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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

True Story

Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe

Rating: 5 out of 5

Would you like this book? You might if you like:

  • Long-form journalism

  • The New Yorker

  • True Crime Podcasts

  • Great non-fiction writing

Patrick Radden Keefe is by far my favorite New Yorker writer, and also one of my automatic buys for nonfiction authors. His work is well researched, clearly written, and looks at some of the most interesting people and troubling issues of the day.

This book is a collection of some of his best New Yorker articles. These stories range from a profile of El Chapo to one on Anthony Bourdain. There is the tale of one of the largest drug kingpins in The Netherlands and how his sister helped put him away. In another Radden Keefe uncovers the story of a gentleman forging vintage wines (I had many follow up questions about this one).

This collection is a perfect example of a book you can pick up, read a story or two, put down and come back to later. It's perfect if you need a bit of a palate cleanser between your fiction. It can also send you off onto Wikipedia rabbit holes! Radden Keefe’s writing is succinct but he manages to create a whole world for the reader by providing just the right details. If you are someone who likes a good true crime podcast, these stories are for you. I listened to the audio book and Radden Keefe narrated which I enjoyed.

So if you haven’t read anything by Radden Keefe, check this book out or grab the latest issue of the New Yorker, he just published a new piece. Or check out his two other books, Say Nothing, on the Troubles in Ireland, and Empire of Pain, about the Sackler Family and the rise of the opioid epidemic.

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