As a society, we seem to have an obsession with all things true crime. From podcasts and documentaries to tv series and new books investigating old cases, true crime has been popping up everywhere over the past few years. So it is no surprise novelists are taking inspiration and incorporating this concept into their novels. So this book list is filled with true crime novels that are sure to satisfy your obsession.
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Pretty as a Picture by Elizabeth Little
Some girl dies.
It’s not much to go on, but the specifics don’t concern Marissa. Whatever the script is, her job is the same. She’ll spend her days in the editing room, doing what she does best: turning pictures into stories. But she soon discovers that on this set, nothing is as it’s supposed to be–or as it seems. There are rumors of accidents and indiscretions, of burgeoning scandals and perilous schemes. Half the crew has been fired. The other half wants to quit. Even the actors have figured out something is wrong. And no one seems to know what happened to the editor she was hired to replace.
The Hawthorne School by Sylvie Perry
For fans of Riley Sager, The Hawthorne School is a twisty psychological suspense about the lengths one mother will go for her child, inspired by present-day obsession with cults and true crime.
The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf
From the bestselling author of Before She Was Found comes a chilling locked-room mystery about a true crime writer who is trapped in a secluded farmhouse during a snowstorm, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley.
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.
Dark Circles by Caite Dolan-Leach
An embattled actress becomes entangled in a dark conspiracy at a spiritual retreat—and starts a true crime podcast to try to break the case—in this chilling novel about fame, violence, and our morbid fascination with murder, from the acclaimed author of Dead Letters.
Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson
Turns out that reading nothing but true crime isn’t exactly conducive to modern dating—and one woman is going to have to learn how to give love a chance when she’s used to suspecting the worst.
All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers
From the host of the #1 true-crime podcast Crime Junkie, a propulsive debut novel featuring a journalist who returns to her hometown to solve a murder that has plagued her since childhood—but someone wants to keep the case cold.
More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez
An evocative drama about a woman who’s caught leading a double life after one husband murders the other, and the true-crime writer who becomes obsessed with telling her story—this masterful work of literary suspense marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.
The Lost Girls by Jessica Chiarella
When her true-crime podcast becomes an overnight sensation, a young woman is pulled into the web of a case that may offer a surprising connection to her own sister’s disappearance years earlier.
Conviction by Denise Mina
A true-crime podcast sets a trophy wife’s present life on a collision course with her secret past.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. Shortly after the school opened, the founder’s wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case.
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
A true-crime podcast host covering a controversial trial finds herself drawn deep into a small town’s dark past and a brutal crime that took place there years before.
Final Cut by S.J. Watson
A documentary filmmaker travels to a sleepy fishing village to shoot her new film and encounters a dark mystery surrounding the disappearance of a local girl.
Little Threats by Emily Schultz
Tells the story of a woman who served fifteen years in prison for murder…and now it’s time to find out if she’s guilty.
Possession by Katie Lowe
Ten years ago, Hannah’s husband was brutally murdered in their home, and she (conveniently) doesn’t remember a thing about that night. But the police charged someone else–a stranger–and put him away for life. And Hannah packed up her six-year-old daughter and left London behind. But now her hard-won countryside peace is threatened. Conviction, a viral true crime podcast known for getting cases reopened and old verdicts overturned, has turned its attention to Hannah’s husband’s murder for its new season.
The Family Plot by Megan Collins
When a family obsessed with true crime gathers to bury their patriarch, horrifying secrets are exposed upon the discovery of another body in his grave.
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