Share 10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

Kerry Fiallo is a New York native and copywriter at Simon & Schuster. A lifelong voracious reader, she has a particular fondness for ghost stories, history, and anything to do with Mary Shelley, Ada Lovelace, and the Brontë sisters. The only thing she may love more than books is black tea, but they do often go well together. You can find her as she navigates through literature and history on Twitter @ReadingInNYC and on Tumblr.

I’ve been a purveyor of true crime books since I was a young teenager, but in recent years the violent stories of murder and serial killers have been difficult for me to read. Luckily, the true crime genre is expansive enough to include gripping, suspenseful, and unforgettable books about a variety of crimes—from art forgery to online piracy and much more. Below are 10 fantastic true crime books that effortlessly demonstrate just how diverse this genre is.


American Fire
by Monica Hesse

In this modern American gothic tale of obsession, a series of mysterious fires set a remote rural community on edge. When a local mechanic confesses, it's just the start of a wildly fascinating and tragic story that proves once again that the truth is always stranger than fiction. With in-depth research and compelling writing, AMERICAN FIRE is a modern classic of investigative journalism.

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American Fire
Monica Hesse

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Books We Can’t Stop Thinking About

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 9, 2019

10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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In Vino Duplicitas
by Peter Hellman

For most of us, it's hard to distinguish between differently priced wines, but for the experts, their livelihood relies on their palates. So how did one young man from Indonesia manage to fool so many with his collection of fake wines? This is a breathtaking and colorful mystery filled with surprising twists and an impassioned cast of characters that you won't soon forget.

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In Vino Duplicitas
Peter Hellman

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10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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Chasing Phil
by David Howard

Three men in the 1970s travel the world, make money, and become fast friends. The only catch? Two are undercover agents and the third is one of the world's most notorious con men. A rollicking caper that reads like a novel with vibrant characters and bewildering twists and turns, this is an eye-opening look into the FBI's first wire-wearing mission.

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Chasing Phil
David Howard

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10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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Truevine
by Beth Macy

A story of racism and the power of a mother's love, TRUEVINE follows two African-American brothers who were kidnapped in 1899 and forced to perform in a traveling circus. But their mother—a sharecropper in the Jim Crow South—never gave up searching for her sons or for justice. This is a haunting read with no easy answers.

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Truevine
Beth Macy

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10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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The Gardner Heist
by Ulrich Boser

Art theft may seem like something that only occurs in the movies, but in 1990, the largest art heist ever occurred in Boston—and it still hasn't been solved. A captivating and extraordinary whodunit that will change the way you look at the art in museums, THE GARDNER HEIST effortlessly delves into the darker side of the art world.

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The Gardner Heist
Ulrich Boser

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10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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American Heiress
by Jeffrey Toobin

One of the most infamous news stories of the 1970s, the kidnapping and alleged brainwashing of heiress Patty Hearst is still a fascinating subject. From her terrifying abduction to the circus atmosphere of her trial, this spellbinding book explores every aspect of a truly unforgettable and wild story.

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American Heiress
Jeffrey Toobin

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MENTIONED IN:

10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 1, 2017

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Shooting Victoria
by Paul Thomas Murphy

Queen Victoria may be one of the most famous of British monarchs, but did you know that during her lifetime, she survived several assassination attempts? Explore her influential reign through the lens of these attacks and how they, oddly enough, breathed new life into the British monarchy. Engrossing and lively, SHOOTING VICTORIA will take you on a fascinating journey to nineteenth-century Great Britain.

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Shooting Victoria
Paul Thomas Murphy

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10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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American Kingpin
by Nick Bilton

A fascinating depiction of how piracy, drug trafficking, and more came into the twenty-first century, AMERICAN KINGPIN follows the astonishing rise and fall of the Dark Web's Silk Road and its mysterious founder, the Dread Pirate Roberts. It explores how ambition and power, free Web advocacy and federal manhunts resulted in a stunning series of events that sound straight out of Hollywood.

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American Kingpin
Nick Bilton

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10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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Ghost in the Wires
by Kevin Mitnick

As paranoia over identity theft and smart appliances spying on consumers increases, the breathtaking story of Kevin Mitnick—a talented hacker turned security consultant—is only increasing in relevancy. GHOST IN THE WIRES is his gripping and insightful portrayal of his time on the run from the FBI after accessing countless computer systems and networks throughout the country.

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Ghost in the Wires
Kevin Mitnick

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MENTIONED IN:

10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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The Wizard of Lies
by Diana B. Henriques

The effects of white-collar crime are often far-reaching, and in THE WIZARD OF LIES, you can discover the full catastrophic scope of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Based on meticulous research and exclusive interviews, this engrossing book is a raw and alarming look at the overwhelming power of greed.

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The Wizard of Lies
Diana B. Henriques

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MENTIONED IN:

10 True Crime Books That Demonstrate the Diversity of the Genre

By Kerry Fiallo | September 6, 2018

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