These 7 True Crime Books By Women Writers Will Have You Gripped From Page 1

by Alice Broster
Crime scene tape in the woods / Selective focus

It’s truly a great time to be a fan of true crime. With more biopics, documentaries and podcasts coming out than ever before, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to content. If like me, you're the kind of person who likes nothing more than scaring yourself before bed, here are the seven best true crime books written by women. In a market that’s incredibly saturated by male writers, there are women out there making serious moves. Prepare for some serious spine tingles.

One of the reasons I love true crime books is because an author can take a case that you feel like you know so well and flip it on its head. It’s like you’re hearing it for the very first time and is completely gripping. Women may once have been stereotyped as the fairer sex but according to Crime Reads, they’re now the ones driving what’s been dubbed as the true crime renaissance. If you can’t get enough of a good murder mystery, serial killer, or cult scandal and need a new book to take to the beach with you this summer then each of these seven read will give you the true crime fix you crave.


'The Stranger Beside Me' by Ann Rule

Ted Bundy is one of the most famous serial killers of the twentieth century. With the Hollywood Blockbuster Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron released in May 2019, the public's interest in Bundy and his crimes is through the roof. If you want to hear about the Bundy trial from someone who knew him before and after he went to prison, then you need to read The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule.

As a young writer, Rule was on the trail of the biggest story in her career — the hunt for a serial killer. Little did she know that her friend Bundy was the man she was looking for all along.

An almost unbelievable story told by someone so close to it, you won't be able to put The Stranger Beside Me down.

You can buy it here.


'I’ll Be Gone In The Dark' by Michelle McNamara

I'll Be Gone In The Dark is Michelle McNamara's first and only book. A story of persistence in the face of horrendous crimes and massive loss, she revisits the The Golden State Killer case. Set on the West Coast of America in the 1980s, McNamara reveals how The Golden State Killer went on a murderous rampage, evading the law, and leaving lives in ruins. This case was live until 2018, according to CNN, when law enforcement took 73 year old former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo into custody.

I'll Be Gone In The Dark details the trail of destruction left behind by a criminal mastermind who haunted an area for a decade.

You can buy it here.


'My Friend Anna: The True Story Of The Fake Heiress of New York City' by Rachel DeLoache Williams

So many true crime stories have the same shady undertones of dangerous secrets, webs of lies, and questionable relationships. My Friend Anna is no exception.

Anna Sorokin was a master of deception. To any onlooker Anna Delvey (Sorokin) was a high flying Russian heiress who had it all — a life spent between lavish parties, lunches, and shopping trips and showering her friends with gifts. That is, until her money began to dry up and one of those friends got suspicious.

What came next is almost unbelievable. As the BBC report, Sorokin stood trial in New York in April 2019 and was found quilty of theft of services and grand larceny. She's now facing up to 15 years in prison.

Written by her friend Rachel DeLoache Williams who was sucked into Sorokin's fantasy world before helping the police to find her, My Friend Anna is sensational.

You can pre-order it here.


'The Twins: Men of Violence' by Katie Kray

Two of the most formidable gangsters to ever come out of the UK, any self respecting true crime fan will think they know the Kray Twins. However, few people knew them quite like Ron Kray's wife, Katie Kray. In The Twins she reveals what it was like being married to one of the most infamous men in Britain.

This is a fascinating insight into the criminal underworld of London which includes stories that the writer couldn't reveal until after both twins' deaths and secrets that are probably still incredibly risky to share.

You can buy it here.


'Somebody's Mother, Somebody's Daughter' by Carol Ann Lee

There are certain crimes that will be ingrained in our nation's history forever. I'm not sure there will ever be a time when Peter Sutcliffe, AKA the Yorkshire Ripper, will be forgotten. Sutcliffe's story is known the world over but what about the 13 women he murdered?

In Somebody's Mother, Somebody's Daughter Carol Ann Lee restores their individuality and personhood. In it, she speaks to the families who've experienced immense loss and the 23 children who had their mothers ripped away from them. It's the most well-known British serial killer cases from a vital, new perspective.

You can buy it here.


'Rose West: The Making of a Monster" by Jane Carter Woodrow

There's a lot that still shocks the nation about the story of Rosemary and Fred West. Two of the most prolific serial killers of the twentieth century, their case is incredibly well-known in the UK especially.

In The Making Of A Monster, Jane Carter Woodrow takes the reader right back to Rose West's childhood. From growing up in an incredibly troubled household, meeting Fred West when she was only 16 years old, and killing for the first time just a few months later, this is an exceptional investigation into how Rose West's upbringing may have contributed to her becoming one of the most notorious criminals in British history.

You can buy it here.


'The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy' by Masha Gessen

On April, 15 2013, two homemade bombs detonated 12 seconds apart killing three people and wounding 264 others near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It shocked the world into silence. Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were at the centre of a worldwide manhunt. Despite Tamerlan's death and Dzhokhar's conviction there's no real answer as to why this catastrophic event occurred.

Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen takes a deep dives into the lives of the two brothers to try to determine what brought them to the marathon on that day. It's not often that you get to delve into the background of those who commit these atrocities, and if you're into true crime The Brothers is a book for you.

You can buy it here.


When it comes to true crime there are thousands of stories you could get your teeth stuck into. However, these seven works by women authors highlight how you can take a case you think you know and seriously flip it upside down. Trust me, you need to get your hands on these books.