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True Crime: The Novel by Andrew Klavan
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True Crime: The Novel (original 1995; edition 1997)

by Andrew Klavan (Author)

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343649,444 (3.6)13
Member:AmCorKragujevac
Title:True Crime: The Novel
Authors:Andrew Klavan (Author)
Info:Dell (1997), 400 pages
Collections:Movies
Rating:
Tags:R19

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True Crime by Andrew Klavan (1995)

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Showing 4 of 4
Didn't see the movie. Finished the book in three days. Not going to see the movie: nothing could be better than this. This story is a roller-coaster, it's got everything -- including a Ford Tempo! ( )
  Roycrofter | Jul 25, 2013 |
Another stellar work from one of my favorite writers. This is probably the only book I've ever read where I knew how it comes out in the end, yet could not put it down. Klavan's understanding of human nature is scary. My favorite moment is when our cynical, grade-A S.O.B. protagonist ponders all the reasons why he should not get involved, then says something like, "Of course I KNEW I had to. I just couldn't think of a reason why, that's all, but I knew." Even before Klavan started writing openly pro-Christian fiction, when he was still firmly in the noir "life-sucks-and-then-you-die" mode, he was already producing gems like this. It's one of those books where you rush to get to the end, then want to read more because you know the author has more to say, and you want to listen.

As an aside, I used to be a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, but after reading this book and finding out that he insisted on changing the condemned man's race to "make it more relevant," I am hard pressed to keep my respect for him as an artist. The whole plot of the story revolves around the accused being white. If you pay attention to how the story comes together, its twists and turns, they just would not happen, beginning to end, without the defendant being white. Boo to Mr. Eastwood. Not to mention he was wrong for the role... Just read the book, enjoy the story as it was meant to be, and forget the movie. ( )
  MashaK99 | Jun 11, 2013 |
Reporter Steve Everett is not usually the type to turn into an heroic do-gooder overnight - he drinks too much, makes love to his boss' wife, and has just stumbled upon a shocking truth that has him literally fighting the clock. He has just discovered that a convicted killer is about to be executed for a crime he didn't commit. Now an imperfect defender must find a way to stall the ultimate end-game.

In the cold confines of Death Row, Frank Beachum is preparing himself for the end. He's ready to say goodbye to the wife and child he loves and greet the God he still believes in. He knows that he will go into Eternity with a clear conscience, heart and soul; filled with the knowledge that he did not commit the murder of a convenience store clerk six years ago.

But in the interest of justice - unless Steve Everett can find the evidence to halt his execution - Frank Beachum will die by lethal injection. The killing machine is primed; the executioner is waiting and now the battle is on - between the reporter with all his inner demons, and a system with lethal flaws. The prize at the end of this fight will be the life of an innocent man.

I really enjoyed this book so much. I have never seen the movie adaptation of the book, I don't usually like Clint Eastwood, but I would definitely be curious to see how the book is interpreted. True Crime is Grade A+! material to my mind and I can't wait to find more of Andrew Klavan's work to read. ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Apr 20, 2012 |
A frenetic race against time by a dedicated - but flawed - journalist to save a man on Death Row. The fact that the hero is human and super-human, makes the story all the more believable and emotionally charged. And the reader really feels the pace.

I first saw this as a movie with Clint Eastwood - and it was a perfect role for him. He knows how to play the strength-within-weakness that is the hallmark of credible, realistic heroes. ( )
  hankreardon | Jan 26, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
Klavan puts an intensely human, often intriguingly quirky face on a familiar plot device: the race to save a convicted killer on death row. Klavan gives us the photo finish to end all photo finishes: readers may be gasping for breath by the time [the killer's] fate is decided. The author's vivid characterizations and dramatic prose--packed with tension, black humor and wry observations on the human condition--command attention.
added by Roycrofter | editPublishers' Weekly (May 1, 1995)
 
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Epigraph
"Good people are always so sure they're right." - Barbara Graham, on entering California's gas chamber, where she was executed, some say unjustly, June 3, 1955. (Quoted in Until You are Dead: The Book of Executions by Frederick Drimmer)

"I'll tell you briefly what I think about newspapermen: the hand of God, reaching down into the mire, couldn't elevate one of them to the depths of degradation." - Nothing Sacred, screenplay by Ben Hecht
Dedication
This book is for Bob and Andrienne Hartman
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Frank Beachum awoke from a dream of Independence Day.
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Book description
A blazing hot day at the height of a Missouri summer. Through the bars of a cell on Death Row, two men meet for the first time. Steve Everett's life is unraveling. Frank Beachum's life is about to end. And in the dwindling hours before midnight tonight, the only hope they have is each other. Six years ago, Beachum was convicted of the murder of a shop clerk and sentenced to die by lethal injection. Now his appeals have run out, and his number has come up. There is nothing left for him to do but say good-bye to the wife and child he loves, get his mind right with God in whom he believes-and give one last statement to the public: an interview with a reporter for the St. Louis News. Steve Everett is the reporter. Despised by his colleagues and unfaithful to his wife, he's looking for a big story to ge his life and career back on track. The last thing he needs is to waste his time on a human interest feature about a convicted killer's last testament. But Everett is good at what he does, and when the Beachum interview is dropped in his lap, he begins to uncover another story - a more frightening story - just below the surface. As Frank Beachum's time dwindles to nothing. Everett begins to believe that the man may be a wholly guiltless victim of rough justice, political blindness and human error. He believes the state may be about to murder an innocent. There are eighteen hours until midnight. In those hours, Frank Beachum is going to be pushed to the very limits of his faith, looking over the edge into a nightmare. And Steve Everett, in spite of himself, is going to risk everything, even his own life, in a breathless attempt to save him. True Crime races with the almost unbearable tension that results when the impulse to turn away from a tragic human fate is matched by the irresistible urge to know what will happen next, and next, and next, to the final, fateful page. (0-517-70213-4)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440224039, Paperback)

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. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

There are 18 hours until midnight. In those escaping hours, reporter Steve Everett must prove the innocence of Frank Beachum, the death row convict sentenced to die by lethal injection whom he is to interview for the "St. Louis News". As the clock ticks away, and Everett becomes more and more convinced of the man's innocence, he will risk everything--even his own life--to stop Beachum's time from running out.

» see all 4 descriptions

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