True Crime Book Reviews (page 2)

HEAVEN'S DITCH by Jack Kelly
HISTORY
Released: July 5, 2016

"An intriguing synthesis of American cultural and economic currents in the early 19th century, all culminating with the completion of the Erie Canal."
Historian Kelly (Band of Giants: The American Soldiers Who Won America's Independence, 2014, etc.) weaves together diverse strands of early New York state history for an improbable yet oddly compelling narrative of social, political, and religious visionaries. Read full book review >
OBAMA'S GUANTÁNAMO by Jonathan Hafetz
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 5, 2016

"An alarming and important indictment of Obama's ineffectual approach to one of his signature campaign issues and of America's tarnished system of justice as a whole."
As Barack Obama's presidency comes to a close, lawyers who defend inmates at Guantánamo assess his broken promise to close the prison and the legacy he will leave. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 30, 2016

"A maddening, important indictment of the shadow economy that flourishes even as the legitimate economy suffers and just the thing to tip a person debating whether to join the Occupy movement or vote for Bernie Sanders over the edge."
Hiding money in offshore accounts to keep it from the publicans is an old trick—but it is now so prevalent that, far from being "a minor part of our economic system," it is the system. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 28, 2016

"The author's vivid details of South Africa's persistent racism, abject poverty, and continuing oppression are undermined by unnecessary repetition."
Unraveling a web of evidence in a notorious murder. Read full book review >
EXONEREE DIARIES by Alison Flowers
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A thoroughly researched, provocative book of justice gone wrong."
Chicago journalist Flowers goes deep into the cases of three innocent men and a woman serving at least a decade in prison for crimes they never committed. Read full book review >

TO PROTECT AND SERVE by Norm Stamper
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A vivid, well-written, vitally important book."
Most of the nation's approximately 18,000 police departments receive scathing criticism from one of their own: an author who began as a San Diego beat cop in 1966 and rose to become a police chief in Seattle. Read full book review >
THE LYNCHING by Laurence Leamer
HISTORY
Released: June 7, 2016

"An engrossing true-crime narrative and a pertinent reminder of the consequences of organized hatred."
A powerful account of how a Ku Klux Klan-sanctioned lynching in Mobile, Alabama, paved the way for legal victories against such hate groups. Read full book review >
THE MAXIMUM SECURITY BOOK CLUB by Mikita Brottman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 7, 2016

"Will not appeal to hard-core law-and-order types, but others will find this a brave and empathetic story of how literature brings light into shadows."
Compassionate account of running a literary reading group among convicts at Maryland's Jessup maximum security prison. Read full book review >
A GOOD MONTH FOR MURDER by Del Quentin Wilber
TRUE CRIME
Released: June 7, 2016

"Readable, appealing true crime with an undercurrent of unease at the violence creeping into so many postindustrial 'edge city' communities."
Propulsive account of a hard-charging homicide unit in a high-crime Washington, D.C., suburb. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 1, 2016

"First-rate reporting and a seminar in how to employ context in investigative and historical journalism."
A veteran journalist uses a variety of lenses to illuminate the dark story of the Black Legion, an association of murderous (white) domestic terrorists who briefly thrived in the upper Midwest. Read full book review >
WHITE RAGE by Carol Anderson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 31, 2016

"A book that provides necessary perspective on the racial conflagrations in the U.S."
A close reading of America's racial chasm. Read full book review >
JANE DOE JANUARY by Emily Winslow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"A potently rendered chronicle of rape and the clarity and closure achieved even when justice is only partially served."
The story of a Pennsylvania serial rapist who stood trial two decades after his assault on the author. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >