For decades, true crime has transported readers to the frayed edges of society and the darkest chambers of the human psyche. And 2021 is no exception. Though we’re just a few months into the new year, we’ve already witnessed the release of multiple new true crime books — and trust us, more harrowing narratives are on the way. Here are six new true crime books we can’t wait to crack open.
6 New True Crime Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Spring
Here are six new true crime cases we can’t wait to crack open.
Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York
By Elon Green
New York City in the late 1980s and early ’90s: The AIDS epidemic rages, and the city is suffering under the highest crime rate it’s ever seen. Lost in the morass are the crimes of the Last Call Killer, a serial murderer targeting gay men. In his highly anticipated new true crime book, Elon Green examines this nearly forgotten case, tracking not just the hunt for the perpetrator but the story of the victims and of NYC’s vibrant queer community.
Murder in Canaryville: The True Story Behind a Cold Case and a Chicago Cover-Up
By Jeff Coen
Who killed 17-year-old John Hughes in 1976? His death and its aftermath make for a Chicago crime story that’s got it all: Mafia connections, a corrupt judge, a cover-up that goes all the way to the top, and even a detective named Sherlock. In Murder in Canaryville, Jeff Coen excavates this baffling murder, shining new light on the 40-year-old cold case and the truth behind Hughes’s killing.
Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob
By Russell Shorto
Bestselling author Russell Shorto’s newest book finds itself at the intersection of memoir and mob story. Instead of the smoky backrooms of New York or Chicago, the setting is Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a postwar factory town with an illicit gambling empire all its own. Presiding over this criminal underworld is the author’s own grandfather: Russ, the son of an Italian immigrant who rose to become a small-town mob boss with outsized power. In Smalltime, Shorto plunges into his family’s murky past, chronicling Russ Shorto’s dramatic life of crime and the toll it took on his family.
The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing
By Sonia Faleiro
Young cousins Padma and Lalli were inseparable. Friends and family spoke of them as one person. Then, one horrible summer night in 2014, Padma and Lalli went missing; hours later, they were found hanging in the orchard outside their tiny northern Indian village of Katra Sadatganj. In The Good Girls, award-winning author Sonia Faleiro tells the story of their tragic deaths, examining complex issues of honor and class, and detailing the national conversation about violence towards women that ensued.
We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops, and Corruption
By Justin Fenton
It’s 2015 in Baltimore. Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, an elite police commander, leads rogue members of the Gun Trace Task Force on a criminal conspiracy of exploitation. From planting fake evidence and pocketing cash to outright violence, Jenkins and his uniformed cronies victimized the city they were charged with protecting. In We Own This City, Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist Justin Fenton presents a jaw-dropping exposé of corruption and betrayal at the highest levels of law enforcement.
The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer
By Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan
As a child, Liza Rodman had no idea that her babysitter, a seemingly kind man named Tony Costa, was in fact a serial killer. In the sleepy Cape Cod community of her youth, Costa committed horrific crimes against women that would eventually land him in prison for life. In The Babysitter, Rodman chronicles her firsthand encounters with Costa, examining the man who killed at least four in vivid, chilling detail.