Halloween is just around the corner, and we can’t think of anything more fitting than curling up in your favorite reading chair with one of the best true crime books of 2019. After all, there’s nothing more spooky than a twisted tale of suspense and mystery — except for a tale of suspense and mystery that actually happened.
According to NPD BookScan via Publisher’s Weekly, the true crime genre, which details the events of real crime and their aftermath, is experiencing a boom in a big way, with 1.6 million true crime books being sold in 2018 alone — the category sold 976,000 print copies just two years prior.
“At its most basic, true crime appeals to people’s desire for a vicarious thrill,” Will Underwood, the Kent State University Press acquiring editor, told the outlet. “People have always been fascinated with stories of others who behaved badly and tried to get away with it.”
Oftentimes, they also offer insight or alternate perspectives on the people behind these chilling crimes, helping the reader — or the author — to make sense of what happened.
For Kerri Rawson, the daughter of serial killer Dennis Rader, aka the BTK strangler, writing her memoir, A Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming ($17.99, Amazon), was therapeutic. "This process has healed me," she told Esquire in February. "Because I have been private and hiding these things for almost 10 years and to be able to just be like, here's my life, here's me ... there was almost a power in that, a positive thing that could come out of all this awfulness."
The Best True Crime Stories of 2019
From comprehensive accounts of some of this year’s biggest crimes and scandals to chilling tales of remembrance from those who were victimized firsthand by scam artists and thieves, we've rounded up some of the most jaw-dropping true crime books of the year. Keep reading for FIRST's picks for the best true crime books of 2019.
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