Share 8 Gripping True Crime Reads You Need to Add to Your Shelf Today

8 Gripping True Crime Reads You Need to Add to Your Shelf Today

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.

The true crime genre is alive and well, giving us some of the most talked about books, documentaries, and podcasts right now. If you’re fascinated by captivating tales of theft, murder, and mayhem, you won’t be able to put down these six nonfiction books, featuring gangsters, scam artists, and beyond.


Murder in the Bayou
by Ethan Brown

Now a haunting Showtime documentary, this unforgettable book reveals a shocking story of corruption, power, poverty, and murder in Louisiana. Combining in-depth investigative journalism with evocative and compelling prose, this is an explosive exploration of what happened to the women who became the Jeff Davis 8 and an essential call to action for justice.  

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Murder in the Bayou
Ethan Brown

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Gripping True Crime Reads You Need to Add to Your Shelf Today

By Kerry Fiallo | December 18, 2019

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Wiseguy
by Nicholas Pileggi

The unforgettable true story that inspired Martin Scorsese’s masterful classic film Goodfellas, WISEGUY is an unputdownable and thrilling behind-the-scenes look at organized crime in twentieth-century New York. From overwhelming excess to brazen scams and shocking murders, this is a white-knuckle ride told directly by the people involved.

Read the full review of WISEGUY.

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Wiseguy
Nicholas Pileggi

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Gripping True Crime Reads You Need to Add to Your Shelf Today

By Kerry Fiallo | December 18, 2019

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Mindhunter
by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Go inside the FBI’s legendary Investigative Support Unit with this classic and chilling book by Special Agent John Douglas—the man who helped develop criminal profiling and worked to pursue and study some of the most terrifying killers. The inspiration for the Netflix series of the same name, this is one of the best and most unique looks into the criminal justice system.

Read the full review of MINDHUNTER.

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Mindhunter
John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

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The Road to Jonestown
by Jeff Guinn

A terrifying and eye-opening study of the cult behind the largest murder-suicide in American history, THE ROAD TO JONESTOWN brings those affected by the Peoples Temple to vivid life. With this chilling look at a con man’s rise to astonishing power and influence, Jeff Guinn has crafted the definitive book on one of the world’s most notorious cults.

Read the full review of THE ROAD TO JONESTOWN.

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The Road to Jonestown
Jeff Guinn

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The Trial of Lizzie Borden
by Cara Robertson

The media has used the phrase “trial of the century” countless times; in this comprehensive book, discover one of the earliest and most infamous American trials of the century—that of Lizzie Borden. Based on the latest research and exploring everything from forensics to gender roles and classism, Cara Robertson’s account pulls back the curtain on a crime that became the stuff of legend.

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The Trial of Lizzie Borden
Cara Robertson

The remarkable new account of an essential piece of American mythology—the trial of Lizzie Borden—based on twenty years of research and recently unearthed evidence.

The Trial of Lizzie Borden tells the true story of one of the most sensational murder trials in American history. When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 1892, the arrest of the couple’s younger daughter Lizzie turned the case into international news and her trial into a spectacle unparalleled in American history. Reporters flocked to the scene. Well-known columnists took up conspicuous seats in the courtroom. The defendant was relentlessly scrutinized for signs of guilt or innocence. Everyone—rich and poor, suffragists and social conservatives, legal scholars and laypeople—had an opinion about Lizzie Borden’s guilt or innocence. Was she a cold-blooded murderess or an unjustly persecuted lady? Did she or didn’t she?

The popular fascination with the Borden murders and its central enigmatic character has endured for more than one hundred years. Immortalized in rhyme, told and retold in every conceivable genre, the murders have secured a place in the American pantheon of mythic horror, but one typically wrenched from its historical moment. In contrast, Cara Robertson explores the stories Lizzie Borden’s culture wanted and expected to hear and how those stories influenced the debate inside and outside of the courtroom. Based on transcripts of the Borden legal proceedings, contemporary newspaper accounts, unpublished local accounts, and recently unearthed letters from Lizzie herself, The Trial of Lizzie Borden offers a window onto America in the Gilded Age, showcasing its most deeply held convictions and its most troubling social anxieties.

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Gripping True Crime Reads You Need to Add to Your Shelf Today

By Kerry Fiallo | December 18, 2019

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My Friend Anna
by Rachel DeLoache Williams

A captivating look at an astonishing scam artist, written by one of her victims, MY FRIEND ANNA explores how one mysterious woman claimed to be a German heiress and managed to live a life of dazzling opulence among the New York elite—always on someone else’s dime.

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My Friend Anna
Rachel DeLoache Williams

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Lying in Wait
by Ann Rule

In one of the most frightening of Ann Rule’s Crime Files, the master of true crime writing explores several shocking tales. From kidnapping and hidden pasts to cold-blooded murder, Rule gives voice to the voiceless and provides an insider’s look at law enforcement.

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Lying in Wait
Ann Rule

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The Kill Jar
by J. Reuben Appelman

Combining memoir with true crime, THE KILL JAR is a unique and moving look at a series of unsolved child abductions in 1970s Detroit. J. Reuben Appelman, who was a child when these crimes occurred, explores the corruption, cover-ups, and fear that overwhelmed the investigation. With twists and turns, this book with shock you to your core.

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The Kill Jar
J. Reuben Appelman

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Gripping True Crime Reads You Need to Add to Your Shelf Today

By Kerry Fiallo | December 18, 2019

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