The Best of True Crime

recommended by Jax Miller

International bestselling author Jax Miller, author of Freedom’s Child and Candyland, recommends her favorite true crime reads. (If you like the true crime genre, we also have this list).

  • 1

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    People Who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan's Shadows
    by Richard Lloyd Parry

    This real-life crime seemed to get better coverage across the pond, as the subject of the story was a missing British girl (I personally hadn't heard of it until meeting the author in France). It's one of the most eye-opening novels (dare I say exposé) into Tokyo's underground with up-for-days terror that sticks with you long after you've finished it. Really, it's a true crime masterpiece that can make even the best writers doubt themselves.

  • 2

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    In Cold Blood
    by Truman Capote

    Yes, yes, I know - an obvious answer. But what's not to love about this pioneering classic, the first of the "true crime novel?" Truman successfully narrows the gap between humans and real-life monsters with the utmost literary precision and a big helping of savory Americana. Today, ICB is the gateway for all novels true-crime.

  • 3

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    And the Sea Will Tell
    by Vincent Bugliosi

    While it obviously wasn't the true-crime book that marked Bugliosi's writing career (Helter Skelter will always be my first), this one invites you in with its imagery and exquisite setting. Trust me- take this one with you next time you're on a beach vacation - you won't regret it.

  • 4

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    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story
    by John Berendt

    It's all about characterization when it comes to writing, fiction and otherwise, and this guy puts most to shame. Another ode to the non-fiction novel, this modern Southern Gothic has a way of letting readers hold hands with the most spectacularly crafted (and real-life) characters you've ever read.

  • 5

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    Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    by William J. Mann

    Despite winning an Edgar, this one was a bit underrated. Mann brings an era back to life in work that feels like fiction, letting readers into the shadows of Hollywood with one of the most fascinating unsolved murders to ever come out of there. HONORABLE MENTION: This was neck in neck with Ray Celestin's "The Axeman's Jazz"

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