Reader Friday: True Crime

Which true crime novel shook you to the core? And why?

If you don’t read true crime, then substitute the fictionalization of a real crime.

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About Sue Coletta

Member of MWA, Sisters in Crime, and ITW, Sue Coletta is an award-winning, bestselling crime writer of psychological thrillers. She also writes true crime: PRETTY EVIL NEW ENGLAND is anticipated to hit stores in Fall 2020, published by Globe Pequot (Rowman & Littlefield). In 2017, 2018, and 2019, Feedspot awarded her Murder Blog as one of the Top 100 Crime Blogs on the Net (Murder Blog sits at #5). Learn more about Sue and her books at https://suecoletta.com

18 thoughts on “Reader Friday: True Crime

  1. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote. The murder of the Clutter family was senseless, grisly, and brought about by a convict exaggerating the wealth of the family to another. Capote humanizes the family, the murderers, pursuing law enforcement, jailers, and even the executioners with vivid writing that gives life to their voices. It’s a microcosm for what a cluster**** we humans can be. I read it when I was sixteen and have forgotten neither the story nor the pictures that Capote painted.

  2. Serpico by Peter Maas. I was in my mid teens when I read it and was totally aghast at the corruption in the NYPD and by extension, other police departments.

  3. I have to go with In Cold Blood as well, and rather wish I hadn’t read it. Too terrifying.

    Around the same time, I also read SYBIL, and it captured my imagination for years.

  4. The scariest true crime book I have read was “The Great Influenza”. Still scares me. I had learned a child about how Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered penicillin. What I didn’t learn until “The Great Influenza” was he was working on treating the flu, so his petri dish that was Bactria resistant was shelved for two years.

  5. My first choice is also In Cold Blood. Such a sad story and the murderers didn’t even get any money.

    A close second choice is In the Belly of the Beast, by Jack Abbott, who became Norman Mailer’s protégé and cause celebre. This book scared me because it showed how Abbott, who came of age in prison, could only survive within prison, never in the outside world.

  6. I don’t remember the author. – I read a novel called One by One. It was about these two guys who were going around randomly killing people by putting botulinum in things. It was really creepy and made me real nervous eating anything I didn’t have complete control over, which is everything

    I lent the book to my sister. She was reading it one night and decided the book was not for her. She put it in a brown bag and stapled it shut. That was not enough so she took the elevator down to the parking center in her building and locked it in the trunk of her car. She said she intended to return it but the story creeped her out so much she didn’t want it in her car. She pulled into a lot and put it in a dumpster.

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