Discussion Forums - True Crime

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

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
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: 9,443
Back To Top

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
Back To Top

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: 9,443
Back To Top

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
Back To Top

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: 3,010
Back To Top

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.