I’ve been obsessed with
It was only natural, then, that at some point, my love of true crime crossed over with my other love – reading. So, true to form, this year has been the year where I’ve truly started devouring true crime books – and, as I know I’m far from the only person who loves reading this particular genre, I thought I’d compile 5 of the best true crime books, in case you’re looking for inspiration.
1. THE LUCIFER EFFECT
This one isn’t quite your stereotypical ‘true crime’ read – it’s by Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist behind the Stanford Prison experiment – and has a lot of the psychological background on our concept of ‘evil’.
It’s brilliant, and not just because I’m the psychology grad (read: nerd) that I am – it raises a lot of questions about why some of us are good and why some of us aren’t.
2. THE STRANGER BESIDE ME
Ann Rule is one of the most well-recognised crime writers, globally, and for good reason. She’s clever, thoughtful, and compassionate in her writing – when it comes to both victims and the criminals she writes about.
This particular novel is about Ted Bundy, who confessed to the murders of 36 women – but is believed to be responsible for far more. Ann knew Ted Bundy personally, so it’s every bit as detailed, emotive, and thoughtful as you’d expect.
3. VULGAR FAVOURS
If you’ve missed the second season of American Crime Story (the stand-alone sequel to the OJ series featuring Cuba Gooding Jr.), it’s about Andrew Cunanan, the serial killer who murdered five men including Gianni Versace – whom he murdered outside his own home – and it’s based on this book.
It’s far more comprehensive than the show, too, so even if you did catch it on Netflix, it’s worth a read.
4. IF I DID IT
This is probably the most infamous novel of the bunch, and for good reason – OJ Simpson himself articulates, in this, how he’d have killed Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman if he’d done it. As you can imagine, it’s pretty disturbing.
The Goldman family actually won the rights to the book after a slew of law suits, though, so OJ himself doesn’t benefit in any way, so you don’t have to feel too conflicted about ordering a copy…even if you might start to feel a little conflicted about the result of his trial after reading.
5. THE INNOCENT MAN
Another book that was made into a Netflix show…another wildly famous author. John Grisham – usually known for his fiction – writes about Ron Keith Williamson, an Oklahoma man who’s wrongly accused of rape and murder in his small town. Grisham himself is on the board of directors for the Innocence Project, so it’s as insightful as you’d expect – and also details a few other wrongful convictions in the same town.
What’re your favourite true crime novels?
This post isn’t sponsored but does contain some affiliate links.
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