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 Writing is compelling evidence of the furthest reaches of human behavior.
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