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Best True Crime Books

Updated May 2023
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Unmasked Paul Holes And Robin Gaby Fisher
Unmasked
Paul Holes And Robin Gaby Fisher
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One Man's Life Story
Bottom Line

Our expert highlights this newly-released memoir because it follows one man’s lifetime of solving cold cases.

Pros

Written by the man who found the Golden State Killer, an accomplishment that took 20 years of investigating. The author shares how his profession affected his life and relationships. It’s available in hardcover, on Kindle, and audiobook on Audible.

Cons

Some descriptions may be graphic.

Best Bang for the Buck
If You Tell Gregg Olsen
If You Tell
Gregg Olsen
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Horrors Unimaginable
Bottom Line

Our expert notes that this book is popular and enjoyed by many types of readers.

Pros

Follows the story of the three sisters who faced extraordinary terrors inflicted by their own mother. The author has a strong command of language, having written over a dozen novels. It’s available in paperback and on Kindle.

Cons

The traumas discussed in this book can cause those who’ve also faced them to relive memories better left forgotten.

Empire Of Pain Patrick Radden Keefe
Empire Of Pain
Patrick Radden Keefe
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An Ongoing Case
Bottom Line

This account of the Sackler family, who are chiefly responsible for the current opioid crisis, is a bestseller.

Pros

More than a story, it chronicles the many investigations levied against the Sacklers and details the tactics used to evade accountability. It’s available in paperback, spiral-bound and on Kindle. Available in an audio format that received praise from our expert.

Cons

Some found that the amount of information provided was overwhelming and could interfere with the story.

Bad Blood John Carreyrou
Bad Blood
John Carreyrou
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Timely and Topical
Bottom Line

Our expert was amazed by this novel chronicling Elizabeth Holmes’ rise and fall and labels it a must-read.

Pros

Our expert was deeply impressed by the sheer level of research that went into this novel. It’s also still deeply relevant as similar defrauding tales continue to be told in Silicon Valley. It’s available on paperback and Kindle.

Cons

It doesn’t hold back the industry jargon and terminology, so it can be a tough read for some.

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark Michelle McNamara
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark
Michelle McNamara
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A Woman Obsessed
Bottom Line

Our expert is equally impressed with this novel and its television adaptation that aired on HBO in 2020.

Pros

Follows Michelle McNamara’s personal investigation of the Golden State Killer, a term she helped coin. Was released two years after her death and two years before the Golden State Killer was identified. Available on paperback and Kindle.

Cons

It was completed after McNamara’s death by her research team and editor, and can read a bit patchwork as a result.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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