True Crime Book Reviews (page 11)

SURVIVORS OF SLAVERY by Laura T. Murphy
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 25, 2014

"An 'open condemnation' of modern slavery that builds powerfully by testimony."
First-person testimonies that probe the continued chilling practices of forced labor worldwide. Read full book review >
WALKING PREY by Holly Austin Smith
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 18, 2014

"A powerful voice on behalf of young people who should not be stigmatized but need support from schools and communities to protect them from predators."
An unvarnished account of one woman's painful "journey from victim to survivor," as she came to understand the "dynamics of commercial sexual exploitation, especially child sex trafficking." Read full book review >

THE MASTER OF CONFESSIONS by Thierry Cruvellier
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 18, 2014

"Cruvellier is an extremely articulate and compassionate observer to a country and its people plunged through the rings of hell."
With chilling clarity, a veteran international journalist delineates the totalitarian ideology and horrific crimes of the leaders of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge. Read full book review >
TRUE CRIME
Released: March 11, 2014

"All the President's Men it's not, but Ruderman and Laker provide a welcome addition to the shelves of books about the mechanics and logistics of journalistic exposés."
Two newspaper reporters explain how they broke open police corruption in Philadelphia. Read full book review >
DAUGHTER OF THE KING by Sandra Lansky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 4, 2014

"For a more mature and nuanced look at the life of Meyer Lansky and his family, look elsewhere. A good place to start: Robert Lacey's Little Man (1991)."
A biography of a true Mafia princess that leaves a lot to the imagination, despite assistance from veteran Hollywood chronicler Stadiem (Moneywood: Hollywood in Its Last Age of Excess, 2013, etc.). Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 4, 2014

"A much-needed factual antidote to the mainstream media coverage of Trayvon Martin's tragic story and the travesty of the George Zimmerman trial."
A veteran civil rights attorney confronts the injustices of the controversial Trayvon Martin case and America's dubious post-9/11 gun laws. Read full book review >
BLOOD WILL OUT by Walter Kirn
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2014

"A book that casts long-form narrative journalism in general, and Kirn's in particular, in an unflattering light."
The complicated, credulity-straining relationship between the author and his subject leaves the reader wondering about both of them. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 3, 2014

"An engrossing true-crime tour de force."
The infamous myth-shrouded murder of Kitty Genovese (1935-1964) receives a much-needed re-evaluation. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"Levin manages to tell the story clearly without provocative bias while pointing out how the entire world demonstrated their incredulity at the absurdity of the entire episode."
A page-turning history/true-crime story surrounding the myth of blood libel, the idea that "Jews commit ritual murder to obtain Christian blood" to use in Passover rites. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"What could have been a silly exposé of Paris, hypnotism and detection is instead a well-constructed, informative work by a talented author."
International journalist and Washington Post nonfiction book editor Levingston (Historic Ships of San Francisco, 1984) uses the story of a murder by a foolish girl and her lover to illustrate another side of belle epoque Paris. Read full book review >
BLOOD ROYAL by Eric Jager
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"An impressive combination of mystery, crime story, and social and political history."
Few works of fiction will grab readers' attention as well as Jager's (The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France, 2004) riveting story of a 1407 murder mystery that split the royal family of France. Read full book review >
WHITEY ON TRIAL by Margaret McLean
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"Indifferent writing aside, the authors deliver some newsworthy revelations that, if proven, would make it difficult to distinguish the good guys from the bad."
Alternately vivid and limping yarn about the recent Whitey Bulger trial, which ended in the murderous Boston mobster's imprisonment in August 2013, and the events that set it in motion. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >