True Crime

Andrew Klavan, Author, Andrew Kalavan, Author
Andrew Klavan, Author, Andrew Kalavan, Author Crown Publishers $21 (308p) ISBN 978-0-517-70213-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-78838-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-440-22403-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-78839-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-679-44455-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-679-45596-7
Hardcover - 481 pages - 978-0-7838-1438-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-6678-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-22512-7
Hardcover - 978-0-517-26823-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-78888-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1243-4
Hardcover - 481 pages - 978-0-7451-7919-3
Hardcover - 481 pages - 978-0-7451-3739-1
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 228 pages - 978-0-307-79121-4
Hardcover - 439 pages - 978-0-7515-1827-6
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Though this is only Klavan's fourth novel under his own name (he received two Edgar Awards for pseudonymous mysteries), his stylistic range and thoroughly compelling plots have earned him a loyal readership--an audience that should be broadened with this gripping tale. Here Klavan puts an intensely human, often intriguingly quirky face on a familiar plot device: the race to save a convicted killer on death row. When a St. Louis News staffer crashes her car hours before her scheduled interview with Frank Beachum (the interview itself to take place just eight hours before Beachum's execution), reporter Steve Everett is handed the assignment. Everett, 35 (and possessing ``wicked, sharply angled brows and a wicked, sharply angled smile''), is already under pressure: though married, he has been shtupping the boss's wife, which creates no little tension at work and at home. Furthermore, he comes to believe that Beachum is innocent, and both personal ethics and career opportunism propel him to pursue his theory. To this end, Klavan gives us the photo finish to end all photo finishes: readers may be gasping for breath by the time Beachum's fate is decided. Even before that, however, the author's vivid characterizations and dramatic prose--packed with tension, black humor and wry observations on the human condition--command attention. Alternating chapters (their style changing as deftly as their settings) present a harrowing portrait of a killer's final hours along with perceptively observed personal and professional crises of an oddly likable schlemiel. 250,000 first printing; major ad/promo; film rights to 20th Century-Fox; simultaneous Random House audio. (June)
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