In February 2002, a reporter in Oregon contacts New York Times Magazine writer Michael Finkel with a startling piece of news: a young, highly intelligent man named Christian Longo, on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list for killing his entire family, has recently been captured in Mexico, where he'd taken on a new identity--Michael Finkel's. The next day comes another bit of news: a note from the editors, explaining that Finkel has falsified an article and has been fired. The only journalist the accused murderer will speak with is the real Michael Finkel. As the months until Longo's trial tick away, the two men talk for dozens of hours on the telephone, meet in the jailhouse visiting room, and exchange nearly a thousand pages of handwritten letters. With Longo insisting he can prove his innocence, Finkel strives to uncover what really happened, and his quest becomes a psychological game.