Title: True Crime
Author: Andrew Klavan
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Rating: 4 Star
True Crime is an edge-of-the-seat suspense novel that graphically portrays the final moments leading up to a condemned killer’s appointment with the executioner. The plot is familiar but convincing: An inmate, Frank Beachum, denies any involvement in the murder of a young pregnant woman. His only chance for survival lies in the hands of a reporter, Steven Everett. From the very first page, however, veteran suspense writer Andrew Klavan does everything possible to make this journalist unlikable–he drinks too much, he’s committed adultery. In fact, the incarcerated Beachum, who stands accused of a hideous crime, comes across as a much more decent person than Everett.
Foes of capital punishment will find in True Crime another buttress to the oft-expressed argument that state-sanctioned murder is not always just, that some police investigations are sloppy even when they’re not politically tinged or racially motivated, and that exonerating evidence is often overlooked. Here such evidence is so glaringly overlooked that it’s possible for a somewhat drunken reporter with plenty of other things on his mind (a wife who’s about to leave him and a boss who’s just discovered that Everett is cuckolding him) to spot the inconsistencies. He follows a hunch, discovers the identity of the real killer, and tries to clear Beachum’s name as the minutes tick away. The relentless pace and Klavan’s crisp, taut writing make the suspension of disbelief possible, and no doubt Clint Eastwood, who stars in the movie version, will make Steven Everett a more likely and likable hero.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I go into most crime books not expecting much about them. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this one.
It took me a moment to get into what was happening. The beginning is a bit stuffy and I was wondering what I had gotten myself into by picking it up. Once the ball started rolling though the pace of the story gradually sped up and just kept getting faster and faster and better and better. Some moments had me wanting to chuck the book at the wall because of the suspense happening in the book. At one point I shut it and threw it to the end of my bed and just stared at the cover for ages because of something that happened. It wasn’t even confirmed in the book when I did this, it was just one of the titles hinting at something horrible happening. It was all very very painful for my poor hating of suspense body.
Let me just say I love our main character Steven. I think he is a disgusting pig most of the time and if I met someone like him in real life I would probably think as much of him as something on the bottom of my shoe. But as a character in a book I really liked him mainly because he is not perfect. He is really quite stuffed up. But as a character he is well developed and complete. I met a proper person upon reading him. The only other character we really meet is Frank, the dude our main character is trying to save to save his own arse really. We don’t get a complete picture of Frank, but this doesn’t bother me because Frank is not a full human. He is a guy who has been in prison for 6 years and has only really been thinking about his death for something he didn’t do. He holds it together for his family, but once he thinks he wont see them again he looses it. The loosing it was good, very realistic. I also like what we get of the other characters too. They feel whole to me.
Since I found out that this book was transformed into a movie I look forward to seeing how that turned out!