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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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  • AudioFile Magazine 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
  • 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).

  • AudioFile Magazine 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
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