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True Crime

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  463 ratings  ·  43 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published February 6th 2003 by Time Warner Paperbacks (first published 1995)
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonColumbine by Dave Cullen
Best True Crime
218th out of 449 books — 707 voters
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Best Mystery Novels Worth Re-reading
19th out of 23 books — 16 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,059)
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Masha K.
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 ...more
Apr 18, 2012 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mystery
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
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
Tons of suspense. A quick moving plot. An interesting main character out to stop an execution. True Crime reads quick and it's one of the most engrossing thrillers I've read in a while. It's not perfect. I had some issues with point of view [first person with random forays into third] as well as suspension of disbelief [People had phones in the nineties. Not cells, but they still had phones. I'm sure of it. I was there.] But all in all, it's a fast-paced engrossing read. The sort of novel that w ...more

The story is about a comdemned black man who is in death row and going to be executed for a crime he apparently did not commit. A journalist from a local newspaper wants to help him out and prove that he is innocent, will he find the evidence before this man is executed ?
The plot is terrific, the nail biting tension type mixed with quick action packed suspense. Once I started the book, I could not put it down. The story is so masterly written that I could not forget it
Someone read this list and sent me e-mail instructing me to RUN to the bookshop and get this book. I actually waited a couple of weeks until it came out in paperback. His recommendation was right on the money. This is a meaty book that you just eat with a spoon. It would be a great airplane book or beach book. Use any excuse, just read it. I can't tell you the most intriguing part of this book cause that would be a major spoiler. Just go get it and read it. (It is fiction, contrary to what the t ...more
steve everett is a screw-up. he had to leave his previous job as a reported because he was having an affair with his boss's wife. not one to learn from his mistakes, he is doing it again on this day when he is called to pinch hit for the young reporter who is close to death after a car crash. this involves interviewing frank beachum on the last day of his life, before his execution for murder. is he innocent? the reader gets a good feel for what it is like to be facing the injection.
One of the problems with this book is that you can't say too much about it without giving too much away. Simple plot: a reporter is assigned to cover the execution of a condemned man scheduled to die that night. Klavan really gets inside the characters' heads. Great thriller, fast-paced read, the kind of book you can't put down - skip the movie, read the book instead.
This is truly the *only* Klavan book I've read that I liked, but I really, really liked it. I couldn't get through the last few chapters fast enough. My heartbeat increased and my breathing was shallow. I *had* to find out what happened.
Joe O'c
Very Good; Reporter gets assigned last minute to assignment to interview a condemned man on the day of his execution, and comes to realize he's innocent. He races to try and beat the clock.
marvelous writer -- fun to read. His use of the language is delightful.
Great book. The last 100 pages were so fast paced I couldn't put it down.
Cathy French
Really enjoyed this book. When I was finished and placing it on my bookshelf I realized I had previously read another book by the same author totally unaware. This of course is a good sign I enjoy this authors prose and enjoy how his novels unravel. I have trouble reading for a period of time because my eyes water terribly but still had to keep picking this novel up and suffering through the tears because I was constantly wondering what would happen next. Truly enjoyed this fiction even though t ...more
Alan Marchant
Original, engrossing, thoughtful, and unexpectedly decent. I picked up this book in hopes that it would clear the stench of Steve Thayer's The Weatherman. Did it ever. The books share a death row theme through the viewpoint of midwest media personalities. Otherwise they are polar opposites. Thayer tries to make media creeps into saints. Klavan fills his book with faulty characters who nonetheless do good. Ostensibly irreligious, True Crime nevertheless succeeds as a treatise on grace.

Two stylist
J.F. Juzwik
I read a comment somewhere that this book's plot is a familiar one, but in this case, it's very convincing. Well said. I have to say that I literally could not put this down. Reading it leaves you breathless because there's a life/death deadline involved for this reporter. I recommend this highly. I know a lot of reviews say 'oh, this was a real roller coaster ride' and so on, but this one goes way beyond that. The pace never lets up and drives you on to turn page after page. The characters are ...more
Lynne Williams
This book's prologue makes no sense at all, till you read the ending.
Then, it is rather funny. I do not know if Andrew Klavan was a journalist but he has dialogues in a news room written perfectly. Early in the book, a female reporter has lines slashed from her copy because she's 'into women's issues.' The reporter who later picks up her story says something like: "I would have tortured it for a while before I killed it."

That is precisely what happens in a news room. For the most part, it can be
Wendy Joyce
I wanted to give it three stars because I didn't like the protagonist/reporter (though I don't think he was meant to be liked) and I didn't like the writing style. But three stars wouldn't have been fair...because the story held me captive (albeit, an angry captive) from the book's beginning to the book's last page. And if that wasn't enough to tip the stars up to four, then the fact that the story haunted me--and still does--more than justified four.

It's a true story--raw and brutal. Forewarne
Um livro envolvente e eletrizante! A tensão vai paulatinamente crescendo, chegando a ficar quase insuportável nos últimos capítulos do livro.
Muito bem escrito e altamente recomendável!
(Deu origem ao filme "Crime Verdadeiro", dirigido e estrelado por Clint Eastwood)
Langweilig! Ich habe nie verstanden, warum dieses Buch verfilmt wurde! (gelesen vor ca 9 Jahren)
Aug 08, 2009 Kent rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
Recommended to Kent by: Tracyying to read all kaplan's novels
One full day in the life of an innocent man condemned to die by lethal injection. This is the second Kaplan book I've read, and it's totally apolitical.

I enjoy his characters, all with feet of clay.

He takes one through the execution process step-by-step, but not in a textbook fashion, so it creeps you out, but it's not overwhelming for too many pages at a stretch.

What makes this book really readable is that it's set in The Lou, and his references to certain places are spot on.

He did his resea
Ken Heard
As is the case most of the time, this book is much better than the movie featuring Clint Eastwood. Klavan's novel is a fast, good read and the reader gets caught up in the reporter's search for truth and justice in attempting to save a death row inmate. Eastwood took the role a bit too far, doing the stereotypical bit of a reporter who drinks and is too cynical for life. I was extremely annoyed at the scene where he takes his daughter to the zoo and then rushes through it. None of that fodder in ...more
I really enjoyed True Crime by Andrew Klavan. It is a well-written, fast-paced, can't-put-it down thriller. It tells the story of a reporter, Everett, trying to prove the innocence of a man sentenced to death for committing a murder. And he only has 18 hours to do it. It is a very emotional read, full of suspence, twists and turns, with characters you can identify with. The language is very coarse at times thoug
This is one of those rare novels where you don't know whether to like or hate the main character. Talk about self-destructive! I've always believed interesting characters is the most important key to hooking a reader to a story. And it ain't a bad story either.

A reporter is assigned to cover the story of a prisoner condemned to die that day. If I say more, I'll ruin it for you. Just read it.
I like Andrew Klavan as a commentator and was pleasantly surprised to learn he's a novelist as well. So, I [b]really[/b] wanted to like this book. It was only OK however. The scenes, characters, plot, etc. all took much too long to develop; plus, the ending was entirely predictable. The one plot twist at the end was a yawner too. Sorry Andrew -- I still think you're a great commentator! :-)
A very fast-paced and exciting thriller. 300 pages and only one day - a journalist trying to save a man from death row. An excellent choice for beach or plane reading, you'll read through it so fast and won't be able to put it down. Highly entertaining! And Everett is so delightfully flawed! (No, I never saw the movie)
A well-written book. Loved and hated the protagonist, which is always enjoyable : ) It kept my rapt attention - just an all-around good book. Was in the mood for a nice thriller. I didn't necessarily feel "thrilled" in that 'couldn't-put-it-down' variety, but enjoyed the story & characters. Liked it!
Très bon suspense. Ça me fait penser un peu à d'anciens polars noirs avec le stéréotype de l'enquêteur ou du journaliste coureur de jupon et alcolo. Mais ça fonctionne! J'ai dévoré ce roman parce que je désirais toujours en savoir plus!
Farhan Hans
I heard they made this one into a movie and decided to give the book a read first before I watched the movie. It was a typical thriller however it was very predictable. Though praise should be given to the author for his writing.
Jazmin Jade
I was so swept up in the book at points that I wanted to throw it at the wall due to the suspense. For my full and honest review check it out at
I read this as part of an omnibus also containing Man and Wife.
It was ok but somehow for some reason I didn't enjoy reading it much. The ending was pretty predictable.
good book; not the best crime fiction I have read though.
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