Synopses & Reviews
From #1 bestseller Michael Connelly's first career as a prize-winning 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.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"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." Booklist
"[T]hese 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." Library Journal
"This is not a book for everyone....But it will be of interest to close students of his fiction, to some journalists and to anyone interested in how the sow's ear of fact becomes the silk purse of fiction." Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post Book World
"Connelly's writing nearly two decades ago was as vivid, enthralling and detailed as any of his novels....One thing Crime Beat makes clear: Connelly both past and present has always delivered a great read." Orlando Sentinel
"Crime Beat is an uneasy hybrid. The writing is both expansive and constricted. When Connelly attempts to move beyond meat and potatoes reporting, you get the impression of a reporter trying to squeeze reality into the confines of hard-boiled fiction." Charles Taylor, The New York Times Book Review
"The stories show a wonderful writer learning his craft, conducting reconnaissance missions into territory that he would later conquer....Crime Beat is a decent read but a great preview of coming attractions." San Diego Union-Tribune
"Newspaper junkies and journalism students will find something to like in Crime Beat. For just about everybody else, though, Connelly's collection is not worth the price." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Before Michael Connelly became a novelist, he was a crime reporter, covering the detectives who worked the homicide beat. In these vivid, hard-hitting pieces, 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.
About the Author
Michael Connelly is a former journalist and has won every major prize for crime fiction. He lives in Florida.