Want to read true crime, but unsure of where to start? Here's a few books to get you started.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
"With the publication of this book, Capote permanently ripped through the barrier separating crime reportage from serious literature. As he reconstructs the 1959 murder of a Kansas farm family and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, Capote generates suspense and empathy."
This book is credited with starting the entire true crime genre, and what better place to start than the beginning? When I told my mother I was writing this post (she's a big true crime fan), she took the opportunity to admonish me for the umpteenth time for not reading "In Cold Blood." Mom, if you're reading this, I promise I'll get to it soon.
The Cases That Haunt Us by John Douglas
America's foremost expert on criminal profiling provides his uniquely gripping analysis of seven of the most notorious murder cases in the history of crime -- from the Whitechapel murders to JonBenet Ramsey -- often contradicting conventional wisdom and legal decisions.
A great book combining all of the famous unsolved murders: Jack the Ripper, Zodiac, Black Dahlia, the Lindbergh baby, etc. There could be no one better to come up with theories on these cases than John Douglas, and his expertise in the profiling field shows here.
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.
If you have not read this book yet, please, do yourself a huge favor and run to your nearest bookstore. This is also a good choice for those who want their true crime with a side of American history.