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Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers

Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers

2.6 41
by Michael Connelly, Len Cariou (Read by), Carl Franklyn (Read by), Nancy McKeon (Read by)

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
The same qualities that make for an outstanding crime reporter -- attention to detail, understanding people, empathy, etc. -- also make for a great crime novelist, as evidenced in Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers, a gripping collection of newspaper articles written by bestselling author Michael Connelly (The Lincoln Lawyer, The Closers, et al.), when he worked as a journalist in South Florida and Los Angeles before becoming a full-time writer.

The collection of almost two dozen exposés from the late 1980s and early 1990s ranges from stories focusing on cops (former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates in "Death Squad") to those spotlighting infamous killers (serial murderer/rapist Christopher Bernard Wilder in "Killer on the Run"). "Trunk Music," which explores the unsolved gangland-style murder of a businessman found bound and shot to death in the trunk of his Rolls-Royce, was the inspiration behind Connelly's 1997 novel of the same name.

The phrase "truth is stranger than fiction" couldn't be more apt when it comes to the incredibly diverse subject matter of Crime Beat -- from demented serial killers to savvy con artists to overzealous police. Fans of Connelly's novels featuring former LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch will gain invaluable insights not only into Connelly's complex and engaging protagonist but also into the equally complex and engaging author himself. Additionally, aficionados of true crime will absolutely devour this powerful nonfiction collection -- yellow crime scene police tape not included. Paul Goat Allen
Charles Taylor
Connelly is particularly good in a section titled "Death Squad," about a case involving a Los Angeles Police Department squad that surreptitiously followed people suspected of criminal activity and allowed crimes to take place. The reasoning was that the cops would then have a better chance of convicting them once they were arrested. In the case Connelly writes about, it allowed the cops to act as executioners right after the crime. This is exactly the sort of subject that calls for hardheadedness, and Connelly supplies it, not in his prose but in his determination not to take the word of authority simply because it comes from authority. The articles that make up "Death Squad" suggest there is a place for the hard-boiled influence in reporting. Not by aping the prose of Chandler and his progeny, but by following the motto of a less glamorous icon, Jack Webb's Joe Friday: Just the facts.
— The New York Times
Patrick Anderson
Every generation produces reporters whose talent is essentially novelistic and for whom journalism is a way station on the road to fiction. Hemingway was the classic example of the 20th century, but there are many others -- Tom Wolfe was one, and so is Connelly. For instance, here's the lead of the first crime story reprinted in the book, from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 1987: "It has been four days since anybody has heard from or seen Walter Moody, and people are thinking that something is wrong." It's not the typical who-what-when-where-why-and- how formula of police reporting. Connelly was always looking for mood, drama, eccentricity, the telling detail. One of the fascinations of this collection is spotting the police-beat details -- the fellow with teardrops tattooed below his eyes, the detective who chewed the earpiece of his glasses -- that later punctuate the Bosch novels.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
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). (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
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 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Hachette Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 5.75(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

Michael Connelly is a former journalist and has won every major prize for crime fiction. He lives in Florida.

Brief Biography

Sarasota, Florida
Date of Birth:
July 21, 1956
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
B.A. in Journalism, University of Florida, 1980

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Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After the first few sentences, this book bored the hell out of this reader. having read the newspapers, all the rehashed stories were redundant. Connelly could've done much, much, MUCH better. Can a reader say refund?
hansengolfers More than 1 year ago
I threw it away half way through
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointed. It was about different stories he wrote about as a newspaper man. There was no story behind any of them. I gave it away before the last cd was finished.
PhyllisL More than 1 year ago
not my favorite...reader put me to sleep
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book like 5 times and love it more and more each time!
Reviews-ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Stephen B for Readers Favorite "Christmas Even" A pawn shop owner suffering from repeated break-ins discovers what is at first assumed to be the dead body of the burglar still in his place of business. Harry Bosch, Los Angeles homicide detective, and his partner investigate and discover that things aren¿t always what they seem to be. How is the death connected to a saxophone found in the burglar¿s apartment, which was specially made for a famous jazz musician? "Father¿s Day" On the annual holiday Bosch investigates the death of a real estate¿s infant son. The child had some health problems, causing challenges for the parents. Suspicion falls upon the father who left the child unattended in an overheated automobile. Bosch negotiates the intricacies of the case as well as contemplating the facts about his relationship with his own child. "Angle of Investigation" Two days on the job, rookie patrolman and Vietnam veteran Harry Bosch and his training partner discover the corpses of a dog and its owner in a residential bathtub. Present day Bosch, ensconced in the cold cases department with partner Kiz Rider, tackles the decades¿ old murder. This is another collection of short stories from Michael Connelly. These show the determined and dedicated homicide detective who will not give up on the little things about a case. I like Bosch¿s logical step by step process of culling through the clues in a case. This is especially shown in the first and last stories. Since I listened to an audio version of these stories I also have to state that the narrator in his slow precise style helped the stories along. He was clear and Connelly¿s style came through clearly. As a Bosch fan, I recommend taking small bites out of your day to listen to these stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am currently about 3/4 through this book. I am very disappointed and much prefer his fiction. This is like reading the same thing over and over because it will cover a case from police view, journalist view, TV views etc. and each one repeats much of the same details.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Expecting something more like true-life stories in the vein of Harry Bosch or other Michael Connelly characters, I was disappointed by the way the material was presented, as newspaper articles. Sometimes a number of articles going over the same information became boring because it was so repetitive. I'm going to stick to his fiction, which I thoroughly enjoy, from now on.
RoseB More than 1 year ago
The small crime stories did not interest me. I've never been disappointed in his novels.
AvidReaderinPflugerville More than 1 year ago
I didn't feel this book was to the standard of other Michael Connelly books I have read. I know it was a compilation of stories he worked on years back, but it was not very cohesive and it seemed to include lots of duplicated material.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Never have I quit on a Michael Connelly book, but there is a first time for everything! There was none of the excitement of his other books just boring recounts of old stories. I kept thinking it would get better, but by page 56, I knew it was a stinker!
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Whoever said truth was stranger than fiction might have been referring to bestselling author Connelly's first foray into non-fiction, Crime Beat. While all of us recognize his name thanks to such list toppers as The Lincoln Lawyer, Chasing the Dime and Blood Work, few may know that before writing novels he was a crime reporter, assigned to homicides. Crime Beat is a collection of the pieces he wrote during that time and are, if you can believe it, often even more chilling than his fictional tales. Admittedly, he found inspiration for many of his novels in his reporting days yet the pieces included in Crime Beat are even more compelling as they are related in the voices of the victims, their families, and the detectives who handled the cases. And, what voices they are! Len Cariou captures with his stage trained elocution and knife sharp diction. This Tony winner gives a first rate performance as the initial narrator explaining how Connelly came to be fascinated by police work. The second voice we hear is that of actress Nancy McKeon who grips listeners with her reading of the heartbreak of a victim's family. Many audio edition fans will remember her narration of Faye Kellerman's Street Dreams. Actor/director Carl Franklin whose films as a director include Devil A Blue Dress and One True Thing rounds out this stellar trio, reading with cool assurance. An added bonus is an introduction by Connelly. As for the actual crimes? Listening is believing and frightening, indeed, ranging from a psychopathic mass murderer who posed as a fashion photographer to a husband who hired someone to beat his wife to death. True crime enthusiasts will be enthralled. - Gail Cooke
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RebelReader More than 1 year ago
Good quick read. Short chapters with good start - stop places.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It started off a little slow but really got into the book.