Friday, July 10, 2009

Five best: Catherine Crier's top crime books

Catherine Crier is a former district court judge turned television personality. She is also the author of several non-fiction books, including Contempt: How the Right Is Wronging American Justice.

A few years ago she named her five top crime books for the Wall Street Journal.

One title on the list:
"Les Misérables" by Victor Hugo.

Never mind the kitsch Broadway version: Victor Hugo's epic novel of the struggle between Jean Valjean and his nemesis, Inspector Javert, delivers a moving commentary on injustice, oppression and rehabilitation. Valjean is sentenced to prison for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. He is released only to commit a second minor crime. Javert vows that the act shall not go unpunished, and the chase is on. This grand drama, much of which is set against the political tumult of the French Revolution, is an exciting read that transcends its time. Hugo's words deliver valuable lessons about the inequities that shape so many lives today and the longing for liberty that we all share.
Read about all five books on Crier's list.

--Marshal Zeringue