The Best American Crime Reporting, 2010

The Best American Crime Reporting – 2010
Ed. by Stephen J. Dubner

These books were previously known as The Best American Crime Writing, and I wonder what distinction the series editors were trying to make with the title change, since essays on, for example, “The Man Who Shot the Man Who Shot Abraham Lincoln” scarcely qualify as “reporting.” In any event, this year’s edition, edited by the co-author of the egregious Freakonomics, has some good pieces mixed in with some rather workmanlike efforts (Ron Chernow’s book review on “Madoff and his Models” seems to have been mailed in). The emphasis is on personality-driven stories, with the high-rent gigolo Helg Sgarbi being perhaps the oddest character in the line-up and, as usual, the maniac serial killer (“Chessboard Killer” Alexander Pichushkin) being the dullest.