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.
©2004 Michael Connelly; (P)2006 Books on Tape
"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)
"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)
I'm Connelly's #1 fiction fan. I would have respected his reportage in its day. I understand the growth from reporter to great fiction writer. As I listened to this work on a download as I traveled I had to picture the newspaper articles and the reportage style. HOWEVER, the combination of the writing style (which fits the papers) and the reading style of the narrator (who, if I'm not mistaken, can be heard on NPR stations reading chapters of books I'd just as soon avoid) are a deadly combination on an Interstate highway. This volume might be great as a research piece to gain insight on the development of a great crime fiction author. It NEVER should have been recorded. If if was to have been recorded the narrator should have brought a little more excitement than paint drying. Sorry Michael this was not your finest hour.
Unless you enjoy reading a series of very repetitive newspaper articles, this is not book to read. There is no overview or analysis of the articles, and it is worst book to which I have ever listen.
A longtime fan of Conolly, I was eager to read anything new he had to offer. Unfortunately, "Crime Beat" is a real disappointment. It is just a reprinting of his old newspaper stories. When a case went on for weeks, we hear weeks worth of the same story, with one or two new facts, just like a daily newspaper's reports. Not an entertaining read, unless you're a journalism student looking for pointers.
Also, a poor choice of reader. His overly pointed, Dutch (I think) accent simply does not work with the material.
If you want to enjoy this book by the wonderful Michael Connelly, you're stuck with the abridged version. I actually called Audible and returned this unabridged one after buying it. This narrator is... How shall I say? Have you ever heard the phrase "chewing the scenery?" Every Single Word rings with Ominous Import. Kinda like the acting in silent movies. It's impossible to hear the words when uttered by King Lear, here. Okay, okay. Think Count Dracula (but without the sense of humor)
Mostly old newspaper articles about crimes and police investigations. Many of the crimes have several articles that repeat and repeat and repeat... Putting my iPod on "Faster" playback speed helped.
This book does not progress well. The story line is repetitive and just seems to drag on and on without moving forward. I stopped listening after a couple of hours.
The narrative performance was ok
If you are purchasing this to have a good Connelly read, you might think again. This is much slower and dryer than his novels and there is less to keep one engaged as a listener.
Though some of the stories are interesting, especially ones that have more than one article, overall it just doesn't work. The writing is, of course, very good but collecting what is meant to be read in a newspaper somehow just didn't work as a book.
The actor delivers the most effected and effete reading I have ever heard. He pronounces the word "cop" as if he's doing an imitation of how Katherine Hepburn would pronounce it. He sounds smug and supercilious. Like somebody who never met one in real life. Connelly is a brilliant writer and I was looking forward to this. The overall effect is so discordant I couldn't listen and asked for my money back.
If I had wanted to read a bunch of newspaper articles, I could have gone to the library. I want to hear a story, from beginning to end.
It wasn't a story; just a bunch of newspaper articles regurgitated.
All of them.
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