Strong anthology of avarice and violence, from GQ, Vanity Fair, Harper’s, and others.
Former magazine editor Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, 1994, etc.) reflects that we are all potential victims and suspects in the post-9/11 era. He concentrates on well-constructed reportage of startling crimes in unlikely locales, like Skip Hollandsworth’s tale of a Texas woman prosecuted for posing as a traumatized high-schooler. Current political unease inflects essays like Lawrence Wright’s elegy for controversial counterterrorist John O’Neill, and Robert Anson’s account of Daniel Pearl’s murder. Jeff Tietz’s “The Boy Who Loved Transit,” about a notorious unauthorized subway gadfly since diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, strikes a lighter note; nothing’s funny about chilling reports on the horrific treatment accorded women during the Rwandan genocide and today in Eastern Europe. Other contributors (e.g., Marie Brenner, Sebastian Junger, and Devin Friedman) address grisly topics ranging from NBA star Jayson Williams’s shotgunning of an employee to the California dog-mauling to Enron (slaughter of a different sort). Fine second installment, but with too-few entries from independent or lesser-known publications.