True Crime Book Reviews

BLOOD AT THE ROOT by Patrick Phillips
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An impressive reckoning with a shameful piece of the past that 'most natives of Forsyth would prefer to leave…scattered in the state's dusty archives or safely hidden in plain sight.'"
A history of white supremacy's endurance in a Georgia county. Read full book review >
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN INNOCENT by James Duane
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Well-informed, scary, sobering, and sure to tick off police officers and prosecutors even as it contributes to keeping innocent people out of jail."
Building on his much-viewed YouTube video "Don't Talk to the Police," former criminal defense attorney and legal scholar Duane (Regent Univ. School of Law) offers a cogent, concise argument for keeping silent. Read full book review >

WOLF BOYS by Dan Slater
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Engrossing and readable yet nightmarish vision of a hyperviolent and corporatized narcotics industry, seducing a new generation with minimal alternatives."
A grisly yet compelling tale of impoverished Mexican-American youth molded into assassins by Los Zetas, the fearsome drug cartel. Read full book review >
MURDER IN THE BAYOU by Ethan Brown
TRUE CRIME
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Compulsively readable true crime provoking questions about policing, poverty, and the ritualized brutality of the rural South."
Grisly account of unsolved murders in a small Louisiana town. Read full book review >
UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT by Jessica Luther
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Highly relevant, hard-hitting, much-needed information that reveals the widespread existence of rape by sports players on college campuses."
Investigative reporting that uncovers the rape culture surrounding college sports, particularly football. 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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >