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Crime Beat
Cover of Crime Beat
Crime Beat
A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers
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From #1 bestseller Michael Connelly's first career as a prizewinning crime reporter—the gripping, true stories that inspired and informed his novels.
Before he became a novelist, Michael Connelly was a crime reporter, covering the detectives who worked the homicide beat in Florida and Los Angeles.
In vivid, hard-hitting articles, Connelly leads the reader past the yellow police tape as he follows the investigators, the victims, their families and friends—and, of course, the killers—to tell the real stories of murder and its aftermath.
Connelly's firsthand observations would lend inspiration to his novels, from The Black Echo, which was drawn from a real-life bank heist, to Trunk Music, based on an unsolved case of a man found in the trunk of his Rolls Royce. And the vital details of his best-known characters, both heroes and villains, would be drawn from the cops and killers he reported on: from loner detective Harry Bosch to the manipulative serial killer the Poet.
Stranger than fiction and every bit as gripping, these pieces show once again that Michael Connelly is not only a master of his craft, but also one of the great American writers in any form.
From #1 bestseller Michael Connelly's first career as a prizewinning crime reporter—the gripping, true stories that inspired and informed his novels.
Before he became a novelist, Michael Connelly was a crime reporter, covering the detectives who worked the homicide beat in Florida and Los Angeles.
In vivid, hard-hitting articles, Connelly leads the reader past the yellow police tape as he follows the investigators, the victims, their families and friends—and, of course, the killers—to tell the real stories of murder and its aftermath.
Connelly's firsthand observations would lend inspiration to his novels, from The Black Echo, which was drawn from a real-life bank heist, to Trunk Music, based on an unsolved case of a man found in the trunk of his Rolls Royce. And the vital details of his best-known characters, both heroes and villains, would be drawn from the cops and killers he reported on: from loner detective Harry Bosch to the manipulative serial killer the Poet.
Stranger than fiction and every bit as gripping, these pieces show once again that Michael Connelly is not only a master of his craft, but also one of the great American writers in any form.
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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 13, 2006
    The many fans of perennially bestselling mystery author Connelly will certainly lap up this collection of his articles written during his former life as a crime journalist in Florida and California. In three sections, "The Cops," "The Killers" and "The Cases," Connelly presents a wide variety of stories from the 1980s and early '90s, ranging from local crimes to national sensations such as the serial killer Christopher Wilder, one of the FBI's Most Wanted. With Wilder, for instance, readers watch Connelly build a portrait of a man who gained access to women in the Florida modeling and fashion scene by posing as a professional photographer with "cunning charm, smooth talk and money." Connelly tells tales of double lives, failures of the criminal justice system and the shooting death of a 245-pound L.A. prostitute. The format of the book may disappoint some, as the inclusion of multiple reports about the same crimes often contain repetitive language. The author is strongest bringing quiet moments to life, such as the despair of parents hoping that a missing child will still turn up, or the patient, resigned professionalism of weary detectives. Devotees of Connelly's fiction will enjoy tracing the real-life roots of some of his plots.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 4, 2006
    Connelly's fondly remembered memoir of his pre-novel writing years as a crime reporter splits reading duties among three performers: Broadway veteran Cariou, acclaimed director Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress
    ) and familiar audiobook voice McKeon. Cariou's starchy sincerity tangles manfully with McKeon's soothing, dulcet tones and Franklin's unassuming earnestness. Connelly himself gets things started by reading his own introduction, setting the stage by explaining the intimate relationship between his years on the crime beat and his current life as a mystery writer. The rotating chorus of voices is a pleasant change from the usual monotony of single narrators, with the three readers mixing things up for listeners with varied approaches to Connelly's book. Franklin is undoubtedly the least trained of the three, his voice the least varnished with the polish of long practice, but with all due respect to Cariou and McKeon's fine work, he is the most enjoyable reader. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 13).

  • Library Journal

    April 15, 2006
    Connelly ("The Lincoln Lawyer"), one of the more literary of the neonoir novelists, got his start as a crime beat reporter in Los Angeles and Florida. Here he reprints the stories that inspired his award-winning crime fiction. From the body found in a trunk, which he used in his novel "Trunk Music", to the insights on cops and killers that would inform "The Poet" and the character of detective Harry Bosch, these collected articles show that the truth can be as strange -and even stranger than -fiction and every bit as compelling. Through it all, Connelly displays the discerning eye and compassion that characterize his best work. The one problem with the format is that the stories and their follow-ups are printed verbatim; as a result, there is much repetition among articles on the same crime. This is a distracting but minor point in a book that is otherwise a treat. For all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, "LJ" 1/06.]" -Deirdre Root, Middletown P.L., OH"

    Copyright 2006 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2006
    Connelly, best-selling and Edgar Award-winning writer of the Harry Bosch mystery series, writes about cops, criminals, and cold cases with an authority that stems in part from his first career, as a crime reporter for two newspapers: the " South Florida Sun-Sentinel" and, later, the " Los Angeles Times." This is a collection of 22 of his nonfiction crime stories for those papers. The collection is divided into three sections: "The Cops," "The Killers," and "The Cases." A fascinating introduction dissects the moments in Connelly's reporting career that helped form him as a writer, with an emphasis on the importance of the telling detail. The crime stories that follow are filled with telling details, as in the tattoo of blue tears at the corners of the eyes of a cop who carries out body bags. The reader moves from Connelly's account of a week during which he was granted full access to a South Florida homicide squad, through a series on a serial killer who preyed on would-be models, to a consideration of victims, including a rookie LAPD officer shot to death and the parents of missing children, who can't get past the last place their daughters or sons were seen. This volume works on several levels: as a source of insight into Connelly's craft; as a collection of compelling true-crime stories; and as a great primer for journalists.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2006, American Library Association.)

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A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers
Michael Connelly
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