Fans of all things strange, puzzling and decidedly creepy, rejoice! It's
Mystery and Thriller Week on Goodreads and the site has compiled all of your favorite crime, thriller and mystery novels all in one place. Whether you're a fan of YA thrillers, suspenseful romances or good old-fashioned true crime books, Goodreads has got you covered. And speaking of the latter, the bookish fan site has compiled a line-up of the 20 Top-Rated True Crime Books on Goodreads for you to add to your TBR or re-read pile this week.
Here's the low-down: In order to make the lineup, every book on this list had to have at least a four-star rating from the Goodreads community as well as several thousand reviews. That means, even though some of the usual suspects like
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson — the cover of which you've probably seen just about everywhere at this point — are missing from the list, you can be sure that all 20 that did make it are fan favorites. From classics like In Cold Blood by Truman Capote to newer favorites like The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guinn, this is the ultimate list of edge-of-your-seat true crime books to lose yourself in. 'In Cold Blood' by Truman Capote
On November 15, 1959, in Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were murdered, well... in cold blood. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers in this mesmerizing and deeply empathetic true crime classic.
Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Helter Skelter: The True Story Of The Manson Murders' by Vincent Bugliosi
Vincent Bugliosi, prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, had a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the twentieth century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers.
Helter Skelter is his gripping story. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Columbine' by Dave Cullen
What really happened April 20, 1999? The horror left an indelible stamp on the American psyche, but most of what we "know" is wrong. It wasn't about jocks, Goths, or the Trench Coat Mafia. Dave Cullen was one of the first reporters on scene, and spent ten years on this book — widely recognized as the definitive account of one of the most notorious school shootings in American history.
Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'The Stranger Beside Me' by Ann Rule
Ann Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America in this chilling true crime book.
Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI' by David Grann
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian 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, they began to be killed off.
Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town' by Jon Krakauer 'Fatal Vision' by Joe McGinniss Fatal Vision is the true story of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, the handsome, Princeton-educated physician who was ultimately convicted of killing his young pregnant wife and two small children, murders he vehemently denies committing. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder' by Ann Rule
Diane Downs brought her car to a halt in front of a Springfield, Oregon, hospital, her three gravely wounded children beside her. Thus begins the shocking tale of a truly unthinkable crime that shattered the tranquility of a tight-knit community.
Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'The Onion Field' by Joseph Wambaugh The Onion Field is the frightening true story of two young cops and two young robbers whose separate destinies fatally cross one March night in a tragic execution in a deserted Los Angeles field. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'The Executioner's Song' by Norman Mailer The Executioner's Song follows the life of Gary Gilmore who became famous after he robbed and killed two men in 1976. After being tried and convicted, he immediately insisted on being executed for his crime. To do so, he fought a system that seemed intent on keeping him alive long after it had sentenced him to death. And that fight for the right to die is what made him famous. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit' by John E. Douglas
FBI Special Agent and expert in criminal profiling and behavioral science, John Douglas, is a man who has looked evil in the eye and made a vocation of understanding it. Now retired, Douglas can let us inside the FBI elite serial crime unit and into the disturbed minds of some of the most savage serial killers in the world.
Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets' by David Simon 'Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America' by Jill Leovy Ghettoside is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential American murder — one young black man slaying another in the heart of Los Angeles where hundreds of young men are slain every year— and a determined crew of detectives whose creed was to pursue justice at all costs for its forgotten victims. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic' by Sam Quinones Dreamland chronicles how, over the past 15 years, enterprising sugar cane farmers in a small county on the west coast of Mexico created a unique distribution system that brought black tar heroin — the cheapest, most addictive form of the opiate, two to three times purer than its white powder cousin — to the United States. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three' by Mara Leveritt Devil's Knot follows the story of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley who were released after 18 years in prison, following being wrongly convicted of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road' by Nick Bilton American Kingpin is the the true story of 26-year-old libertarian programmer Ross Ulbricht who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom — and almost got away with it. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer' by Philip Carlo The Ice Man follows the shocking 30-year double like of Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski who became the most notorious professional assassin in American history while happily hosting neighborhood barbecues in suburban New Jersey. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson' by Jeffrey Toobin
Heralded as the definitive account of the O. J. Simpson trial,
The Run of His Life was first published less than a year after the infamous verdict and goes behind the scenes of “the trial of the century.” Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'Whoever Fights Monsters: A Brillant FBI Detective's Career Long War Against Serial Killers' by Robert K. Ressler
This 1992 release is a chronicle of one man's life-long career tracking serial killers, by the FBI detective who pioneered psychological profiling as a way to catch some of the nation's most dangerous criminals.
Read ore on Goodreads. Click here to buy. 'The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple' by Jeff Guinn The Road to Jonestown is the tragic story of preacher Jim Jones, who was responsible for the Jonestown Massacre — the largest murder-suicide in American history. Read more on Goodreads. Click here to buy.