True Crime Book Reviews

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 >

ADNAN'S STORY by Rabia Chaudry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"For Serial and true-crime fans, this book is a page-turner perfect for a quiet weekend."
"If there is one takeaway from this story, it should be this—the criminal justice system is not just deeply flawed, it is broken." That is how attorney and U.S. Institute of Peace senior fellow Chaudry summarizes the murder conviction and appeals of Adnan Syed, the subject of the Serial podcast. 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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Timely, controversial, and bound to stir already heated discussion."
An impassioned analysis of headline-making cases of police shootings and other acts of "state violence" against blacks and other minorities. Read full book review >

AMERICAN HEIRESS by Jeffrey Toobin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Despite the lack of participation from Hearst, this is a well-informed, engaging work from a highly capable author."
The ubiquitous legal journalist and author returns with a detailed but swiftly moving account of the 1974 kidnapping that mesmerized the nation. 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 >
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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >