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Topic: Looking for your "best read ever" in True Crime for reading challenge

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Subject: Looking for your "best read ever" in True Crime for reading challenge
Date Posted: 1/11/2017 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,973
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Okay, I know this forum is running thin on inputs but hoping someone can make a recommendation in this genre.  

One of my reading challenges is a book in the true crime genre.  I used to read a fair amount of these books when I was younger but lost interest.  I think the last ones I read were from the Boston Strangler, Executioner's Song, and Helter Skelter (although I don't think I finished this one) era.  I know there are a ton of true crime books that have come out since, especially as every big news crime story seems to generate a dozen books by multiple authors.  I wouldn't know where to start.  Oh, wait, I read Jaycee Dugard's book A Stolen Life when it came out and thought it was excellent. 

Looking for a book that is above all, "readable" and written as a "page turner" but not gratuitously violent.  Oh, and zero interest in anything related to OJ Simpson. *gag*  I've also seen a lot of books that came out recently on overlooked crimes from decades or a century or more ago

What's your "the best true crime book I ever read" recommendations?    Thanx

 

Date Posted: 1/11/2017 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
Posts: 8,982
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I would recommend:

Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Columbine by Dave Cullen

Date Posted: 1/11/2017 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,973
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Thanx for the quick response, Lisa.  I read Larson's "In the Garden of Beasts" and liked it.  I read a write-up on Devil in the White City a few months ago and thought of it for my TBR list but didn't associate it with this genre. I'd never heard there was a serial killer associated with this momentous event in our history.  Was the book more about the fair or the killings?  

I read Midnight In the Garden.... several years ago and am embarrassed to say I don't really remember much about it.  I still have it somewhere and I'm thinking I should re-read it, with more attention this time.

Columbine should be a serious candidate.  I live less than an hour from the school and periodically drive by it.  I live in a state (Colo) and city (Colo Spgs) that seems to have a distressing and disproportionate number of mass shootings.  Maybe this book will give insight into what it is about this wonderful, gorgeous state that generates such events.   

Date Posted: 1/12/2017 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
Posts: 8,982
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Devil in the White City moves between the Fair builder/creater and Homes the killer.   A lot of the book is the fair.  And Holmes wasn't discovered as a killer until the fair was long over.

Date Posted: 1/12/2017 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,551
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a classic in this genre is Careless Whispers by Carlton Stowers. Stowers was working as a reporter for a large daily newspaper when this story happened. As a trained journalist Stowers is a good writer and knows how to present his facts.

Subject: Jack the Ripper
Date Posted: 9/9/2018 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2018
Posts: 4
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I recently read The Secret Life of Walter Sickert by Patricia Cornwell. The story is the result of Cornwell's extensive research into the Jack the Ripper files. She puts forth the hypothesis that the killer was a famous (infamous) artist of the day. It is an interesting read, but not riveting like some of the other true crime books that I've read. My favorite true crime is Fatal Vision about the army doctor who supposedly murdered his wife. I read so many wonderful true crime books that I can't even keep them straight anymore.laugh