The 20 True Crime Books On Goodreads With The Highest Ratings From Users
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.
'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.
'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.
'The Stranger Beside Me' by Ann Rule
'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.
'Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town' by Jon Krakauer
'Fatal Vision' by Joe McGinniss
'Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder' by Ann Rule
'The Onion Field' by Joseph Wambaugh
'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.
'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.
'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.
'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.