Jun 17, 2009

True Crime books for summer reading fun!

We get a lot of books to review. More and more lately we are getting true crime books. Strange I know, a magazine called Crimespree getting true crime books. I've been a reader of true crime since right after I started reading fictional crime. Some of it's quite well done, other screams of sensationalism. I know longer get those paperbacks at the grocery store with a few black and white photos in the middle, I find most of them bore me. I do still enjoy the bigger books and the famous cases.

Here's a few we've been sent recently.

My number one pick came in last year but I loved it. Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34 from Penguin is a great book. Hell, it inspired a movie and stars Johnny Depp. There are a lot of Dillinger books out there, some good, some not so much. But this book does more than report facts, it tells the story. It is a terrific look at one of America's most notorious outlaws. See the movie, but read the book!
BUY Public Enemies RIGHT NOW!!!

EVIL is a over sized trade paperback with a gorgeous layout. It covers cases from Abe Lincoln to the unabomber and all points in between. Lots of photos connecting it all and it has a real nice angle on the cases presented. It's from Hammond a division of Langenscheidt Publishing and is written by Colin Wilson with Damon Wilson. Wilson and Wilson will turn up with a long list if you Google books they've done and they are obviously authorities on true crime. I especially love the suggested reading at the back.
BUY - Evil: Spine Tingling Stories of Murder and Mayhem (Hammond Atlas)

THE MAD ONES is a book by Tom Folsom from Weinstein books. The story of hipster mob boss Joe Gallo. At his peak in the 60's and 70's Gallo was a unique man and this book seems to celebrate that. Maybe too much, maybe not. But it is informative and interesting and really entertaining. And like all good true crime, loaded with photos. Cool photos daddy-io.
BUY The Mad Ones: Crazy Joe Gallo and the Revolution at the Edge of the Underworld

WYATT EARP SPEAKS (Fall River) is written by Wyatt Earp and friends and edited by John Richard Stephens. A look at the other side of crime this book uses Wyatt's own words to tell his tales and it's a great look at the realities of the legend. I've sen the movies and liked a lot of them, but finding the truth behind the fiction was satisfying and actually makes me respect the man more. This would be a great book to give a s a gift.
Buy Wyatt Earp Speaks!

MURDERS UNSPEAKABLE by Georgina Lloyd is a book for die hard fans of true crime. It didn't grab me, and not just because it has no photos. It's dry and it is rather typical of the books I stopped buying. It seems like sensationalism to me. I do like the cover. And I'm not saying don't buy it, b
ut this really is only for the true aficionados.

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