True Crime: Real-Life Stories of Abduction, Addiction, Obsession, Murder, Grave-robbing, and More

Lee Gutkind, Editor
Edited by Lee Gutkind. In Fact (PGW, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (270p) ISBN 978-1-937163-14-3
Reviewed on: 09/02/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
Hardcover - 185 pages - 978-1-937163-15-0
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In this collection of essays, Gutkind, editor of Creative Nonfiction magazine, brings together a dozen of sordid tales representing a wide variety of crimes and dark sides. No dry recitation of facts here, but instead literary—even experimental—interpretations, such as Lacy M. Johnson's passionless exploration of her history with the man who once kidnapped and abused her, in "The Addict," or John Nosco's breathless, non-stop "Apology" for the crimes he committed. A female police officer learns to take a punch in Laurie Lynn Drummond's "Girl, Fighting," while Vance Voyle's "Regret" examines the complexity behind a he-said/she-said rape charge. There's identity theft and Peruvian artifact smuggling, the details behind the Gabrielle Gifford's shooting, and a particularly bizarre essay involving ears. The authors range from law enforcement to perpetrators to victims, but somehow, the message gets lost in the retelling: by framing these events in a creative light, they lose their sense of reality. Some stories end abruptly, others meander until the true point is thoroughly confused. An interview with Erik Larson (Devil in the White City) adds a new level of interest, but ultimately this isn't so much about true crime as it is mostly-true experiences with a dark undercurrent and a literary spin. Agent: Andrew Blauner, Blauner Books Literary Agency. (June)
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