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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Jeffrey Toobin: Best American Crime Reporting 2009

Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune recently reviewed Best American Crime Reporting 2009 which was edited by The New Yorker and CNN's Jeffrey Toobin.

These reported pieces, culled by Jeffrey Toobin from magazines, are both horrifying and heartbreaking. Three have strong links to Minnesota.

If love has no limits, neither does evil.

Through 15 nonfiction stories from different authors, this year's "Best American Crime Reporting" (Ecco, 313 pages, $14.99 paperbound) explores various crimes and efforts to stop them. Edited by New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin, the selection ranges from horrifying and heartbreaking to intellectually fascinating.

Not one to delay gratification or trust an editor, I intended to read the stories out of order, starting with Michael J. Mooney's "The Day Kennedy Died." The story, originally published in D magazine, describes the scene in the emergency room at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy lay mortally wounded on the table. A surgeon who was there tells the story to awed medical students. It would seem there are few mysteries left about the Kennedy assassination, but there were incredible details here.

But I ended up reading that story in its proper order toward the middle of the book. The first story, "The Color of Blood" grabbed me with Calvin Trillin's opening line: "What happened at the foot of the driveway at 40 Independence Way that hot August night in 2006 took less than three minutes." The last sentence of the story, which was originally published in the New Yorker, is as powerful as the first.

... to read the full article: An eye-opening volume of true-crime reporting.

The book's publisher, Harper Collins, has an excerpt published on their website (including the introduction that was written by Jeffrey Toobin).

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