Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks

Doubleday. Jun. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780385548519. $30. CRIME
Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty) collects 12 of his New Yorker pieces: thematically (albeit loosely) related examinations of people who live on (or outside of) the edge of the law. What follows is a combination of investigative journalism and personality profiles that often take the author on a globetrotting adventure—complicated stories that have room to breathe in the long-form format. Whether Keefe is exploring the wine fraud that plagues the world of the one percent or digging into a university shooter’s past, he shows remarkable skill in explaining complicated schemes and a dogged determination to track down leads. He emphasizes the importance of fact-checking, and he documents his attempts to get as close as possible to his subjects. While El Chapo was not sitting down for interviews, the author does hop on the back of Anthony Bourdain’s scooter for a tour of Hanoi. (Yes, the inclusion of the Bourdain profile does seem to stretch the book’s premise.) The original essays are unaltered, but Keefe provides updates at the end of each one.
VERDICT A strong collection of essays of most interest to true crime readers, but also on display is a model of journalistic credibility.
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