In today's post-Serial, post-Making a Murderer landscape, there's a pretty solid chance that at least 33 per cent of your friends are fully paid-up members of the true crime fan club. So if you're looking to buy them a Christmas present, what could be better suited (or easier to buy, or easier to wrap) than a book? Select some of these new true crime books to give as Christmas gifts, and watch them dominate your group chat well into the New Year.
True crime is a difficult genre to perfect: there's a delicate line to navigate between interest and voyeurism, between the desire to inform or understand and a simple morbid fascination with a stranger's tragedy. The books below get it right, sidestepping grisly sensationalism in order to explore the injustices — racism, misogyny, corruption — that motivated or facilitated each crime.
In There Are No Dead Here, Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno details the ties between Colombian paramilitaries and the government; in Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann unpacks a racist conspiracy to steal Native American oil wealth. And in A False Report, T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong set out the catastrophic aftermath when a young rape victim isn't believed. Buying a true crime devotee a present, or looking for a new read yourself? These are the books you should be turning to.