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THE CRIME WRITER by Gregg Hurwitz Kirkus Star


by Gregg Hurwitz

Pub Date: July 23rd, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-670-06321-5
Publisher: Viking

When crime writer Drew Danner is discovered standing over the dead body of his ex-fiancée, Genevieve, he quickly learns that real murder is a lot messier than the stories he pens.

In the latest from Hurwitz (Last Shot, 2006, etc.), Danner wakes up in the hospital and learns two things: He has been accused of Genevieve's murder, and he has had brain surgery for the tumor that obliterated his memory of what happened. At his trial, the district attorney taunts him with his own writings: “I believe, in my darkest heart of hearts, that when fate and passion align, every last one of us…is capable of murder.” After he is found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity, Danner struggles to remember the events leading to Genevieve's death. He can't imagine wanting to kill her, but doubts linger: What if he did do it? When a second woman is murdered and Danner's blood is found at the scene, he digs deeper to find the killer: Is it the convicted rapist whose brown Volvo was spotted at the scene? Is it a copycat killer? Who's trying to set Danner up? Is his own life in danger? With the help of his book editor, Preston, he begins to write down the story. Hector, a teenage graffiti artist in juvenile detention, and Danner's friend Chic help him dig into the case, as does Lloyd, the forensic specialist who has been his source for realistic details in his fiction. Hurwitz’s carefully interwoven plot lines and taut writing—as well as his pulsing descriptions of Los Angeles—make for a deeply satisfying read, and the ending, revealed with masterful simplicity, shows the complex desires that make each of us capable of murder.

A performance worthy of applause.