True Crime Book Reviews

WHILE THE CITY SLEPT by Eli Sanders
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An exceptional story of compelling interest in a time of school shootings, ethnic and class strife, and other unbound expressions of madness and illness."
Disturbing, sometimes-horrifying story of true crime and justice only partially served. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A well-organized, deeply researched work that ably digests the Balkan war, the criminals, the criminal court, and its legacy."
A bracing history of the hunt for Balkan war criminals and the seminal establishment of the Hague Tribunal in 1993. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A striking exploration of the horrors of mass violence in the Western Hemisphere, with the author offering hope that radical policies could provide positive change."
British journalist Grillo (El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency, 2011) risks life and limb to interview gangsters, police, and victims of violence in this harrowing account of Latin American crime syndicates.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A ghastly, dizzying descent into the coldblooded clannishness of the Southern racist mindset."
A dogged pursuit takes a journalist into uncomfortable corners of her Southern family's complicity in a small-town lynching. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2015

"An urgent but evenhanded treatise that deserves a wide readership."
In Norwegian-born attorney Turrettini's dispiriting estimation, there are plenty of lone wolves out there, young men—almost always young men—so disconnected from the world that killing is the only form of self-expression they think is left to them. Read full book review >

THE CON MEN by Terry Williams
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A thoroughly researched academic study accessible to general readers."
Two sociology professors' survey of New York con artists and how these reviled but crafty opportunists manage to make a living in the city's informal economy. Read full book review >
THEY ALL LOVE JACK by Bruce Robinson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A ripping good read, strange, suggestive, and memorable."
A wild ride down the back alleys of London in the service of "Ripperology." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 5, 2015

"Besides recounting years of subterfuge, media hype, greed, and fraud, Eatwell throws light on Victorian and Edwardian society: aristocratic entitlement and power, numbing poverty, political corruption, and many secret lives."
The tale of a sensational trial that riveted Edwardian England for more than a decade. Read full book review >
BLACK FLAGS by Joby Warrick
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Warrick stops short of offering policy solutions, but he provides a valuable, readable introduction to a pressing international security threat."
Crisply written, chilling account of the personalities behind the emergence of the Islamic State, or ISIS. Read full book review >
THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH by Kermit Alexander
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A bleak but thoughtful look at the curse of urban violence, both its causalities and its long-term effects."
A shocking tale of a mistaken-identity multiple murder and its aftermath. Read full book review >
THE RISING by Ryan D'Agostino
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"True crime and human perseverance merge in this engrossing chronicle of a small-town atrocity."
A chilling examination of the 2007 slaughter of a Connecticut family and how the sole survivor carried on. Read full book review >
A IS FOR ARSENIC by Kathryn Harkup
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"The addition of real-life cases and comparisons to Christie's works make this a nice little murder mystery of its own. Fear not, she's careful not to spoil the endings of the classic novels."
Chemist Harkup's first book is the product of her passion for the work of Agatha Christie and her broad knowledge and research in the matter of poisons. 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 >