All the President’s Men (1974), Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster)

All the President's Men reads like a thriller, and that’s it's greatest strength. It’s got a killer story – the toppling of a crooked American president – and its main characters, Woodward and Bernstein, are perfectly cast: a pair of young, hungry journalists who refuse to quit until they get the story. It's all true, … Continue reading All the President’s Men (1974), Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster)

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, John Carreyrou (Knopf)

Have you heard about Theranos? It was only a handful of years ago that its founder and CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, convinced people – and by people I mean investors with fistfuls of cash – that the company would soon be manufacturing a machine that would transform the medical industry. Theranos’ machine would make the old … Continue reading Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, John Carreyrou (Knopf)

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, Michelle McNamara (Harper)

Anne Rule’s classic The Stranger Beside Me told two stories at once: the story of the pursuit and capture of a serial killer, Ted Bundy, and the story of a true-crime writer who came to realize that one of her closest friends was a monster. Similarly, Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark tells … Continue reading I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, Michelle McNamara (Harper)

Into the Black Nowhere, Meg Gardiner (Dutton)

Meg Gardiner’s UNSUB (2017) was a brilliantly constructed thriller that drew its inspiration from the Zodiac case. In the sequel, Gardiner uses Ted Bundy as a jumping-off point, creating her own terrifyingly charming killer who likes to lay his victims out on the ground, dressed up in nightgowns that didn’t belong to them, and to … Continue reading Into the Black Nowhere, Meg Gardiner (Dutton)

Literary Hoaxes: An Eye-Opening History of Famous Frauds, Melissa Katsoulis (Skyhorse)

It is important, right off the bat, to distinguish between a hoax and plagiarism. Plagiarists steal other people’s work and pass it off as their own, but the men and women in this book were hoaxers: they passed off their own writing as having been done by someone else, or they made up stuff and … Continue reading Literary Hoaxes: An Eye-Opening History of Famous Frauds, Melissa Katsoulis (Skyhorse)

Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist, Richard Rhodes (Alfred A. Knopf)

If the words true crime conjure up images of cheap paperbacks with lurid covers, or quickie hardcovers designed to cash in on some headline-making atrocity, here’s a book that will change your image of the genre. Rhodes, who won a Pulitzer for The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1987), has crafted a serious, intelligent, and altogether mesmerizing portrait of … Continue reading Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist, Richard Rhodes (Alfred A. Knopf)

Dancing for the Hangman, Martin Edwards (Five Star)

For a time, the name Dr. Crippen immediately conjured up images of depravity and murder. In 1910, Hawley Crippen, a homeopathic doctor from Michigan, was hanged in London for the murder of his wife, Cora. Crippen, or so the story went, decided to replace his wife with his lover, killing Cora and burying her body … Continue reading Dancing for the Hangman, Martin Edwards (Five Star)