True Crime Book Reviews

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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >