Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe is one of my favourite reads from last year. A detailed, gripping biography of the Sackler family and the scourge they unleashed with the development and aggressive marketing of oxycontin. This summer, Doubleday (North America) and Picador (UK) are due to publish Rogues: a new collection of his New Yorker articles and profiles.
ROGUES brings together a dozen of his most celebrated articles from The New Yorker. As Keefe says in his preface “They reflect on some of my abiding preoccupations: crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial.”
Keefe brilliantly explores the intricacies of forging $150,000 vintage wines, examines whether a whistleblower who dared to expose money laundering at a Swiss bank is a hero or a fabulist, spends time in Vietnam with Anthony Bourdain, chronicles the quest to bring down a cheerful international black market arms merchant, and profiles a passionate death penalty attorney who represents the “worst of the worst,” among other bravura works of literary journalism.
The appearance of his byline in The New Yorker is always an event, and collected here for the first time readers can see his work forms an always enthralling but deeply human portrait of criminals and rascals, as well as those who stand up against them.
One of my most-anticipated non-fiction books of the year, Rogues is due to be published in North America on June 28th, and in the UK on July 7th.