The Best of the Best.From 2002 to 2010, The Best American Crime Reporting was an annual anthology spotlighting the finest in true crime writing. Two editors oversaw the project: Otto Penzler, the foremost mystery anthologist of recent years, Edgar Award winner Thomas H. Cook. A prominent guest author wrote the introductions.
The first five editions (2002 to 2006) were titled The Best American Crime Writing. Perhaps this led readers into believing the anthology included fiction, so the title changed to The Best American Crime Reporting.
Each year I looked forward to its publication date (usually September) and bought every installment. Even now, I sometimes check to see if the series is going to be renewed.
Occasionally, one or two weak stories crept in to the series, but most were riveting. The best of the stories changed the way I view the world.
Many of the stories are available on-line and free. Perhaps this helped to kill the series. Over the next few days, I am going to go through the table of contents for various editions and post links to those stories which can be found at their internet sources. I'm beginning with 2008, one of the strongest years.
2008. Introduction by Jonathan Kellerman. (Personal favorites are starred*.)
The Story of a Snitch: Jeremy Kahn, The Atlantic.
A police witness gets careless.
I'm with the Steelers: Justin Heckert, ESPN Magazine
A con man convinces local women he's a pro football player.
The Caged Life: Alan Prendergast, New West
A white supremacist spends decades in solitary confinement.
Badges of Dishonor: Pamela Colloff, Texas Monthly*
Two border patrol agents shoot an illegal alien and become heroes to some.
The Ploy: Mark Bowden, The Atlantic*
Mark Bowden revisits the subject of interrogation and how it was used to find Al-Zarqawi.
Day of the Dead: D.T. Max, New Yorker*
Malcolm Lowry dies a death worthy of Malcolm Lowry.
Just a Random Female: Nick Schou, Orange County Weekly
A student's murder appears to be the first of a serial killer.
Mercenary: Tom Junod, Esquire*
A self-proclaimed government assassin is hired as head of security at a nuclear plant.
Dangerous Minds: Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker*
A deconstruction of criminal profilers.
The House Across the Way: Calvin Trillin, New Yorker
In an isolated town in Northern Canada, townsfolk go to war with an alleged drug dealer. Dean of Death Row: Tad Friend, New Yorker
CO Vernell Crittendon becomes the public face of California's death row.
I could not find links to these three stories.
The Serial Killer's Disciple: James Renner, The Cleveland Free Times
A man is executed for three murders. But was he the one?
A Season in Hell: Dean LaTourrette, Men's Journal
A surfer in Nicaragua is accused of murder.
Murder at 19,000 Feet: Jonathan Green, Men's Journal*
Mountain climbers witness an execution and face a moral dilemma.
Complete Series and Editors.
The Best American Crime Writing 2002. Editors: Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook. Introduction by Nicholas Pileggi.
The Best American Crime Writing 2003. Editors: Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook. Introduction by John Berendt.
The Best American Crime Writing 2004. Editors: Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook. Introduction by Joseph Wambaugh.
The Best American Crime Writing 2005. Editors: Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook. Introduction by James Ellroy.
The Best American Crime Writing 2006. Editors: Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook. Introduction by Mark Bowden.
The Best American Crime Reporting 2007. Editors: Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook. Introduction by Linda Fairstein.
The Best American Crime Reporting 2008. Editors: Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook. Introduction by Jonathan Kellerman.
The Best American Crime Reporting 2009. Editors: Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook. Introduction by Jeffrey Toobin.
The Best American Crime Reporting 2010. Editors: Otto Penzler, Thomas H. Cook. Introduction by Stephen J. Dubner.
Nikola Tesla, Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Henry H. Holmes are all characters in my thriller, A Predator's Game.
A Predator's Game is available in soft-cover and ebook editions through Amazon and other online retailers.
A Predator's Game, now available, Rook's Page Publishing.
Back page blurb.
When the author Arthur Conan Doyle meets Nikola Tesla he finds a tall, thin genius with a photographic memory and a keen eye, and recognizes in the eccentric inventor the embodiment of his creation, Sherlock. Together, they team up to take on an "evil Holmes." Multi-murderer Dr. Henry H. Holmes has escaped execution and is unleashing a reign of terror upon the metropolis. Set in the late nineteenth century in a world of modern marvels, danger and invention, Conan Doyle and Tesla engage the madman in a deadly game of wits.
Martin Hill Ortiz, also writing under the name, Martin Hill, is the author of A Predatory Mind. Its sequel, set in 1890s Manhattan and titled A Predator's Game, features Nikola Tesla as detective.