Black Market Value: Three Criminally Good Reads

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A longtime acquaintance of mine happens to be a drug dealer; in some ways our careers have progressed on parallel planes. As I went from writing for the college paper to seeing my byline in the national glossies, he went from being the hardscrabble local guy to the top of a criminal network.

While of course our moral codes aren't in alignment, I do recognize his ability to handle the intricate logistics of running a complicated midsize business, all under the shadow of the law. He argues that what people like him do serves vital functions in our society — allowing access to wealth for those often denied it — and occasionally undermining oppressive laws.

Here are three wonderful novels whose takes on different aspects of crime are valuable to us all.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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