Book cover sevenmillion

Heist saga told with ‘uncommon grace’

Gary Craig.

Page Turner / Edited by Peter McDermott

For his first book “Seven Million,” Gary Craig returned to the scene of the crime, one that he reported on in 1993 and 1994 and continued to write about over the years.

Craig, who is a member of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Watchdog team and the winner of numerous state and national journalism awards for his writing and investigative reporting, aimed to reexamine the fifth-largest robbery of an armored car in U.S. history.

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“A priest, an Irish revolutionary, and an ex-cop walk into a bar—not it’s not a setup for a joke, it’s the premise of Gary Craig’s thrilling nonfiction heist narrative,” writes leading true-crime writer T.J. English in praise of “Seven Million.”*

“One of the biggest and mysterious heists of our age finally has an account to match its scale and ambition,” said “Lost Girls” author Robert Kolker, adding that Craig “investigates every aspect of this amazing story with a reporter’s obsession and an uncommon grace.”

  • Extracts from “Seven Million” will appear on Pages 14-15 of tomorrow’s print/digital edition of the Irish Echo.

Gary Craig

Date of birth: April 14, 1959

Place of birth: Roanoke, Va.

Spouse: Charlotte Craig

Children: Brittany Craig, Aileen Craig

Residence: Rochester NY

Published works: “Seven Million: A Cop, A Priest, A Soldier for the IRA and the Still-unsolved Rochester Brink’s Heist”

What is your writing routine? Are there ideal conditions?

I prefer to write in the morning because that is my most productive time. I tend to write away from home – at Starbucks, libraries, etc. – because when at home I tend to think of many little errands I could be doing around the house.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

As Nike says, Just do it. And find a story truly meaningful to you, one that, whether fiction or nonfiction, you really want to craft and tell.

Name three books that are memorable in terms of your reading pleasure.

Elmore Leonard’s “Get Shorty,” because it first introduced me to Elmore Leonard. Robert Caro’s LBJ biographies (though I’ve yet to read all of them) because they are an absolute education into how to research with a vengeance and then craft that research into an eminently readable saga. Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” because it shows how nonfiction can read just like fiction, without losing the vitality of the history.

What book are you currently reading?

David Grann’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Grann is another master of weaving nonfiction into compelling stories that you just can’t stop reading.