death row Skip Hollandsworth's amazing but true tale of an old cowboy bank robber who turned out to be a "classic good-hearted Texas woman" Jimmy Breslin's stellar piece about the end of the Mob as we know it
A sterling collection of the year's most shocking, compelling, and gripping writing about real-life crime, the 2006 edition of The Best American Crime Writing offers fascinating vicarious journeys into a world of felons and their felonious acts. This thrilling compendium includes: Jeffrey Toobin's eye-opening expose in The New Yorker about a famous prosecutor who may have put the wrong man on death row Skip Hollandsworth's amazing but true tale of an old cowboy bank robber who turned out to be a "classic good-hearted Texas woman" Jimmy Breslin's stellar piece about the end of the Mob as we know it.
A true-crime account of a vicious massacre and the legal battles that followedIt was not a clever killing. On May 5, 1973, three men escaped from a Maryland prison and disappeared. Joined by a fifteen-year-old brother, they surfaced in Georgia, where they were spotted joyriding in a stolen car. Within a week, the four young men were arrested on suspicion of committing one of the most horrific murders in American history. Jerry Alday and his family were eating Sunday dinner when death burst through the door of their cozy little trailer. Their six bodies are only the beginning of Thomas H. Cook's retelling of this gruesome story; the horrors continued in the courtroom. Based on court documents, police records, and interviews with the surviving family members, this is a chilling look at the evil that can lurk just around the corner.
In Thomas H. Cook's first novel, a weary detective tracks a blood-crazed psychopathBlood seeps into the gutters at the children's zoo in Central Park. Two deer have been slaughtered, one stabbed fifty-seven times and the other slashed across the neck. Normally it would be a case for the Parks Department, but these are no ordinary deer. The pride of the small menagerie, they were given to the zoo by a prominent socialite who cannot afford bloody headlines. The NYPD hands the case to Detective Reardon, star of the homicide squad. A recent widower at fifty-six, Reardon has seen too many human victims to care much about the two butchered animals. He resents being taken off other pressing cases for the sake of politics, but soon another killing snaps him to attention. Two women are found dead in their apartment, one stabbed fifty-seven times and the other with her throat cut. Surely this vicious parallel isn't a coincidence....
From the author hailed as "an important talent, a storytelling writer of poetic narrative power" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) comes a dazzling novel of psychological suspense. "This is the darkest story I've ever heard." With these haunting words, Thomas H. Cook begins a tale of love and its aftermath, of a town sent reeling from a moment of passionate betrayal. At its center was Kelli Troy and the town of Choctaw, Alabama. And on one hazy summer afternoon decades ago, a searing burst of violence engulfed Breakheart Hill. For one man who knows the truth about those shattering events, it is a memory that would become his awful secret.From the Paperback edition.
Attorney Henry Griswald has a secret: the truth behind the tragic events the world knew as the Chatham School Affair, the controversial tragedy that destroyed five lives, shattered a quiet community, and forever scarred the young boy. Layer by layer, in The Chatham School Affair, Cook paints a stunning portrait of a woman, a school, and a town in which passionate violence seems impossible...and inevitable. "Thomas Cook's night visions, seen through a lens darkly, are haunting," raved the New York Times Book Review, and The Chatham School Affair will cement this superb writer's position as one of crime fiction's most prodigious talents, a master of the unexpected ending.From the Paperback edition.
A photographer struggles to understand a stranger's suicideThere's nothing special about the woman's death. It comes over the police radio like any other sad story: a woman found on the sidewalk, killed after plunging from her apartment. But something about the gruesome scene grabs David Corman's attention. A freelance photographer with a defunct marriage and a career on the skids, he fixates on this mysterious death. Though near starvation, the woman had been buying formula to feed to a baby doll. Before she leapt, she tossed the plastic child out the window. David photographs the dead woman and her pretend child; although he's jaded, the strange scene stirs his compassion, and he begins researching her past. He's convinced that his job has shown him the worst the city has to offer. But learning the truth behind this futile suicide will teach David that New York is even uglier than he imagined.
David Sears grew up in the shadow of his brilliant sister, Diana, convinced by their father that she would accomplish great things. Instead, she married and had a son, Jason, who-like David and Diana's father-is schizophrenic. Her husband, Mark, a geneticist, never made peace with Jason's condition. Perhaps this is why Diana will not accept the authorities' conclusion that Jason's drowning death was accidental. Or perhaps Diana is going mad. As she builds a case against her husband and the seductive qualities of her manic energy become impossible to ignore, David finds himself afraid for his own family's safety. In The Cloud of Unknowing, Cook explores the power of blood and family mythology.
A gut-wrenching true-crime account of a couple on a twisted killing spree in the American SouthEvil has a way of finding itself. How else could you explain the bond between Alvin and Judith Ann Neelley, who consecrated their marriage in blood? Before the killings started, they restricted themselves to simple mischief: prank calls, vandalism, firing guns at strangers' houses. Gradually their ambition grew, until one day at the Riverbend Mall in Rome, Georgia, they spotted Lisa Ann Millican. Three days after Lisa Ann disappeared, the thirteen-year-old girl was found shot and pumped full of liquid drain cleaner. In between her abduction and her death, she was subjected to innumerable horrors. And she was only the first to die. Drawing on police records and extensive interviews, Thomas H. Cook recounts the story of Judith Ann Neelley, who at nineteen became the youngest woman ever sentenced to death row
A brother recalls the magnificent life of his sister, the greatest writer of her ageA launch party is underway for a hotly anticipated biography, the life story of Elena Franklin. As a young woman, Elena was one of the most promising literary talents of the 1920s, and over the years her legend grew. Her biographer, Martha Farrell, has combed through all the evidence of Elena's genius and passion, from her early years in New York to her expatriate life in Paris. The result is a monumental work - but among the party's crowd is the man who knows the book is an empty shell. Only William, Elena's brother, knew the truth about the famed author. Martha's flawed biography spurs his memory, and he recalls how the temperamental baby grew into a legend. He knew Elena's hidden pain, shared their family secrets, and draws his own portrait of the troubled soul that lay behind her artistic gifts.
Edgar Award winner Thomas H. Cook has earned acclaim and a growing legion of fans for his brilliantly styled, intensely evocative thrillers. Now, in his most seductive suspense novel yet, he draws us into a world of love, betrayal, and murder from which one man can find no escape."It's better to know, don't you think?... No matter what the cost?" Forty years ago in Sequoyah, Georgia, Charles Overton was sentenced to die for the murder of a young woman, even though her body was never found. But the prosecution had all the ammunition it needed: a blood-stained dress and a jury out for vengeance.... Now true-crime writer Jackson Kinley is coming home to grieve for an old friend. But Sequoyah sheriff Ray Tindall's death has left many questions: Why had he reopened the Overton case... and then, without explanation, shut it down? What was he looking for? And what did he find that he couldn't bear to reveal? The search for answers leads Kinley into a small-town web of corruption, secrecy, and lies--and finally into the darkest corners of the human heart, where the terrible truth lies...in the Evidence of Blood.From the Paperback edition.
George Gates used to be a travel writer who specialized in places where people disappeared--Judge Crater, the Lost Colony.Then his eight-year-old son was murdered, the killer never found, and Gates gave up disappearance. Now he writes stories of redemptive triviality about flower festivals and local celebrities for the town paper, and spends his evenings haunted by the image of his son's last day. Enter Arlo MacBride, a retired missing-persons detective still obsessed with the unsolved case of Katherine Carr. When he gives Gates the story she left behind--a story of a man stalking a woman named Katherine Carr--Gates too is drawn inexorably into a search for the missing author's brief life and uncertain fate. And as he goes deeper, he begins to suspect that her tale holds the key not only to her fate, but to his own.
Now living in New York, ex-cop Frank Clemons investigates a brutal slashingThe sleek high-rises of Park Avenue make Frank Clemons uneasy. The former Atlanta homicide detective came to New York after a sickening murder case soured him on the South, but despite the glitz of his new surroundings and the beauty of the woman he shares them with, the city makes his skin crawl. Now a private eye, he is only at ease in the city's darker corners, among the whores, gamblers, and pimps who call Eighth Avenue home. That affinity for the isolated is what draws him to Hannah Karlsberg, an elderly seamstress who deserved a better death than she got. Hannah's employer asks Clemons to find the victim's next of kin, so the police can release the body for burial. As he learns about the dead woman's past, which stretches back to the Lower East Side of the 1930s, Clemons becomes obsessed with unearthing the decades-old secret that led to her death.
Thomas Cook is one of today's most acclaimed writers of psychological thrillers, penning hypnotic tales of forbidden love and devastating secrets. Now he has written an unforgettable novel that weaves one man's tortured life with a deadly mystery that spans five decades....Riverwood is an artists' community in the Hudson River valley, a serene place where writers can perfect their craft. But for all its beauty and isolation, it was once touched by a terrible crime--the murder of a teenage girl who lived on the estate fifty years ago. Faye Harrison's killer was never caught--and now her dying mother is desperate to learn the truth about her daughter's murder.Enter Paul Graves, a writer who draws upon the pain of his own tragic past to write haunting tales of mystery. Graves has been summoned to Riverwood for an unusual assignment: to apply the art of fiction to a crime that was real, and then write a story that will answer the questions that keep Faye's mother from a peaceful death. Just a story. It doesn't have to be true. Or does it?From the Paperback edition.
Albert Jay Smalls sits in an interrogation room accused of an unspeakable murder. The police have no witnesses, no physical evidence, and less than twelve hours to prove him guilty. Now, Smalls will be put through one final interrogation. It is a search that leads into the shadowed recesses of one man's shattered mind -- and to the devastating secrets buried in a desolate town. It is a quest that takes three desperate cops down a dark, twisting road as they race against the clock to find out what really happened one rainy afternoon in 1952. The answers will be more shocking than anyone can imagine, blurring the boundaries between pursuers and prey, the guilty and the innocent, the truth that sets us free and the tragedies that haunt us to the grave. A white-hot novel that shimmers in its intensity, stunning in its execution, shocking in its conclusion, The Interrogation gives us a pitch-perfect race against time no reader will ever forget.
Twenty-five years ago, an unspeakable crime was committed and Roy Slater fled--from the life he thought he wanted, from the memories he couldn't avoid, and from the devastating suspicions of those he called friends. But now that his estranged father is dying, the prodigal son has returned to confront the past--and finds himself inextricably caught up with an old flame and a new murder, one that leads him inevitably back into the twisted web of deceit and violence from which he thought he'd escaped. In this haunting novel of literary suspense, Edgar Award-winner Thomas Cook once again delves deep into the realms of betrayal, passion and murder.
Middling historian Lucas Paige visits St. Louis to give a sparsely attended reading--nothing out of the ordinary. Except among the yawning attendees is someone he did not expect: Lola Faye Gilroy, the "other woman" he has long blamed for his father's murder decades earlier. Reluctantly, Luke joins Lola Faye for a drink. As one drink turns into several, these two battered souls relive, from their different perspectives, the most searing experience of their lives. Slowly but surely, the hotel bar dissolves around them and they are transported back to the tiny southern town where this defining moment--a violent crime of passion--is turned in the light once more to reveal flaws in the old answers. As it turns out, there is much Luke doesn't know. And what he doesn't know can hurt him. Trapped in an increasingly intense emotional exchange, and with no place to go save back into his own dark past, Luke struggles to gain control of an ever more threatening conversation, to discover why Lola Faye has come and what she is after--before it is too late. A taut literary thriller in the gothic tradition of Master of the Delta.
In 1954 Mississippi, Jack Branch returns to his father's Delta estate, Great Oaks, to perform an act of noblesse oblige: teaching at the local high school. While conducting a class on evil throughout history, Jack is shocked to discover that his unassuming student Eddie is the son of the Coed Killer, a notorious local murderer. Jack feels compelled to mentor the boy, encouraging Eddie to examine his father's crime and using his own good name to open the doors that Eddie's lineage can't. But when the investigation turns in an unexpected direction, Jack finds himself questioning Eddie's motives-and his own. As the deadly consequences of Jack's actions fall inescapably into place, Thomas H. Cook masterfully reveals the darker truths that lurk in the recesses of small-town lives and in the hearts of well-intentioned men.
A withdrawn architect revisits the darkest moment of his childhoodSteve Farris was nine years old in 1959, the youngest child in a family that was about to be snuffed out. Around four o'clock on an ordinary November afternoon, Steve's father loaded his shotgun. With calm precision he killed his teenaged son and daughter, and then turned the weapon on his wife. For two hours he waited for his youngest son to come home from school. When Steve did not appear, his father drove away, disappearing for good. Now a successful architect, Farris has spent his life avoiding the memories of that dark day. But questions from an author writing a book about the crime bring back impressions from the days leading up to the killing. For the first time he must confront his awful past, and the terrifying possibility that his father had a reason for what he did.
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