Although it will be of interest primarily to true-crime aficionados, this is not really a true-crime book. The focus is on the people—perpetrators and victims—rather than the nuts-and-bolts details of the crimes and investigations. For example, Rick Anderson profiles a career criminal who spent most of the past quarter-century in jail but still managed to rack up 112 convictions over the brief periods when he was out. David Grann’s story about a man who may have been wrongly convicted of burning down his own home and murdering his family has moments of heartbreaking sadness. On the other hand, Kevin Gray’s story about a con-artist gigolo is, if not outright funny, at least worth a raised eyebrow or two. And Ron Chernow’s piece about a couple of notorious pyramid schemers who predate Bernie Madoff provides a nice capsule history of this always-profitable (and usually self-destructing) swindle. Another fine entry in a consistently interesting series that always spotlights fine writing and engaging stories. --David Pitt
From the Back Cover
Thieves, liars, and killers—it’s a criminal world out there, and someone has to write about it. A thrilling collection of the year’s best reportage by the aces of the true-crime genre, The Best American Crime Reporting 2010 brings together the mysteries and missteps of an eclectic and unforgettable set of criminals. Gripping, suspenseful, and brilliant, this latest addition to the highly acclaimed series features guest editor Stephen J. Dubner, award-winning and megabestselling coauthor of SuperFreakonomics and Freakonomics.