From Publishers Weekly
Penzler, founder of the Mysterious Press and Otto Penzler Books, and true-crime writer Cook (Blood Echoes), inaugurate a new annual series with this first-rate collection of the best crime writing published in 2001. William Langewiesche delivers both the human and the technical events in "The Crash of EgyptAir 990"; Alex Prud'homme investigates the dilemma facing the state of Texas, which condemned Johnny Paul Penry, a retarded man, to death in its busy execution chamber; Julian Rubinstein portrays Jacob "Cookie" Organ, an Israeli who was "the Pablo Escobar of Ecstasy"; while Nancy Gibbs conjures a frightening September 11 play-by-play in "The Day of the Attack." The majority of the pieces have a finger on the cultural pulse, but the best offer something more. Robert Draper's portrayal of a troubled girl who eventually kills her two children includes a scathing criticism of society at large ("Strangely, the Texas authorities insist upon viewing Tina Marie's dirty-laundry list of boyfriends as the handiwork of a manipulative black widow.... The tsk-tsks fly"). E. Jean Carroll's "The Cheerleaders" is a morose and darkly ironic account of suicide, torture and murder in a town rumored to have been the model for Bedford Falls in It's a Wonderful Life. Charles Bowden immerses readers in the muddled and too familiar world of a DEA agent slipping across the line in Mexico. This is an important book for crime buffs, but will appeal to general readers as well. The only complaint and it's minor is that, though the editors say they scoured "nearly two hundred so-called little magazines, reviews and journals," most of these articles come from such national magazines as the New Yorker, GQ and the Atlantic Monthly.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Fans of true crime will welcome this new anthology series, which each year will compile the best articles of the genre into one volume. The 17 selections in this first volume of the series come from a wide variety of sources, including Spin, GQ, The New Yorker, Texas Monthly, and Details. Editors Penzler (founder of Mysterious Press and editor of The Best American Mystery Stories of the Year) and Cook (author of 18 books, one of which was nominated for an Edgar) have assembled a diverse assortment of writing, with subjects both well known, such as O.J. Simpson (Pat Jordan's "The Outcast"), and not so well known, such as members of the Oklahoma Gamefowl Breeders Association (Mark Singer's "The Chicken Warriors"). Nancy Gibbs's moving "The Day of the Attack," written within approximately 30 hours of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, is included as a representative of reporting on this historic crime. Because these well-written articles vary widely, this work should appeal to all true-crime enthusiasts. Recommended for all public libraries. Sarah Jent, Univ. of Louisville Lib.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.