Six captivating true-crime stories, spanning Mark Bowden’s career, cover a variety of crimes complicated by extraordinary circumstances. Winner of a lifetime achievement award from International Thriller Writers, Bowden revisits some of his most riveting stories and examines the effects of modern technology on the journalistic process.
It’s heavy stuff, but something about the way Bowden approaches these topics makes this book an unexpected salve during this age of anxiety. It feels a little loathsome to refer to this book as a joy; after all, each story revolves around the worst moments in someone’s life. But that’s exactly what the book is: an absolute joy to read. Bowden’s writing is a reminder that, in all the complexity of an age of upheaval, there is still good, and there is still evil, and the most interesting parts of humanity lie in the gulfs of gray in between ... Best of all? His stories are serious literary journalism, but they won’t send you into despair like so much in today’s world. You may feel a bit guilty for enjoying them, but Bowden’s stories of humanity’s darkness double as fast-paced mysteries, and it’s easy to simply kick back and enjoy.
The Case of the Vanishing Blonde is excellent work from a true master of the craft. These punchy crime stories are told with few frills and no romanticism. Bowden does not indulge in the usual salacious tripe of other true crime scribes. Rather, as he shows in every essay in The Case of the Vanishing BlondeRead Full Review >>
Though Bowden...notes that crime stories serve to titillate, he proves that the genre is more than voyeuristic thrills. The six pieces found here, taken from over the course of the author’s career as a crime reporter, are uncomfortably thrilling—as good crime writing should be—but they contain insights into our often sexist and racist society, the criminal justice system, and who gets the privilege of having their stories told and believed ... This true crime master expands the limits of the genre, digging to find answers and revealing that even the most horrific crimes are often linked to a larger story about America.