Best True Crime Books

Best True Crime Books

best true crime books

50 Essential True Crime Books

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn. In Email Truman Capotes true crime memoir In Cold Blood, published in 1966, details the brutal murder of four people in small-town Kansas. True crime became an overnight success. The genre has since grown to include thousands of films, television shows and podcasts. True crime books, and others like them, are as disturbing as their subject matter is. However they offer a fascinating insight into the human mind. It’s our natural desire to know how criminal minds work that drives us. We can’t help but think about what we would do in similar circumstances. It is what makes true crimes books one of our most loved non-fiction genres. We binge watch documentaries about true crime like Making a Murderer and relentlessly listen to podcasts on true crime like Serial and My Favorite Murder. This list only touches the top 50 true crime books. There are many fascinating books available. Have you read any? Nonfiction Twitter Facebook Linked. Email

best true crime books

True Crime Story, It Reads Like Fiction


Amazon “The Devil at the White City,” by Erik Larson, on Amazon Bookshop. The story tells of two men as they build the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Daniel Burnham (an architect) was assigned to build the “White City” which would save Chicago’s reputation despite near impossible personal and professional obstacles. Meanwhile, H.H. Holmes used Holmes’ charms and his newly built hotel to seduce women to horrific horrors that would ultimately lead to their deaths. The true crime novel is written in nonfiction and so well researched that it almost reads like historical fiction.


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best true crime books

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7. Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil By John Berendt


Frequently listed as one of the

50 Essential True Crime Books

“>best true crime books of all time, Berendt’s work is renowned for its holistic style, vividly conjuring not just the murder in question but also the distinct atmosphere of 1980s Georgia. But that doesn’t mean the murder itself won’t be fascinating. It involved a male chauffeur who was shot and killed by a well-respected local antiques seller, who went on to face four trials before being acquitted. However, the true story of this town is the unique contribution of its residents. Their individual interpretations and insights on the matter reveal the rich character of Deep South.

best true crime books

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best true crime books

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PW Daily Tipsheet What makes crime so compelling? Serial and The Making of a Murderer podcasts are favorites of mine. And as a writer who has just been haunted by a Louisiana Murder, a haunting which led me to write The Fact of a Body. It’s more than the suspense and thrill of the crime tale that draws us in, I think. Instead, the most important thing is how often life’s unanswerable questions are revealed in crimes. In them are passion, blood, extreme acts, and extreme emotion but in them are also the questions of who we are and who we wish to be, the various ways we love and fail and harm one another. I still read true crime because of the stories. What the following books have in common is not only that they are the most accurate true crime, but that the pages move quickly and the truths that they expose persist.


1. Truman Capote – In Cold Blood Truman Capote – Truman Capote arguably invented true crime. Capote transports us to Holcomb in Kansas, where we find ourselves in the heart of Holcomb. We are transported into Kansas’ heart and into the lives of its murder victims. The book has received some heat over the years with revelations that questioned its true nature. But Capote’s exceptional storytelling skills are still unmatched.


But what of the more precise journalist’s interest in crime? It is it purient? Exploitative? Or to serve something greater? “Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible” so, provocatively, begins Janet Malcolm’s examination of the relationship between the journalist’s Joe Mc. Ginniss Mac. Donald. Malcolm did not write this book to condemn the genre. She has written many true crime books.


David Cullen had to face this journalistic dilemma in the aftermath of the Columbine school massacre. After the murders, the question of why Klebold and Harris had carried out their horrific plan was haunting and the media quickly tried to put it to rest with too-simple, made-for-the-headlines answers: the Trenchcoat Mafia, bullying, the music of Marilyn Manson. Cullen spent ten years researching in Aurora Colorado to find the right answers.


4. Shot in the Heart by Mikhal Gilmore What Cullen’s book does on the social level, Mikhal Gilmore’s does on the familial one. Intimacy is a rare quality in true crime writing. Gary Gilmore killed his brother in 1973, when the United States reinstated death penalties. Gilmore asked that he be shot in the heart, an unorthodoxly violent manner. (Here’s a little-known fact that shows just how deeply crime penetrates our national subconscious: the Nike slogan “Just do it” was taken from Gilmore’s last words.) Norman Mailer wrote the classic The Executioner’s Song about Gilmore’s crimes and death, but it’s Mikhal Gilmore, a music journalist, who wrote the truly essential book, mining into his brother’s murderous legacy, family loyalty, and the gothic hold violence has over generations. Shot in the Heart is an epic as engrossing as any of the great Russian novels but all the more harrowing for being true.


Justin St. Germain’s investigation into the murder and suicide of his mother is intimate. Twenty years old at the time of his mother’s death, St. Germain had been raised by his mother alone, and by a revolving cast of husbands one of whom then shot and killed his mother. As St. Germain goes on a quest to reconstruct her life and understand her death by interviewing her husbands, he stumbles onto the question of what legacy of masculinity and violence his town of Tombstone, Arizona, home of the O.K. This is the Corral shootout. This is the result: a murder mystery that has both emotional and investigative urgency. It reveals both violence’s mythological appeal and its tragic consequences.


As I traveled across America listening to this book, it was an enjoyable read. Krakauer’s fascinating tale of the founding and growth of the Mormon Church is American. The 1984 double-murder is linked to a fight for Mormonism, which may have taken place years earlier.

Which are the Best True Crime Books?

  1. American Sherlock. By Kate Winkler Dawson
  2. “Under the Banner of Heaven.” by Jon Krakauer.
  3. The Outlaw Ocean. Ian Urbina
  4. Bad Blood. John Carreyrou
  5. Killers for the Flower Moon. David Grann
  6. The Want-Ad Killer. Ann Rule.
  7. Vulgar Favors. Maureen Orth
  8. Cold Blood. Truman Capote

What Genre Is True Crime Books?

True crime is an audio, podcast, or film format that examines the true crime of a person and detail the actions.

What book did serial killers study?

The Catcher in the Rye 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger remains a popular bestseller.

Who is the best true crime author?

  1. Michelle McNamara.
  2. Dave Cullen.
  3. Alfredo Corchado.
  4. Ann Rule.
  5. Erik Larson.
  6. Susan Orlean.
  7. Jon Krakauer.
  8. MAry Kay McBrayer.

.Best True Crime Books