True Crime Book Reviews

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 >
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 >

OBAMA'S GUANTÁNAMO by Jonathan Hafetz
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 5, 2016

"An alarming and important indictment of Obama's ineffectual approach to one of his signature campaign issues and of America's tarnished system of justice as a whole."
As Barack Obama's presidency comes to a close, lawyers who defend inmates at Guantánamo assess his broken promise to close the prison and the legacy he will leave. Read full book review >
THE WICKED BOY by Kate Summerscale
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"This well-written story is not so much a true-crime tale or murder mystery as an excellent sociological study of turn-of-the-20th-century England."
An investigation of a late-19th-century crime in which a 13-year-old boy murdered his mother. Read full book review >
THE JOLLY ROGER SOCIAL CLUB by Nick Foster
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"An engrossing, well-developed true-crime tale, unsettling in its portrayal of the underbelly of its tropical setting."
A juicy, disturbing account of "the world's first capitalist serial killer," who wreaked havoc among unsuspecting expatriates in a remote, hedonistic Panama archipelago. Read full book review >
THE ANGEL by Uri Bar-Joseph
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Well-researched and candidly told, this book deserves shelf space next to volumes on Vladimir Vetrov and Kim Philby."
A detailed biography of Ashraf Marwan (1944-2007), an Egyptian national and Israel's most vital informant. Read full book review >
THE TERROR YEARS by Lawrence Wright
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Fans of Wright will have already encountered these pieces, but the collection represents yet more great work from a dedicated journalist."
Pulitzer Prize winner Wright (Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David, 2014, etc.) pulls together 10 in-depth pieces he originally wrote for the New Yorker and fashions them, somewhat updated and otherwise revised, into a cohesive book. Read full book review >
RAMPAGE NATION by Louis Klarevas
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A deeply researched, clearly written study that educates while it horrifies."
Klarevas (Global Affairs/Univ. of Massachusetts-Boston) shares his research showing that mass shootings are more common than widely believed but can be decreased by addressing the conditions common to all the massacres. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >