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- Bestselling mystery writer Connelly presents a collection of newspaper articles written when he was a crime reporter on the homicide beat in Florida and Los Angeles. Yes, this is simply 6 hours of a committee of readers reciting newspaper articles, word for word. Repetitions and re-introductions of key players are the norm. The material is not very interesting unless one has a fascination with Florida and Los Angeles killers and cops. Production quality is fine, although these readers are nothing stellar. Connelly mailed in this project, perhaps literally mailing the readers his old scrapbooks. Overall, the production is not worth one's time. Disc 5 contains some multimedia material, including an interview with the author. T.F. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
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.
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).
- Howard Samuel lends a strong, somber tone to Michael Connelly's collection of articles written over his years as a crime journalist in Florida and Los Angeles. Connelly, bestselling author of the Harry Bosch mystery series, loses none of his novelist's expertise when introducing these true crime accounts. The collection, made up mostly of reprints of news stories, is especially well suited to audio. Connelly's humanity is the brush that colors each story, and Samuel's performance heightens that personal touch. His voice, sometimes gruff, sometimes graceful, is always engaging, making each account fascinating, touching, or sensational. His reading is hypnotic, demanding listener attention--and getting it. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
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.
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