True Crime Book Reviews (page 55)

Released: Sept. 8, 1993

"Fine writing, Kodachrome vision, and superintense drama: a real plum for true-crime fans. (Eight pages of b&w photographs- -not seen)"
Sweeping murder-and-megabucks true-life gothic, Texas-style. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 7, 1993

"A fast-paced, suspenseful re-creation of how a vicious killer was run to ground."
Smoothly written bio of a lone-wolf executioner for the mob. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Evocative and entertaining popular history. (Eight pages of photographs)"
In a well-crafted compilation of letters, lurid newspaper accounts, legal documents, and photographs and drawings of the day, Cooper (a former Columbia law professor) tells a story of high aspirations, of a failed marriage and a scandalous divorce, and of a 1860's-style murder that might have been dreamed up by William Dean Howells. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"An excellent introduction that raises such major questions as why creative artists are so fascinated by outlaws and why crime permeates popular culture in a relatively peaceful society. (Twenty-three illustrations)"
An engaging and anecdotal exploration by Prassel (Criminal Justice/Univ. of Arkansas; The Western Peace Officer, 1992—not reviewed) of the background, history, legends, social contexts, and representations of the outlaw, from Robin Hood to Thelma and Louise. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"An engrossing look at a shadowy area of American life—and the dark underbelly of the Reagan years. (Eight pages of photographs)"
A startling portrayal of life at the frayed edges of the American Dream—of drag shows, transvestite hustlers, teenage hookers, flophouses—and murder most foul. Read full book review >

Released: Aug. 25, 1993

"Narrated with little grace, but the bone-chilling horror comes through in this story begging for film or TV adaptation."
At least some L.A. cops were abusing their trust long before the Rodney King case—as demonstrated in this riveting narrative of police-sponsored insurance fraud, armed robbery, automatic-weapons dealing, and murder for hire. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 2, 1993

"Tough-talking and full of intrigue—a far more involving ride than, say, top-narc Robert M. Stutman's comparable Dead on Delivery (1992). (Eight pages of b&w photos—not seen)"
A former top cop's rough-and-tumble memoir of mob-busting in the NYPD. Read full book review >
ONCE UPON A TIME by Harry N. MacLean
Released: July 1, 1993

"A riveting, thought-provoking look at a disturbing case. (Photographs—not seen)"
MacLean won an Edgar for In Broad Daylight (1988), which covered the case of a small-town bully shot dead in front of a crowd of locals who ``saw nothing.'' Here, he takes on the equally controversial case of George Franklin, a Californian found guilty of murder 20 years after the fact, the conviction resting almost entirely on his daughter's belated memory (which surfaced in 1989) of having witnessed the killing of her then- best friend, eight-year-old Susan Nason. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

"Intimate and conscientious reporting, well done."
Compelling first book by a California journalist (and two-time Emmy winner) who writes about the murder of a friend in their San Fernando Valley community. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

"Bang bang."
Richly researched, gripping story of a castoff San Diego wife who shot and killed her ex-husband and his new wife one morning in 1989 while they lay asleep. Read full book review >
Released: June 15, 1993

"Stephenson intelligently pieces together autopsy and police reports, newspaper accounts, and court testimony to tell his grisly and creepy, but irresistible, story. (Thirty b&w photographs—not seen)"
Using what he calls ``novelistic strategies,'' Milwaukee Sentinel reporter Stephenson vividly recounts events surrounding the July 4, 1987, murder of five members of the bizarre Kunz family of northern Wisconsin. Read full book review >
Released: June 2, 1993

"Eight pages of photos, 23 line drawings)."
The 1978 Scottsdale, Arizona, murder of the star of the long- running TV sitcom Hogan's Heroes is reviewed in infinite detail here by Graysmith, who did the same job for a series of 70's and 80's rape-murders in San Francisco (The Sleeping Lady, 1990). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >