Here we've listed all our true crime books about serial killers that have been recommended on Five Books. The concept of a serial killer is so terrifying, it has inspired dozens of novels but these books are about real serial killers. Or, in the case of The Five, it's about the victims, who are often ignored as the greater notoriety of the perpetrators gets more attention.
“Hallie Rubenhold, the author of The Five, has researched the lives of these five women absolutely brilliantly. It’s a great piece of detective work into some very obscure sources…She really disproves what the ‘Ripperologist’ literature says about the victims and recovers these women’s lives with a good deal of sympathy. It’s a moving book. It’s humane, it’s scholarly, and it challenges, from a feminist position, a whole library of books on Jack the Ripper.” Read more...
The Best History Books: the 2020 Wolfson Prize shortlist
“It is an astonishing story about one of the earliest known and most infamous serial killers in the United States—a guy calling himself Doctor Holmes. It takes place during the 1890s and there are these two parallel stories woven together. One is the construction of the Chicago Fair of 1893—this great World Fair, and all the marvel and wonder and engineering and ingenuity and innocence involving the construction. But there is also this really brutal psychopathic serial killer plotting and using the Fair to lure young women to this house of horror, this chamber that he has built in the basement of a Bates’ Motel type place. It is a classic story of good and evil playing out side by side.” Read more...
The Best True Crime Books
“Alison really opens up what might be in the mind of Napper. And we can only speculate, but it’s a very dark place, a very strange world, where there’s this connection between sex and horrific violence and humiliation and torture. It’s pretty horrible.” Read more...
The best books on Forensic Science
The Devil You Know is a series of 12 encounters with a range of offenders: serial killers, arsonists, stalkers, and other people who are usually seen as ‘monsters’.
Read expert recommendations