True Crime Book Reviews

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 >
CONVICTING THE INNOCENT by Stanley Cohen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 5, 2016

"A valuable accounting of a hidden societal plague, likelier to appeal to attorneys, students, and activists than to the police officers, prosecutors, and 'tough on crime' types who should read it."
A disturbing compendium of wrongful convictions resulting in death sentences, focusing on individual stories and patterns of institutional failure. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Chris Cleave
June 14, 2016

In bestseller Chris Cleave’s latest novel Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, it’s London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams. “Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave’s miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout,” our reviewer writes, “with irresistibly engaging characters who sharply illuminate issues of class, race, and wartime morality.” View video >