cover image Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks

Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks

Patrick Radden Keefe. Doubleday, $30 (368p) ISBN 978-0-385-54851-9

The 12 essays in this superlative collection from New Yorker staff writer Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty) reflect, as he says in his preface, his abiding preoccupations: “crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial.” “The Jefferson Bottles” chronicles how the sale of bottles of wine that supposedly belonged to Thomas Jefferson, for hundreds of thousands of dollars, resulted in a lifelong crusade against wine fraud by billionaire Bill Koch. “Crime Family” charts the daily life in hiding of Astrid Holleeder, a Dutch woman who brought down her own crime family by testifying against her brother. “A Loaded Gun” explores why neurobiologist Amy Bishop shot and killed three colleagues at the University of Alabama decades after she was suspected of killing her own brother. “Winning” takes a look at the rise of Donald Trump from the point of view of Mark Burnett, creator of The Apprentice, and in “Journeyman,” chef Anthony Bourdain, more rebel than rogue, muses on dining with Barack Obama. Every one of these selections is a journalistic gem. Immensely enjoyable writing married with fascinating subjects makes this a must-read. Agent: Tina Bennett, WME. (June)