True Crime Book Reviews

ANATOMY OF INNOCENCE by Laura Caldwell
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 7, 2017

"A searing, unforgettable anthology, with valuable insights provided at the end of each chapter by the editors."
A unique collection of 15 wrongful conviction sagas bound to shake faith in the American criminal justice system. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"A thoroughly researched, clearly presented book that suggests that imprecise brain science will become increasingly more common as evidence in criminal cases."
American Bar Association Journal editor Davis (Defending the Damned: Inside Chicago's Cook County Public Defender's Office, 2007, etc.) engagingly explores how sophisticated brain studies might help explain the causes of violent crimes. Read full book review >

BLUE ON BLUE by Charles Campisi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"This superb memoir can be read for its sheer entertainment or as a primer on police work—or both."
A recently retired high-ranking New York City police supervisor recounts his career, with an emphasis on his unpleasant but necessary assignment flushing out corrupt cops. Read full book review >
REST IN POWER by Sybrina Fulton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 31, 2017

"A brave, heart-rending narrative from the parents who lost their son far too soon."
The parents of Trayvon Martin (1995-2012) tell their sides of the story about his death. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Rapid, compelling storytelling informed by rigorous research and enlivened by fecund imagination."
The author of Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster—The Creators of Superman (2013) returns with the astonishing story of the first female U.S. district attorney. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"This first-rate journey into human trafficking, slavery, and familial bonding is an engrossing example of spirited, determined reportage."
A consummate chronicler of the American South spotlights the extraordinary history of two kidnapped African-American brothers enslaved as a circus sideshow act. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Important, deeply affecting, and certain to alarm readers who care about the lives of children in a gun-ridden society."
The tragic stories of 10 kids killed by gunfire. Read full book review >
BLOOD AT THE ROOT by Patrick Phillips
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An impressive reckoning with a shameful piece of the past that 'most natives of Forsyth would prefer to leave…scattered in the state's dusty archives or safely hidden in plain sight.'"
A history of white supremacy's endurance in a Georgia county. Read full book review >
ADNAN'S STORY by Rabia Chaudry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"For Serial and true-crime fans, this book is a page-turner perfect for a quiet weekend."
"If there is one takeaway from this story, it should be this—the criminal justice system is not just deeply flawed, it is broken." That is how attorney and U.S. Institute of Peace senior fellow Chaudry summarizes the murder conviction and appeals of Adnan Syed, the subject of the Serial podcast. 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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >