Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Crime Beat” as Want to Read:
Crime Beat
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Crime Beat

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  2,850 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Before he became a novelist, Michael Connelly was a crime reporter, covering homicide beat in Florida and Los Angeles. Here are reproduced narratives of these articles, from initial accusation along path of prosecution. Divided in three sections: Cops, Killers, and Cases.
Hardcover, Little, Brown, 327 pages
Published May 2006 by Hachette (first published 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Crime Beat, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Crime Beat

In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonThe Manson File by Nikolas Schreck
True Crime
56th out of 422 books — 465 voters
The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael ConnellyThe Poet by Michael ConnellyThe Black Echo by Michael ConnellyThe Concrete Blonde by Michael ConnellyThe Narrows by Michael Connelly
Best by Michael Connelly
26th out of 48 books — 76 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Bill  Kerwin

Sometimes, to appreciate what a book is, it is necessary to be aware of what it is not. Crime Beat is not a collection of true crime essays by a well-known and respected veteran novelist, winner of every prize in the crime writing field. Crime Beat is a heterogeneous collection of old newspaper pieces written by reporter in his early 30's who has just won a Pulitzer Prize.

"Just-the-Facts-Ma'am" reporting is hard to do, and young Connelly shows his mastery of it in each piece included here. He wr
Another great from Michael Connelly!!

I've read the Bosch books, Lincoln Lawyer novels, and now this from his days as a Journalist/Crime Reporter! This was not a bad read.... A little slow at times, but it read like any newspaper piece! It wasn't a jam-packed essay on the topic, it seemed like he was given a word limit and put "just the facts".
It was a great read, I enjoyed it because I see just where he came up with the ideas for ALOT of his books!!(Trunk Music, The Poet, Black Box, and many mo
Sep 25, 2009 Joyce added it
Shelves: discarded
The ostensible rationale for this collection of stale journalism pieces is to demonstrate Connelly's contention that working the crime beat is a great way to learn the craft of crime novelist. Unfortunately, you guessed it, the book ends up utterly undermining his own argument. It's hard not to conclude that Connelly is one of the rare birds who are simply good at two different crafts -- because the tiny nuggets of anything resembling novelistic interest panned out in Connelly's newspaper pieces ...more
Let me start by admitting that I am a huge Michael Connelly fan and love almost everything he writes.
This book however was a collection of his newspaper reporting from the '80s and at times was very interesting giving a good insight into his work but generally there was not enough to keep me fully entertained.
Connelly of course is the guy who writes the Harry Bosch thrillers set in LA - never a top favourite of mine because his writing is a little drab, but his plots are generally good (except when they're execrable (A Darkness more than Night)). Connelly was/is a journalist, and this is a collection of his crime reporting. And it's a complete waste of time, a pure ego exercise: the writing is very pedestrian, with the stories apparently reprinted as they originally appeared in the papers, including ...more
Crime Beat by Michael Connelly is a collection of reports and articles from his time as a crime reporter and which provided the inspiration for his novels. It was interesting to read about the various crimes, some of which were never solved unlike in fiction. His novels though are much more exciting and satisfying. Crime Beat although interesting was quite tedious and repetitive in places.
For Crime Beat, Connelly dug through his archives to serve up a series of articles he wrote for newspapers in Florida and California during his formative years as a writer. Unstructured and repetitive, this pseudo-collection is nothing that would sell were not the Connelly brand stamped on the cover (he must have been gunning for a yacht).

Apart from an unexplored tag line about the influence of his reporting years on his writing and a brief aside about the importance of the "telling detail" in t
Only took a few hours to breeze through this one. Mainly just repeats of his newspaper stories when he was a crime reporter in FL and CA. (I'd be ticked off if I had paid retail for the book--I'm a fan but not a fanboy) Still, I found it interesting to see elements of his real life crime stories show up in his novels. Some stories are really interesting and some not so much. Worth a read if you can check it out from a friend or library. Not so much if you have to buy.
This is a collection of some of Connelly's journalism in Florida and Los Angeles, from a time before he started writing novels. For devoted Connelly fans, it holds its curiosities (I've read all four existing Lincoln Lawyer novels and the first three Harry Bosch novels), as many elements of real crimes and characters surface in Connelly's novels. On the whole, though, it is rather mundane, one article after another of someone getting robbed or murdered with enough words to cover the facts and el ...more
This book is for Michael Connelly fans. I'm not sure that anyone who has not read at least some of his books would enjoy it.

For me, the best part of this book was the Introduction in which he tells about how he became interested in crime reporting. When Connelly was 16 he worked as a night dishwasher in a hotel restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, FL. On his way home from work one night he witnessed a man escaping after robbing a nearby store and shooting a man in the head. His experience in working
The author’s purpose for writing this book was to tell his story as a journalist. He also wanted to make the stories he covered as a journalist known to anybody who reads this book. He probably felt like these stories needed to be told in the way he saw them, rather than the way they are told in a newspaper. Newspapers tend to shorten stories and leave out details about crimes that are truly important. I think the author’s purpose for writing this book was to make sure these were told in their ...more
Grey Ghost
I got this one as an audio book, which did not add to my enjoyment. A great disappointment, as this book is basically a reprint of Connolly's old newspaper articles about each of these cases, with little or no new information or insight. In addition, that fact means that there is a lot of repetition in each chapter as it appears that Connolly hasn't bothered to edit out the redundancies inherent in news articles printed about the same case on different days.

To add insult to injury, the guy who r
Having read most of Connelly's fiction books and loving them, I was initially quite excited to find out more about Connelly as a reporter, and hoped to gain some insight into how he started and where he got his insipiration. In some respects I suppose this book met that aim, in that you can see some brief glimpses into how Connelly uses his experience as a crime beat reporter to develop his characters and plots in his novels. However I really struggled to finish the book, and only really carried ...more
Overall I liked this collection, but one qualm I did have was with the choice to include multiple pieces on the same subject (whether it was a particular crime, incident, offender, etc.) in one chapter, which made reading very similar information over and over again a little boring.

Often when journalists cover a crime story, the "facts of the case" (can we tell I work in a legal setting yet?) remain fairly consistent, and all of the back story is rehashed up to the point of reporting. It was in
Apr 17, 2014 Helen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: aspiring journalists, Michael Connelly fans
This is a collection of nonfiction crime stories written by Michael Connelly in his first life as a newspaper reporter. They are very good newspaper crime stories, but collections of stories are by their very nature limited--you just don't get the depth of a book and as a result, you don't travel through somebody else's real or imagined world.

What you do get out of this is some insight into Michael Connelly and his wonderful crime fiction. I can't think of a better training ground than being a
Review deleted.
Cynthia Corral
I may just set this aside and read some other books I would rather be reading.

This is what I call a lazy book. It's an easy way for a known author to bang out a book that people will buy just so the author can make a quick buck. There is no thought put into this, and there is not much of any value. It is just a collection of articles that Michael Connelly wrote when he was on the crime beat. Many of the crimes are not even that interesting, but there are two bigger flaws.

First, some of the crim
I've never read any of Michael Connelly's novels but when I saw Crime Beat (2006) - a collection of Connelly's newspaper reporting from the '80s - in the bargain bin for a few bucks, I couldn't say no. Although the writing bears some of the stylistic weaknesses that come with employing the newspaper's voice, Connelly nevertheless followed some interesting cases in his days on the beat, so whatever these stories may lack in grace they gain in energy. Putting the writing aside and viewing these as ...more
I love Connolly's fiction and it was fun to see many true events here that I recognized as also occurring in his fiction, or at least influencing it.

I would have rated this book much higher if not for one glaring irritant. Connelly included full newspaper articles of the same event over and over, instead of editing to include only what was new. It's typical for a news article to include new information along with a rehash of previous reports on the same story. That's helpful in a newspaper where
In the book Crime Beat by Michael Connelly the main character is Michael Connelly. He is the main character because this is the story of how he decided to become a crime reporter. He talks about many detectives he worked with when he was a crime reporter. those detectives come and go because Michael Connelly gets different journalist offers. he is always talking about different cases that he has published during the time he worked for the papers.
The main key plot event is how he realized he wa
Jan 07, 2008 Spenser rated it 2 of 5 stars
Still reading this one. I bought this one because I was fascinated by the idea of getting some insight into how Michael Connelly got his start.

From that perspective, honestly, the book delivers as advertised. But other than an introductory chapter, the book is strictly a collection of articles that he wrote over time. I had thought that this would be a book ABOUT his time as a writer, but instead it's the articles themselves.

Again to be fair, most of the articles are very interesting, if not ri
Rachel Arnold
The book is very, very repetitious and plain in text, as it is non-fiction and written by a reporter. So if those styles do not suit you, I suggest skipping this book. However, the insight to the 80s/90s of police work and battles they faced are similar to what are current in times.

It did not take me more than a few days to finish this book and I would suggest reading it if you picked it up at a library or from a discount retailer. Keep an open mind and don't expect an award winning masterpiece
Not what I expected. I thought this was going to be a book about his experiences as a reporter, and instead it is the literary equivalent of the clip show - a selection of newspaper articles covering his career writing about crime. Some of the selections are chilling, for sure, and it was disturbing getting a picture of some of the events which occurred in the wake of the Rodney King verdict. I can see this being of interest for local(LA and Fla) historians, reporters or budding mystery writers. ...more
Mary Overton
The crime story that intrigued me most ... the case where a murderer is convicted, but the identity of the victim is never discovered.

from pg. 249:
"The grave at Hollywood Memorial Gardens has no name on it. There simply isn't one to put there. The identity of the man who is buried there is a mystery.
"He was murdered March 11, 1985, in a Fort Lauderdale motel room. He was strangled. Authorities have since solved the mystery of who killed him; one man was convicted and sentenced to life in prison
I liked this and it was interesting to know where the stories behind the Bosch novels came from but the fiction is ultimately more interesting than the facts behind them. I think this would be an OK book for anyone interested in crime generally but probably better if you like Connelly's books.

At the end end of each case story, there is an end note on the case status, and if you check on Google a great many remain unsolved, you can't help thinking that Bosch would have racked them up by now:)

Michael Connelly is the best selling author of the Harry Bosch series of LA-based detective novels. Crime Beat is not crime essays from the established Connelly. These are newspapers pieces he wrote in the 80s while writing on deadline covering the crime beat. That's not to say they aren't well written crime pieces, but someone who loves the current Connelly and his spin on LAs fictional underbelly will not find that here. These pieces aren't bad, not at all, but let's be honest, if this earnest ...more
This anthology of newspaper articles written by Crime/Law/Detective novelist Michael Connelly while he worked for the Los Angeles Times and Sentinel in Florida. In isolation, this book is both dry and frustrating. The articles (they are newspaper articles, not stories) are well-written for a newspaper, but layered upon each other as updates are published, become repetitive. The frustration comes to the reader as it does the investigators, victims, and families, with a lack of resolution. These a ...more
Michael Connelly was a reporter before he was a novelist. This book is a collection of the articles he wrote, some for the Florida paper he worked for and some from Los Angeles. The first article he talks about how he became a reporter and what he learned that helped him when he started writing fiction. I have not read any of his novels, I’m sure they are very good. I am of the opinion that reporters write the best books. There are of course exceptions. Having read this book, I am sure I would e ...more
I thought this was fabulous...anyone else might find it a huge bore, though. This book contains the kernels, seeds, of inspiration, the experiences and sights and sounds that stick with you and then coalesce into a future work. And I am so-o-o-o jealous!

Michael Connelly and I were both working as newspaper reporters at the exact time...his press pass shows a goofy, curly headed kid who gets to ride shotgun with the cops for a week, the homicide division no less. Meanwhile mine shows a girl with
Michael Connelly goes back to his roots as a crime reporter and tells the stories that come straight from the headlines. The book is separated into three parts: the cops, the killers and the cases. He tells the stories of the crimes he covered during his time as a reporter. The cases are varied and interesting but the book is a bit of a let down as the author just reprinted the newspaper articles instead of adding information or insight into the various cases.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Will You Die for Me?
  • Stop & Frisk
  • Voices of the Dead
  • The Best American Crime Reporting 2009
  • The Devil's Dozen: How Cutting-Edge Forensics Took Down 12 Notorious Serial Killers
  • Call Me Crazy: A Memoir
  • The Accountant's Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel
  • The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases
  • Serial Killers
  • The Most Evil Women in History
  • The Profiler: My Life Hunting Serial Killers and Psychopaths
  • Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev
  • Animal: The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob's Most Feared Assassin
  • King of the Godfathers
  • L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City
  • Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend
  • The Bank Holiday Murders: The True Story of the First Whitechapel Murders
  • In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads' database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teache
More about Michael Connelly...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »