True Crime Book Reviews

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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
THE BOYS IN THE BUNKHOUSE by Dan Barry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"Gently, empathetically, and indelibly, Barry conveys a tale of unthinkable brutality."
A gripping indictment of society's treatment of "losers." Read full book review >
SNATCHED by Bruce Porter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"An engaging, improbable true-crime tale that underscores the grandiose futility of the drug war."
Pulpy account of a glamorous narcotrafficker ensnared by her past. Read full book review >
INFAMY by Lydia Cacho
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2016

"An important record of the incremental steps one journalist took against sexual violence in Mexico."
A Mexican journalist bravely sets precedent in the highest court in targeting corruption and influence pedaling. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 11, 2016

"Victorian murder mysteries are usually entertaining. Even without a Sherlock, this highly readable story still shows the cleverness of the police and the frustrations of prosecutors."
Murphy (Interdisciplinary Writing/Univ. of Colorado; Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy, 2013) exposes the inequities of British justice in the 1871 case of Jane Clouson, who was "found attacked and horribly disfigured on a quiet country lane outside of Greenwich."Read full book review >
THE LONG SHADOW OF SMALL GHOSTS by Laura Tillman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 5, 2016

"A Helter Skelter for our time, though without a hint of sensationalism—unsettling in the extreme but written with confidence and deep empathy."
A haunted, haunting examination of mental illness and murder in a more or less ordinary American city. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Swan Huntley
June 27, 2016

In Swan Huntley’s debut novel We Could Be Beautiful, Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection—his parents and Catherine's parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer’s), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth’s old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: “We cannot trust anyone . . . “ Is William lying about his past? “Huntley’s debut stands out not for its thrills but rather for her hawkish eye for social detail and razor-sharp wit,” our reviewer writes. “An intoxicating escape; as smart as it is fun.” View video >