Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in True Crime. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.
1. If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood
A #1 Wall Street Journal , Amazon Charts, USA Today , and Washington Post bestseller. #1 New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen’s shocking and empowering true-crime story of three sisters determined to survive their mother’s house of horrors. After more than a decade, when sisters Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek hear the word mom , it claws like an eagle’s talons, triggering memories that have been their secret since childhood. Until now. For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors. Through it all, Nikki, Sami, and Tori developed a defiant bond that made them far less vulnerable than Shelly imagined. Even as others were drawn into their mother’s dark and perverse web, the sisters found the strength and courage to escape an escalating nightmare that culminated in multiple murders. Harrowing and heartrending, If You Tell is a survivor’s story of absolute evil—and the freedom and justice that Nikki, Sami, and Tori risked their lives to fight for. Sisters forever, victims no more, they found a light in the darkness that made them the resilient women they are today—loving, loved, and moving on.
- Author: Gregg Olsen
- Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (December 1, 2019)
- Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Biographies & Memoirs
2. Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties
A journalist's 20-year fascination with the Manson murders leads to shocking new revelations about the FBI's involvement in this riveting reassessment of an infamous case in American history. Over two grim nights in Los Angeles, the young followers of Charles Manson murdered seven people, including the actress Sharon Tate, then eight months pregnant. With no mercy and seemingly no motive, the Manson Family followed their leader's every order - their crimes lit a flame of paranoia across the nation, spelling the end of the 60s. Manson became one of history's most infamous criminals, his name forever attached to an era when charlatans mixed with prodigies, free love was as possible as brainwashing, and utopia - or dystopia - was just an acid trip away. Twenty years ago, when journalist Tom O'Neill was reporting a magazine piece about the murders, he worried there was nothing new to say. Then he unearthed shocking evidence of a cover-up behind the "official" story, including police carelessness, legal misconduct, and potential surveillance by intelligence agents. When a tense interview with Vincent Bugliosi - prosecutor of the Manson Family, and author of Helter Skelter - turned a friendly source into a nemesis, O'Neill knew he was onto something. But every discovery brought more questions: Who were Manson's real friends in Hollywood, and how far would they go to hide their ties? Why didn't law enforcement, including Manson's own parole officer, act on their many chances to stop him? And how did Manson-an illiterate ex-con-turn a group of peaceful hippies into remorseless killers? O'Neill's quest for the truth led him from reclusive celebrities to seasoned spies, from San Francisco's summer of love to the shadowy sites of the CIA's mind-control experiments, on a trail rife with shady cover-ups and suspicious coincidences. The product of two decades of reporting, hundreds of new interviews, and dozens of never-before-seen documents from the LAPD, the FBI, and the CIA, CHAOS mounts an argument that could be, according to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Steven Kay, strong enough to overturn the verdicts on the Manson murders. This is a book that overturns our understanding of a pivotal time in American history. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
- Author: Tom O'Neill
- Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Politics & Government, Specific Topics, Intelligence & Espionage
3. The Evil Within: Murdered by her stepbrother – the crime that shocked a nation. The heartbreaking story of Becky Watts by her father
Previously published as Becky, this is the heartbreaking story behind the murder of 16-year-old Bristol schoolgirl Becky Watts, a crime that shocked the nation and tore a family in two. A vulnerable and shy girl, Becky Watts was brutally murdered and dismembered by her own step-brother on 19 February 2015. As her father Darren discovered the horrific details of what happened to his darling girl, his world fell apart. Writing about the darkest hours, Darren uncovers what Becky’s relationship with her step-brother Nathan, a child he had raised as his own son, was really like. He recalls the devastation of discovering the truth about the depravity with which Becky was torn from him in the safety of her own home. And he recounts the torment of the legal battle to see his step-son sentenced to life behind bars. Both heartfelt and haunting, searingly honest and unflinching, this is the ultimate story of a family tragedy.
- Author: Darren Galsworthy
- Publisher: HarperElement; UK ed. edition (March 10, 2016)
- Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Biographies & Memoirs
4. The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE f rom director Ridley Scott, starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver The sensational true story of murder, madness, glamour, and greed that shook the Gucci dynasty On March 27, 1995, Maurizio Gucci, heir to the fabulous fashion dynasty, was slain by an unknown gunman as he approached his Milan office. In 1998, his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani Martinelli--nicknamed "The Black Widow" by the press--was sentenced to 29 years in prison, for arranging his murder. Did Patrizia murder her ex-husband because his spending was wildly out of control? Did she do it because her glamorous ex was preparing to marry his mistress, Paola Franchi? Or is there a possibility she didn't do it at all? The Gucci story is one of glitz, glamour, intrigue, the rise, near fall and subsequent resurgence of a fashion dynasty. Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and widely acclaimed, The House of Gucci will captivate readers with its page-turning account of high fashion, high finance, and heart-rending personal tragedy.
- Author: Sara G Forden
- Publisher: Custom House; 4th printing edition (October 9, 2001)
- Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Literature
- ISBN: 978-0060937751
- Dimensions: 9.03 x 6 x 1.06 inches
5. All That Remains: A Renowned Forensic Scientist on Death, Mortality, and Solving Crimes
Book of the Year, 2018 Saltire Literary Awards A CrimeReads Best True Crime Book of the Month For fans of Caitlin Doughty, Mary Roach, Kathy Reichs, and CSI shows, a renowned forensic scientist on death and mortality. Dame Sue Black is an internationally renowned forensic anthropologist and human anatomist. She has lived her life eye to eye with the Grim Reaper, and she writes vividly about it in this book, which is part primer on the basics of identifying human remains, part frank memoir of a woman whose first paying job as a schoolgirl was to apprentice in a butcher shop, and part no-nonsense but deeply humane introduction to the reality of death in our lives. It is a treat for CSI junkies, murder mystery and thriller readers, and anyone seeking a clear-eyed guide to a subject that touches us all. Cutting through hype, romanticism, and cliché, she recounts her first dissection; her own first acquaintance with a loved one’s death; the mortal remains in her lab and at burial sites as well as scenes of violence, murder, and criminal dismemberment; and about investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident, or natural disaster, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She uses key cases to reveal how forensic science has developed and what her work has taught her about human nature. Acclaimed by bestselling crime writers and fellow scientists alike, All That Remains is neither sad nor macabre. While Professor Black tells of tragedy, she also infuses her stories with a wicked sense of humor and much common sense.
- Author: Sue Black
- Publisher: Arcade (March 5, 2019)
- Genre: Medical Books, Medicine
6. Know My Name: A Memoir
Universally acclaimed, rapturously reviewed, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and an instant New York Times best seller, Chanel Miller's breathtaking memoir "gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter" ( The Wrap ). "I opened Know My Name with the intention to bear witness to the story of a survivor. Instead, I found myself falling into the hands of one of the great writers and thinkers of our time. Chanel Miller is a philosopher, a cultural critic, a deep observer, a writer's writer, a true artist. I could not put this phenomenal book down." (Glennon Doyle, number one New York Times best-selling author of Love Warrior and Untamed ) " Know My Name is a gut-punch, and in the end, somehow, also blessedly hopeful." ( Washington Post ) She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford's campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed , where it instantly went viral - viewed by 11 million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time. Now, she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways - there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life. Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces listeners to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic. Chosen as a Best Book of 2019 by The New York Times Book Review , The Washington Post , Time , Elle , Glamour , Parade , Chicago Tribune , Baltimore Sun , BookRiot
- Author: Chanel Miller
- Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Community & Culture, Women
7. Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America (Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series)
Instant #1 New York Times , Wall Street Journal , and Publishers Weekly bestseller! In the tenth book in the multimillion-selling Killing series, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard take on their most controversial subject yet: The Mob. Killing the Mob is the tenth book in Bill O'Reilly's #1 New York Times bestselling series of popular narrative histories, with sales of nearly 18 million copies worldwide, and over 320 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. O’Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard trace the brutal history of 20th Century organized crime in the United States, and expertly plumb the history of this nation’s most notorious serial robbers, conmen, murderers, and especially, mob family bosses. Covering the period from the 1930s to the 1980s, O’Reilly and Dugard trace the prohibition-busting bank robbers of the Depression Era, such as John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby-Face Nelson. In addition, the authors highlight the creation of the Mafia Commission, the power struggles within the “Five Families,” the growth of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, the mob battles to control Cuba, Las Vegas and Hollywood, as well as the personal war between the U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and legendary Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. O’Reilly and Dugard turn these legendary criminals and their true-life escapades into a read that rivals the most riveting crime novel. With Killing the Mob , their hit series is primed for its greatest success yet.
- Author: Bill O'Reilly
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st Edition (May 4, 2021)
- Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Historical
- ISBN: 978-1250273659
- Dimensions: 6.35 x 1.09 x 9.61 inches
8. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • A twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history, f rom the author of The Lost City of Z. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. A New York Times Notable Book Named a best book of the year by Amazon, Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR, Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub, and Slate
- Author: David Grann
- Publisher: Vintage; Illustrated edition (April 3, 2018)
- Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences
- ISBN: 978-0307742483
- Dimensions: 5.15 x 0.82 x 7.91 inches
9. High Achiever: The Incredible True Story of One Addict's Double Life
National Best Seller An up-close portrait of the mind of an addict and a life unraveled by narcotics - a memoir of captivating urgency and surprising humor that puts a human face on the opioid crisis. “Raw, brutal, and shocking. Move over, Orange Is the New Black .” (Amy Dresner, author of My Fair Junkie ) When word got out that Tiffany Jenkins was withdrawing from opiates on the floor of a jail cell, people in her town were shocked. Not because of the 20 felonies she’d committed, or the nature of her crimes, or even that she’d been captain of the high school cheerleading squad just a few years earlier, but because her boyfriend was a Deputy Sherriff, and his friends - their friends - were the ones who’d arrested her. A raw and twisty, pause resisting memoir that sounds like fiction, High Achiever spans Tiffany’s life as an active opioid addict, her 120 days in a Florida jail where every officer despised what she’d done to their brother in blue, and her eventual recovery. With heart-racing urgency and unflinching honesty, Jenkins takes you inside the grips of addiction and the desperate decisions it breeds. She is a born storyteller who lived an incredible story, from blackmail by an ex-boyfriend to a soul-shattering deal with a drug dealer, and her telling brims with suspense and unexpected wit. But the true surprise is her path to recovery. Tiffany breaks through the stigma and silence to offer hope and inspiration to anyone battling the disease - whether it’s a loved one or themselves.
- Author: Tiffany Jenkins
- Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Community & Culture, Women
10. I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
The basis for the major six-part HBO documentary series. Number one New York Times best seller. A best book of the year: Washington Post | Maureen Corrigan, NPR | Paste | Seattle Times | Entertainment Weekly | Esquire | Slate | Buzzfeed | Jezebel | Philadelphia Inquirer | Publishers Weekly | Kirkus Reviews | Library Journal | Bustle Winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Nonfiction | Anthony Award winner | SCIBA Book Award winner | Finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime | Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence The haunting true story of the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California during the '70s and '80s, and of the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case - which was solved in April 2018. Introduction by Gillian Flynn Afterword by Patton Oswalt “A brilliant genre-buster.... Propulsive, can’t-stop-now reading.” (Stephen King) For more than 10 years, a mysterious and violent predator committed 50 sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated 10 sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area. Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true-crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer". Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark - the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death - offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true-crime classic - and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
- Author: Michelle McNamara
- Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Biographies & Memoirs, True Crime, Murder, Serial Killers