5 True Crime Books That Are Short On Page Count But Big On Twists

by Sadie Trombetta

True crime aficionados, has this been a wild week or what? Not only has a man believed to be the Golden State Killer been arrested, but Michelle McNamara's bestselling book about him is being updated with information about the suspect and how he was caught, some exciting new books in the genre were just released, and it's only Friday. That means you still have plenty of time before Monday hits to dive into some short true crime books you can read over the weekend.

All true crime fans know there is nothing more intoxicating than a mystery, and nothing more satisfying than solving one. That is why we obsessively read about cold cases that are sometimes centuries old, watch documentaries about serial killers who have yet to be caught, and listen to podcasts about the search of a missing person in action. It's also why, this week, so many of us are rejoicing, because one of the most famous murder mysteries appears to have been solved. The subject of Michelle McNamara's book I'll Be Gone in the Dark, the Golden State Killer is said to be responsible for committing at least 12 murders, 50 rapes, and hundreds of home invasions over the course of 10 years in the 1970s and 1980s. With his arrest on Tuesday, it seems the answers the author was looking for will finally be answered, and even more importantly, justice will finally be served.

The current hardcover of I'll Be Gone in the Dark may be sold out and the updated paperback may still be a long way out, but there are plenty of other true crime books just as fascinating that you can read while you wait. If you're ready for a weekend full of murder, mystery, and mayhem, then check out these five short true crime books so engrossing, you'll want to finish them before Monday morning hits.

'American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land' by Monica Hesse

Hardcover Page Count: 288

One of the most acclaimed books of 2017, American Fire is a fascinating blend of mystery, crime procedural, and love story all in one breathtaking package. Set in the desolate Accomack County, it chronicles a series of arsons that became a nightly occurrence in the fall of 2012, but the story is about so much more than just fire. It's also about a forgotten community, an ignored tragedy, and a piece of America that most readers have probably never seen before.

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'Murder Beyond the Graves' by James Patterson

Paperback Page Count: 304

The third in the Murder Is Forever series from #1 bestselling writer James Patterson, Murder Beyond the Grave tells two chilling true-crime stories. In the first, successful family man who seems to have it all finds himself kidnapped and held for ransom, buried in a box with only 48 hours of air. In the second, two developers have their dreams shattered in the wake of a violent shooting that leaves an entire community in shock. You can catch the stories on screen on Discovery's Murder is Forever TV series.

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'The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, a Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder' by Claudia Rowe

Paperback Page Count: 288

Can a true crime fascination go to far? That's one of the questions The Spider and the Fly, a gripping story about a reporter's obsession with a serial killer and the four-year conversation she had with him. A truly chilling tale about what drives people to commit acts of violence, this book will have you on the edge of your seat.

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'The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder' by Carolyn Murnick

Hardcover Page Count: 256

When Ashley was found stabbed to death in her own home, her childhood best friend and the author of The Hot One Carolyn Murnick was determined to find out the truth behind not just her death, but her life. That is why she traveled across the country to cover the case of an alleged serial killer who is believed to be responsible for the grisly crime. Luckily for readers, she documented every moment for a book that is too riveting to miss.

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'A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America' by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong

Hardcover Page Count: 304

In this powerful and timely book, two Pulitzer-Prize winning journalists use the case of one teenage girl accused of false reporting to reveal the ugly truth about America's rape culture and our justice system's failure to not only protect sexual assault victims, but to punish their attackers. A thoroughly researched narrative that will make your heart ache, A False Report is a must-read true story.

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