10 books every true crime addict should read

Because the modern real world isn’t horrifying enough, Bessie Yuill has compiled 10 of the greatest true crime novels, from a classic retelling of the Manson Family murders to the story of Ted Bundy’s coworker

Sunday 23 February 2020 14:06 GMT
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The American author Truman Capote, who is considered one of the most influential figures in true crime writing
The American author Truman Capote, who is considered one of the most influential figures in true crime writing

The true crime wave shows no sign of stopping, with the recent success of true crime documentaries like Don’t F**k with Cats, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, and McMillion$.

Even America’s most famous reality star wants in on the action. The film Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project, released in April 2020, will see its star investigate miscarriages of justice.

New true crime podcasts crop up daily as well, chasing the success of Serial, My Favourite Murder or Crime Junkies by focusing on shocking or unusual offenders. Different newcomers hold different areas of interest: forensics, psychology, activism. Your average listener has an ever expanding universe of intrigue and mystery at their fingertips.

The genre often faces accusations of sensationalism. You could argue that it’s cynical to profit from human suffering, or that it encourages worship of “evil genius” serial killers at the expense of their victims. The upcoming Whitechapel mural, designed to honour the five women murdered by Jack the Ripper, is one example of historians finding it necessary to turn the tide of murderer fans.

Books, however, have the space to explore enthralling topics with context for the crimes and empathy towards the victims, if they’re done right. The ones we’ve listed here are gripping, thoroughly researched, and critically acclaimed.

If you want to explore the world of written crime journalism, click through to the gallery. These books will prove to fans and newcomers alike that sometimes the truth is more sinister than fiction.

Click through the gallery to see our picks:

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