True Crime Book Reviews

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 >
INFAMY by Lydia Cacho
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2016

"An important record of the incremental steps one journalist took against sexual violence in Mexico."
A Mexican journalist bravely sets precedent in the highest court in targeting corruption and influence pedaling. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 11, 2016

"Victorian murder mysteries are usually entertaining. Even without a Sherlock, this highly readable story still shows the cleverness of the police and the frustrations of prosecutors."
Murphy (Interdisciplinary Writing/Univ. of Colorado; Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy, 2013) exposes the inequities of British justice in the 1871 case of Jane Clouson, who was "found attacked and horribly disfigured on a quiet country lane outside of Greenwich."Read full book review >

THE LONG SHADOW OF SMALL GHOSTS by Laura Tillman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 5, 2016

"A Helter Skelter for our time, though without a hint of sensationalism—unsettling in the extreme but written with confidence and deep empathy."
A haunted, haunting examination of mental illness and murder in a more or less ordinary American city. Read full book review >
CONVICTING THE INNOCENT by Stanley Cohen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 5, 2016

"A valuable accounting of a hidden societal plague, likelier to appeal to attorneys, students, and activists than to the police officers, prosecutors, and 'tough on crime' types who should read it."
A disturbing compendium of wrongful convictions resulting in death sentences, focusing on individual stories and patterns of institutional failure. Read full book review >
THE WAY OF THE GUN by Iain Overton
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 22, 2016

"A passionate mix of rhetoric and travelogue, Overton's book takes the gun debate into impressive new territory."
In Overton's first book, the British journalist travels the globe to see how the logic of the Second Amendment has affected people beyond America's borders. Read full book review >
A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE by Óscar Martínez
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 8, 2016

"Smart, angry immersive journalism from an author who warrants wider readership on this side of the border."
Hard-hitting exploration of the violence visited by globalization and the narco-economy upon Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Read full book review >
A MURDER OVER A GIRL by Ken Corbett
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 1, 2016

"An emotionally resonant account of a real-life tragedy."
A teenager's murder raises issues of bullying and homophobia. Read full book review >
NARCONOMICS by Tom Wainwright
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"A daring work of investigative journalism and a well-reasoned argument for smarter drug policies."
In his first book, seasoned journalist Wainwright asks a radical question: what if we stopped looking at drug cartels as armies of faceless gangsters and instead analyzed them as innovative global businesses? Read full book review >
INCARCERATION NATIONS by Baz Dreisinger
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"An eye-opening, damning indictment of the American prison system and the way its sins reverberate around the globe."
A writer and social activist chronicles her visits to prisons around the globe to gain insight into what works and doesn't work. 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 >