The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

My favorite nonfiction texts are those that place narratives about individuals in larger sociological contexts, because they draw the reader in on a human level and allow them to connect with larger-than-life stories. Not only does no other work of true crime do that better than The Devil in The White City: Murder, Magic, and …

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The Burning of Bridget Cleary by Angela Bourke

Angela Bourke’s The Burning of Bridget Cleary: A True Story (1999) chronicles the far from ordinary murder case of Bridget Cleary in rural County Tipperary, Ireland in March 1895. Gruesomely murdered by immolation on her own hearth by her husband, Michael Cleary, who, along with many of Bridget’s relatives and friends were present when she …

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Serial Killers at the Movies by Christopher Berry-Dee

The degree to which crime stories saturate our cultural (re)productions, especially in North America, is alternately fascinating and troubling. As writers and directors adapt from real-life tragedy, what do their films lose or gain in eliciting fear and revulsion in their viewers? What are the ethics of this complex process? Christopher Berry-Dee’s Serial Killers at …

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The Dark Heart by Joakim Palmkvist, Agnes Broomé (Translator) by Rachel Friars

It would be easy to scoff at the amateur detectives out there searching, climbing, and snooping, or to dismiss the whole thing as shadow chasing, as if Therese and her colleagues were merely out on a ghost hunt, looking for shapeless bogeymen and imagined perpetrators, dreaming up convoluted conspiracy theories. Yes, they could be dismissed …

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Missing from the Village by Justin Ling, by Rachel M. Friars

Justin Ling’s Missing from the Village (2020)is a thorough, timely, and incredibly thoughtful work of Canadian true crime that is a credit to the genre as a whole. Furthermore, the book is a powerful intervention into what we think we know about the way true crime is written. The text’s full title, Missing from the …

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Unspeakable Acts (2020) edited by Sarah Weinman

Perhaps one of the most fascinating and self-aware collections of true crime writing to date, Unspeakable Acts (2020) is an anthology that is not to be missed, perfect for both the earnest true crime scholar and the casual reader who prefers shorter, episodic stories that capture the essence and moral/emotional/political crux of a crime and …

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