Picks and Pans Review: True Crime

updated 07/10/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/10/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Andrew Klavan

Beach Book of the Week

Cynical, philandering St. Louis News reporter Steve Everett seems an unlikely hero. His boss wants his head, his wife wants out, and his colleagues want nothing to do with him. But when he sinks his teeth into the case of death-row inmate Frank Beachum, Everett won't let go. And readers won't stop turning pages.

In a race against the executioner's clock, the reporter is out to prove that Beachum was wrongly convicted of a brutal murder six years earlier. Along with this charged tale, author Klavan, a former newspaper reporter and Edgar Award winner who lives in London (and summers in Connecticut), presents with chilling precision and a gift for language the results of his research into the psychology—and the physiology—of prisoners awaiting execution. From Beachum's state of mind, as he is strapped to the death gurney, to the glinting needles of the lethal injection apparatus, Crime gives the most compelling fictional tour yet of the last mile. (Crown, $21)

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