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Burke is equally at ease in Washington, D.C., where her husband is Bill Clinton's adviser on domestic affairs and she and Hillary trade wardrobe tips on what to wear to Parent's Day at Sitwell Friends School (hint: You can't go wrong with a suit), and in New Caxton, Rhode Island, where Eddie Baines was tried and found guilty for a gruesome triple slaying he may not have committed. It's not the kind of crime Burke usually writes about--for one thing, it doesn't have a hero, and every good true crime book needs one. But Owen Hall, Burke's lover and New Claxton's congressman, has a personal interest in seeing the truth come out about the murders, so she starts investigating. The truth turns out to be much more horrifying than either Burke or the congressman expected, and it keeps readers turning the pages to see the effect it has on the town, its founding family and other inhabitants, and Burke's own life. What sets An American Killing apart from other books in the genre is Smith's talent for characterization--not only the major figures in the novel, but the minor ones, too, especially Poppy, the head of the FBI crime lab and Burke's best friend; Nick Burke, Burke's husband; Rosie Owzciak, the town librarian; and New Caxton itself, a dying town whose fortunes are tied to those of Owen Hall and his brother Charles. This is a smart, sexy, completely engrossing novel that should win its author the wide commercial acceptance that her previous novels, too, deserve. --Jane Adams
The characters, especially the protagonist, were well-developed and believable.
Sure to garner new fans and plaudits for the author, An American Killing also gifts readers with one top-notch, skillfully conceived mystery.
I found the characters unlikable and unsympathetic, and the novel's pace hindered by far too much name-dropping and gossip.
I read this based on a number of recommendations and regret it. I found the characters unlikable and unsympathetic, and the novel's pace hindered by far too much name-dropping and... Read morePublished on May 2, 2006 by Michael Cornett
A successful crime writer finds herself solving a murder case, at great personal risk. The writer, Denise, is tough but believable; she's a realistic balance between a former... Read morePublished on March 26, 2006 by Umm Lila
I found this to be a fabulous read. The characters, especially the protagonist, were well-developed and believable. Read morePublished on June 29, 2002 by Amazon Customer
One BIG problem I have with this book is Ms. Smith's amorous perception of the Clintons. Why authors of fiction think I care about their political leanings is beyond me. Ms. Read morePublished on February 4, 2002
The most unique aspect of "An American Killing" lies in the writing. Taking a solid but somewhat common plot, Smith adds a layer of observation and interpretation to... Read morePublished on September 28, 2001 by Carol Peterson Hennekens
For 75 pages I was excited about this book, but like the Amazon reviewer who titled her review "dreadful," I couldn't get beyond the middle. Read morePublished on March 13, 2000
This story was quite humerous. I thought the name dropping ( Clinton, Hillary etc. ) was a nice touch. It made the story seem more believable. Read morePublished on December 12, 1999 by Chris Stone
Intricately plotted, with a surprise ending that's perfectly right, as if you knew it all along, when you didn't. Read morePublished on June 4, 1999