25 Best True Crime Books of All Time - Top Nonfiction Crime BooksTrue crime is having a renaissance right now, but the genre has been popular long before the Serial podcast or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood brought Charles Manson's murders back into focus. The best true crime books read like thrillers , with twists and turns to keep you hooked. But they also tell a story larger story, contextualizing the crime like gripping historical fiction. While serial killers and grisly murders might immediately come to mind when discussing the genre , there's more to this literary motif than that. In , a young woman named Sherri Rasmussen was murdered in the home she shared with her husband, John. The police initially suspected that it was a random occurrence, that Rasmussen had interrupted a burglar. But the truth was much more sinister: Years later, a test matched DNA from the crime scene to a female police officer, Stephanie Lazarus.
15 Best True Crime Novels to Read with the Lights On
For every suspense novel that shocks and awes readers, there are real life stories that make fiction seem tame and predictable. True crime is a loaded genre: The best authors do not sensationalize violence and human suffering, but they provide context and depth to the crimes they study. In these excellent books we see how all lives—from the perpetrators and the investigators, to the victims and their families—are profoundly changed by the destruction detailed within. Originally titled Disco Bloodbath , this is a true account of a murder within a particular subculture: the New York City club kids of the late eighties and early nineties who partied like it was their jobs. Written by one of the most over the top insiders, Party Monster details the highs and lows of the scene—the fashion, the sex, the indulgence—but also the nasty drug hangovers, culminating in the conviction in of a club promoter named Michael Alig, who committed a particularly gruesome crime. Buy on Amazon.
These books will take you behind the scenes of some of the most deadliest incidents in history. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Buy now from your favorite retailer:. From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe comes a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions. The investigation behind one of the most frightening and enigmatic serial killers in modern American history, and into the ranks of a singular American police force: the Anchorage PD.
But there has always been a small niche for true crime books, sometimes tucked — rather guiltily — below the much larger crime fiction sections in bookshops and libraries. I have about such volumes — the memoirs of criminals, detectives, crime reporters and the explorations and investigations carried out by authors and academics over the last or so years — many of which I have been using while working on Underworld, which is a history of the last century and a half of organised — and disorganised — crime in Britain. What is striking is how much things have changed in the last couple of decades, in that many of those involved in territorial gang warfare are now so young. Researching my book, I attended five gang murder trials at the Old Bailey and almost all of the accused and their victims were either teenagers or in their very early 20s. And at the more organised end of the underworld are now men — they are mostly men — who are almost indistinguishable from the bankers and brokers through whom they launder their loot in what is an increasingly international and tech-savvy game.
Published in , Truman Capote's true crime book In Cold Blood details a brutal quadruple murder in small town Kansas. An instant success, the book launched the true crime genre that today consists of thousands of titles, television shows, films and even podcasts.
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Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. The killer was still out there.
A provocative and original investigation of our cultural fascination with crime, linking four archetypes—Detective, Victim, Defender, Killer—to four true stories about women driven by obsession. Each woman represents and identifies with a particular archetype that provides an entryway into true crime. Through these four cases, Rachel Monroe traces the history of American crime. In a combination of personal narrative, reportage, and a sociological examination of violence and media in the twentieth and twenty-first century, SavageAppetites scrupulously explores empathy, justice, and the persistent appeal of violence. I was so excited when I was assigned this post several months ago, because in writing a list of 50 must-read true crime books , it gave me a chance to mention some different titles besides the same eight or nine you see on every list. So I took this opportunity to mention some books you have heard of, but probably more books that you have not. Some of these are nonviolent true crime books, some are about historic crimes, and a few are even from the point of view of victims.