Monday, July 24, 2006

Book Review: Best American Crime Writing 2003

The Best American Crime Writing 2003

This anthology lives up to its name. The stories, true news stories, range from the NBA stars shooting limo drivers to the trials of war crimes in Rwanda.

Some of these have their roots decades in the past - but it makes them all the more fascinating.

The writing is well done, and at the end of almost every piece is the author's take on the story at the time this anthology was being put together.

If you watch the news, read news magazines or read the newspaper, there are stories in here you will find fascinating.

To me the best was about a WWII German operation to infiltrate the US - how a technicality allowed the accused be tried via a military tribunal - and how Bush's administration was trying to use that same technicality post 9/11 - rather than using the normal court system.

The hardest story to read was the last - about a woman in the Hutu government in Rwanda who ordered the brutal rapes and executions of thousands of women, because they were Tutsi. Which she watched. Which she encouraged her son to participate in. The added horror is that the men she used for this were all AIDS patients - the mandate was to use these men, so that if any of the women survived, they would eventually die of AIDS, and any children they bore would die also. She wanted to ensure that the genocide, if not immediate, was permanent. Because of this, her orders were considered the highest war crimes.

This collection ranges from the amusing, to the fascinating, to the devastating. I think the editors did an amazing job of putting this collection together, and of building up to such a dramatic and significant story for the last chapter.

Rating 4.5/5 stars

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