Are there any other titles that True Crime fans might suggest?

I’ve discovered that True Crime is a genre that’s very interesting to me. I just finished “The Man from the Train” and “Mary Jane’s Ghost”. Are there any other titles that True Crime fans might suggest? Thanks so much.

90 Answers

  • I liked The Devil in the White City. Its about the murders near the Chicago’s Worlds Fair.

    • Two votes for Ann Rule, I see. Strange, I thought she wrote fiction. Thanks so much, Jennifer!

    • I came here to say this! My favourite murder podcast has a lot to answer for lol

    • Ann Rule has written other True Crime besides The Stranger Beside me. I think I have read most of hers.

    • Ann Rule does well researched true crime. Red River Running Red ,is one I can think of.

    • The Stranger Beside Me is the best because she gives a unique perspective. She volunteered right alongside Bundy for a suicide hotline. They were friends and she was like a mother figure to him. He fooled her just like he did everyone else.

  • Anything by Ann Rule, Kathryn Casey and M. William Phelps. True crime is my favorite and those 3 are the best in my opinion.

  • You should make a point to read the book that defined the genre: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

    • I did read that one, Rey Ledda, when it first came out, what, 30 years ago? And you’re right, it defined the genre. Also I used to read a lot of the late Dominick Dunne’s work.

  • I must’ve read Zodiac 25 years ago and the thought of it still creeps me out.

  • I second In Cold Blood – it was the first of the New Journalism genre – and really a good read!

  • If you’re willing to jump into the world of podcasts, check out Serial! Loved seasons 1 and 3.

    • I think you mean seasons 1 and 2. But you had me googling to make sure I hadn’t missed a new season!

    • No, there is a season 3- it’s called S***town. It’s not as good as 1, but I liked it better than 2.

  • I’m excited for the late Michelle McNamara‘s book about the Golden State Killer, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. She passed away before finishing it but her husband made sure it got finished and it releases in February.

    • I love what Patton said about her in his last stand up special. Quoting her “Life is Chaos. Be Kind.”

    • I’ve put an early hold on this book at my library. Heard Patton Oswalt on NPR talking about her writing this book; how it had started out as an article which a publishing company asked her to turn into a book. Thanks Melissa and Kris.

    • I don’t read true crime (I lean to fantasy and escapism), but might have to read that one.

    • Mindhuner by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker or Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon which both inspired tv series 🙂

  • Years ago I read a book entitled Life plus 99years. If I remember it was written by one of the murderers, Leopold and Loeb. That stuck with me for years. Blood Echoes by Thomas Cook. Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule.

    • Others in this thread have said this too about Ann Rule and this is how dumb I am: I thought she was a fiction writer!

  • Killer Clown by Terry Sullivan. It’s about John Wayne Gacy. Excellent book.

  • Blood Will Out-Walter Kirn. Fascinating and interesting from the author’s perspecitve

  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote! He’s such a good storyteller, that his true crime reads like a novel!

  • I read ‘The Adversary’ by Emmanuel Carrere recently which I really enjoyed. x

  • One of my favorite genres! Popular Crime by Bill James, Visiting Hours by Amy Butcher, The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale, American Lightening by Howard Blum, A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger, The Skeleton Crew by Deborah Halber, Thunderstruck by Erik Larson, Lost Girls by Robert Kolker, The Murder Room by Michael Capuzzo, Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi, Manson by Jeff Guinness, For the Thrill of It by Simon Baatz , The Fall of the House of Walworth by Geoffrey O’Brien, Compulsion by Meyer Levin, Careless People by Sarah Churchwell, The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

  • Okay! Gonna go through this thread and copy down the titles of everything I haven’t read. Thank you all soooooo much. I have an amazing library system where I live and am certain I’ll be able to reserve most of the books mentioned here. Now THIS is what I really like about this site. So much input! So many suggestions.

  • Just have to say: This genre is interesting to me… I can’t read it. Too much bad stuff in our world already. I don’t want the scary stuff stuck in my brain@

    • I know there’s a danger in that, Misi Misi. When and if I come upon something I can’t handle I’ll skip over the detail.

    • it’s more the psychology aspect that i. read them for. i meanPerfect murder, Perfect town! it’s possible one day we will get answers….

  • I agree with the recommendations to read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote!

    • Maybe I should read it again! It’s been about 25 years since I read it the first time…

  • Oh! Also, there’s a book about the cult murders in Rulo, Nebraska called Evil Harvest: The True Story of Cult Murder in the American Heartland by Rod Colvin

  • All I read is non-fiction, a fair amount being True Crime, and I have never read Ann Rule..I also thought she was a fiction writer because her books all look the same..like mainstream watered down stuff..written for the masses.. Some of my favorites past reads are: Starvation Heights by Gregg Olson, The Killer of Little Shepards by Douglas Starr, Columbine by Dave Cullen, Pilgrims Wilderness by Tom Kizzia (took place where I live and play in Alaska!), any of the Best American Writing books..I could go on and on! It’s nice to be able to share about books that aren’t fiction..almost every post I read involves fiction, which I am just not a fan of anymore.

    • Thanks so much Julie. I’m going to scribble down all these titles. Do you think after all these recommendations and now that you know she’s not a fiction writer that you will try Ann Rule?

    • I might. I am super selective about what I read. I love really unique and interesting crime stories much more than the high profile cases that are written about. You can learn so much about the history of forensics, the FBI, etc..I have a degree in Criminal Justice so no surprise I love true crime! 🙂

    • No surprise at all, Julie. I can see how you might incorporate good True Crime techniques into your area of expertise. Do you work in the Criminal Justice field now or just enjoy keeping up with the latest practices through the True Crime genre?

    • I work in Corrections, but I’ve always had a strong interest in law enforcement, crime, etc. I just devoured the textbooks when I went back to school a few years back. I’ve got three True Crime books in my TBR stack right now. I plan to start Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann next..it’s looks like it will be a great read!

  • Was that the Edwardian train carriage murder.? Very interesting. I am reading now, She wanted it all. Very interesting account of strange personal traits and adoption. Well written too. But I am watching Making of Murderer, (netflix) and that has to be the crime story of the century ;find out the power of the police over us.

  • Old school true crime, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is amazing if you haven’t read it. Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule too. I also liked The Devil in White City by Erik Larson.

  • I’m from Wash. and Oregon. “The I-5 Killer, Small Sacrifices, Green River Killer” took place in the NW. I also liked Serpentine by Thomas Thompson took place in Europe

    • Thanks alot, Jill. Adding these titles. Wow! There’s a bunch out there, huh? And so many avid readers. I kind of felt like a freak when I was drawn to it, but not now.

    • . A gal I worked with and I felt the same way. We used to loan each other true crime. We’d say “What’s wrong with us? Why do we like these?”. Be sure to read Small Sacrifices.

    • I love true crime too..no shame! 🙂 I have an inquiring mind and find all things criminal justice fascinating. You can learn a lot about unique cases, trials, forensics, etc.

    • You have reminded me of a whole lot from the past…..Serpentine took place in India and Tibet, but was excellent. Then all those about Jeffrey Macdonald. The Lord Lucan case. I too will have to make a list.

    • Yes, Fatal Vision. Not keen on In Cold Blood. (Where has the edit button gone?)

  • Highly recommend The Skeleton Crew by Deborah Halber. Meticulously researched and well-written.

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