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True Crime: Real-Life Stories of Abduction, Addiction, Obsession, Murder, Grave-robbing, and More

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The real-life stories collected here reflect not only the myriad ways in which a law can be broken, but also the countless ways in which crime — whether in the news or close to home — can be experienced. In these diverse and compelling narratives, award-winning journalists investigate the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the unsolved lynching of Claude Nea The real-life stories collected here reflect not only the myriad ways in which a law can be broken, but also the countless ways in which crime — whether in the news or close to home — can be experienced. In these diverse and compelling narratives, award-winning journalists investigate the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the unsolved lynching of Claude Neal; an identity thief finds herself confronted by one of her victims; a triple homicide rattles a high school swim team; a young adventurer supports her travels by smuggling Peruvian pre-Columbian artifacts; a woman struggles to live free of the ex-boyfriend who kidnapped and tortured her; and more. While appealing to true crime audiences, this unique mix of personal essays and award-winning long form newspaper narratives will also appeal to creative writing and journalism programs, as well as to readers of memoir and crime fiction.


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The real-life stories collected here reflect not only the myriad ways in which a law can be broken, but also the countless ways in which crime — whether in the news or close to home — can be experienced. In these diverse and compelling narratives, award-winning journalists investigate the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the unsolved lynching of Claude Nea The real-life stories collected here reflect not only the myriad ways in which a law can be broken, but also the countless ways in which crime — whether in the news or close to home — can be experienced. In these diverse and compelling narratives, award-winning journalists investigate the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the unsolved lynching of Claude Neal; an identity thief finds herself confronted by one of her victims; a triple homicide rattles a high school swim team; a young adventurer supports her travels by smuggling Peruvian pre-Columbian artifacts; a woman struggles to live free of the ex-boyfriend who kidnapped and tortured her; and more. While appealing to true crime audiences, this unique mix of personal essays and award-winning long form newspaper narratives will also appeal to creative writing and journalism programs, as well as to readers of memoir and crime fiction.

30 review for True Crime: Real-Life Stories of Abduction, Addiction, Obsession, Murder, Grave-robbing, and More

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    A collection of poorly written essays. Not recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Cook

    Origami...tidy, little story. With the cop knowing and judging her I anticipated more drama from the story. I wasn't really disappointed, just surprised. Leviathan...great story, hated the ending though. I know why it took the turn it did at the end, I just wasn't happy about it. Gabrielle G...didn't want to read this story at first, thought it would be too political and stuffy. That was not the case. I couldn't put the book down during this story. The second by second breakdown of events really p Origami...tidy, little story. With the cop knowing and judging her I anticipated more drama from the story. I wasn't really disappointed, just surprised. Leviathan...great story, hated the ending though. I know why it took the turn it did at the end, I just wasn't happy about it. Gabrielle G...didn't want to read this story at first, thought it would be too political and stuffy. That was not the case. I couldn't put the book down during this story. The second by second breakdown of events really put you in the middle of things. Regret...good story, really makes you stop and think. Grave Robber...finally a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Story of an antiquities dealer and her travels. Well written. Apology...quick little story, interesting read. Parrish, Rawlings...sad story about gang life in suburban America. Written in beautiful, descriptive prose. The Addict...not sure if this was a true story or not (I guess that's the whole idea behind true crime though), but it sure was good. The story of a woman addicted to a man who kidnaps and rapes her. Girl, Fighting...great story, one of my favorites. It was about a female police officer training to protect herself on the job and how she had to put some of that training to use. The Death of...another great story about an interracial family whose wife and children are murdered and whose husband is convicted of the crimes. I got the idea the author may have thought he was innocent, but there really isn't anything in the story to support this. Speaking of Ears...interesting read. All about ears, as the title suggests. A story about Mike Tyson biting off Holyfield's ear, about a chimp who ripped a woman's face off, but left the ears?! What do your ears mean to you? This story was so engaging I had to do my own research on the internet regarding these two stories b/c though I had heard about them I hadn't seen them. Origins...terribly tragic, yet a well written story (or stories, one blended into the next, to tell the story of one man and how he came to murder. Spectacle...another great story, though horrific in nature about a lynching 80 or 90 years ago. Erik Larson interview...which it hadn't been so long since I'd read a book of his. I really enjoyed the insight in the interview though.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Darcia Helle

    I think the 'True Crime: Real-Life Stories of Abduction, Obsession, Murder, Graverobbing, and More' title is misleading here. These aren't the typical true crime stories of the nonfiction genre. The majority are about criminal behavior in general or the effects of crime. Some of these stories read more like articles you'd find in Atlantic Monthly, rather than a true crime story you'd find in a nonfiction book. None of them fit the intensity the title implies. It's difficult for me to rate this co I think the 'True Crime: Real-Life Stories of Abduction, Obsession, Murder, Graverobbing, and More' title is misleading here. These aren't the typical true crime stories of the nonfiction genre. The majority are about criminal behavior in general or the effects of crime. Some of these stories read more like articles you'd find in Atlantic Monthly, rather than a true crime story you'd find in a nonfiction book. None of them fit the intensity the title implies. It's difficult for me to rate this collection. Quite frankly, some didn't hold my interest at all. It wasn't the writing, as all were well written. The content simply felt more like a journalist account or observation, and I was expecting a gritty crime read. On the other hand, a few of these stories stood out and captivated me. For instance, the stories 'Regret' by Vance Voyles and The Death Of A Family by David Updike both left a lasting impression for different reasons. Those two stories easily rate 5 stars for me. If you're a true crime fan, I suggest you put aside your expectations before reading this one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

    This was not what I expected. Most true crime books are about violent crimes, usually murder, and the title indicated this would be the same. And certainly there are murder stories here, but there are also stories of identity theft, smuggling priceless archaeological artefacts, Mike Tyson and the ear-biting incident with Evander Hollifield, etc. So true-crime fans bewarned: this may not be your cup of tea. The stories, being by different authors, were of varying quality, and some held my interest This was not what I expected. Most true crime books are about violent crimes, usually murder, and the title indicated this would be the same. And certainly there are murder stories here, but there are also stories of identity theft, smuggling priceless archaeological artefacts, Mike Tyson and the ear-biting incident with Evander Hollifield, etc. So true-crime fans bewarned: this may not be your cup of tea. The stories, being by different authors, were of varying quality, and some held my interest more than others. I think I liked the second one, "Leviathan," the best -- though it frustrated me that there was no ending to that story, no conclusion. However, as these accounts are supposed to be nonfiction, my guess is that it's still an unsolved case. I'd say this book was worth reading, though I'm probably not going to read it a second time. (I got this free from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    It is hard to review a book of short stories, especially one by various authors. I like some of the stories, and some I didn't care for at all. It wasn't what I expected it to be when I entered to win it. It was an ok read! It is hard to review a book of short stories, especially one by various authors. I like some of the stories, and some I didn't care for at all. It wasn't what I expected it to be when I entered to win it. It was an ok read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katie/Doing Dewey

    True Crime is a collection of true short stories, almost all of which are about a particular crime with one or two that are more philosophical thoughts on crime. Many of these stories are written by the people who lived them, although a few are instead written by journalists. As the slightly over-dramatic subtitle indicates, the content of these stories varies widely. I requested this book because I like non-fiction and since I’m trying to read through the Dewey Decimal system, I was going to get True Crime is a collection of true short stories, almost all of which are about a particular crime with one or two that are more philosophical thoughts on crime. Many of these stories are written by the people who lived them, although a few are instead written by journalists. As the slightly over-dramatic subtitle indicates, the content of these stories varies widely. I requested this book because I like non-fiction and since I’m trying to read through the Dewey Decimal system, I was going to get to a true crime book eventually. When it came to actually reading it, however, I apprehensive that the stories would be too violent, too gruesome, and too melodramatic. I was pleasantly surprised on all counts. As a true crime story, of course some of the stories make you contemplate how human beings can do such horrible things to each other. It’s not going to be an entirely happy book. There were two stories I thought were too much (one about child murder and one about a historical lynching which included unnecessary detail), but the majority of these stories were moving without being over the top. Although I’d like to review the stories individually, thirteen stories would make for far too long of a review, so I’ll settle for identifying some themes among the stories I liked and the ones I didn’t. The ones I didn’t like included material that I personally felt was too terrible (the child murder), too detailed (the lynching), or too bizarre (a weird musing on ears and their relationship to violence). But the majority of the stories were very thoughtfully and decently written. They were still tough reads, but many of them gave you fascinating insights into human behavior and an appreciation for how the worst circumstances can bring out the best in people. At the end of the day, I don’t think true crime stories are my cup of tea. They involve too much unpleasant suspense as you wait for something terrible to happen and I finished reading these stories feeling a bit down. However, I thought this collection, for the most part, handled a tough subject very well. This review first published on Doing Dewey.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Troncin

    I won this book through a goodreads first read's contest. Please see my official review at: http://taylorsawesomebookreviews.word... ! Thanks! (Review's text:) Link to review: http://taylorsawesomebookreviews.word... Review's text: Before I start my review, I want to state that I won this book through a GoodReads First Reads giveaway. This is the first book that I won (which may or may not have swayed my rating of it…). The following is my honest opinion. Edited by: Lee Gutkind My rating: 4/5 stars I won this book through a goodreads first read's contest. Please see my official review at: http://taylorsawesomebookreviews.word... ! Thanks! (Review's text:) Link to review: http://taylorsawesomebookreviews.word... Review's text: Before I start my review, I want to state that I won this book through a GoodReads First Reads giveaway. This is the first book that I won (which may or may not have swayed my rating of it…). The following is my honest opinion. Edited by: Lee Gutkind My rating: 4/5 stars This book was different than what I was expecting (which is both a good and bad thing). This is good, as I am wanting to expand what I read (reading the same story with just different characters, etc. is annoying and tiring after a while). This is bad because (at first) it irritated me a bit. I was not annoyed enough to put the book down, but it did delay my reading of this book. I liked that there was a collection of stories of various crimes. It was not just murder, rape, etc. … The book talked about crimes that I feel are sometimes ignored by “popular media” (whatever that means). There is no thing as a “victim-less crime” and this book proves that. These stories were written in first person. I loved that! Out of the few crime books that I have read, it is almost always “he did this” or “she ran away” and blahblahblah. (Yes, I understand that generally the murderer and/or victim(s) are dead / cannot be contacted, etc. … It’s just something I felt like pointing out.) Having a first person account of these things made the book feel a little more personal. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a slight interest in any of the items listed on the cover (abduction, addiction, obsession, murder, or grave-robbing). None of the stories were hard to read / follow. I think anyone in a high school level (or older) would/could enjoy this book. Sincerely, Taylor Have any questions, requests, etc.? Then feel free to send me an e-mail at [email protected]

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay ⭐ [TrulyBooked]

    While I was skeptical at first when I saw the book and thought it wasn't going to be the solid kind of true crime that I was looking for, the stories are wonderfully woven. Based on true events, the horror here is not so much the over the top serial killing gore that I'd initially expected, but closer to home. I think what makes this book so memorable to me is how easily these stories could happen to anyone. With serial killers it's easier to think that it's more removed. It couldn't have happen While I was skeptical at first when I saw the book and thought it wasn't going to be the solid kind of true crime that I was looking for, the stories are wonderfully woven. Based on true events, the horror here is not so much the over the top serial killing gore that I'd initially expected, but closer to home. I think what makes this book so memorable to me is how easily these stories could happen to anyone. With serial killers it's easier to think that it's more removed. It couldn't have happened to us, but was fated to happen to the killer's victims. These stories, showing all walks of life, show that crime touches all of our lives in different ways. There were one or two stories I didn't like which make it less than five stars for me, but if you like well-written true crime narratives, then you should definitely take a look. It's non-fiction that reads like fiction and it's fantastic.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hal

    The book is a compilation of stories relating to crime issues more than focusing on a true crime from start to finish. This was the first thing that surprised me because I was thinking it would be more crime scene related and it was more like magazine articles on far ranging topics on events related to crime. A number of these authors have been recognized for their writing with awards and prizes. Some are looking to make their name. It covers a far ranging field from abductions, to lynching so q The book is a compilation of stories relating to crime issues more than focusing on a true crime from start to finish. This was the first thing that surprised me because I was thinking it would be more crime scene related and it was more like magazine articles on far ranging topics on events related to crime. A number of these authors have been recognized for their writing with awards and prizes. Some are looking to make their name. It covers a far ranging field from abductions, to lynching so quite a lot to offer in variety of misdeeds. One of the more famous incidents covered is a take on events leading up to the Gabby Giffords mass shooting. I personally would have liked more crime scene stories start to finish in the typical true crime book format, but many of these stories were interesting with a different take in their presentation.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liza

    A girl who says she was raped, but the details are murky. A woman who is in an abusive relationship, but can’t leave. A woman in jail for identity theft, and meets a guard who knows the effects and consequences of her crime first-hand. A thief trying to feed her drug addiction. These stories and more, including a look at the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and an interview with Erik Larson, are included in this book of true crime essays. There is a good variety of stories in this book, and the wr A girl who says she was raped, but the details are murky. A woman who is in an abusive relationship, but can’t leave. A woman in jail for identity theft, and meets a guard who knows the effects and consequences of her crime first-hand. A thief trying to feed her drug addiction. These stories and more, including a look at the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and an interview with Erik Larson, are included in this book of true crime essays. There is a good variety of stories in this book, and the writing is well-done in all. You get a good sense of the players in each crime and the experiences and consequences felt by the people involved. If you like stories of true crimes, this is a good book to read as it offers so many different stories and views into the human psyche.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads! I was expecting something different. These are multiple short stories from odd perspectives. I thought it would be from a detective's perspective and explain some of the case. These stories are from odd perspectives, give no background to the case and leave me wondering if it is a true story or not. Some names are changed, so you can't really be certain other than the cover says they are real. Based on the stories, I didn't recognize m I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads! I was expecting something different. These are multiple short stories from odd perspectives. I thought it would be from a detective's perspective and explain some of the case. These stories are from odd perspectives, give no background to the case and leave me wondering if it is a true story or not. Some names are changed, so you can't really be certain other than the cover says they are real. Based on the stories, I didn't recognize most of the cases. I should have done more research on this book, I'm glad I won it, but I feel bad for the person that didn't win and would have enjoyed it more.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Liam

    Very nearly 3 stars. It is rather hit and miss, the latter half probably being a bit better overall. Some stories are hampered by the fact they are true, some are enhanced; definitely a mixed bag but an interesting genre.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chantel Godfrey

    Not much here I could not of found on Wikipedia

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Spencer

    nice stories, well written, some need futher development, but spark interest in learning more about the subject matter

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Not what i expected

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Adelaide

    My mum is a lawyer and a journalist, if she edited these and re wrote some of them, this could have been alright. Man they were boring.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Well written essays, some better than others. Nice bedside reading.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Taylor

  19. 4 out of 5

    Estelle Spencer

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zita Zadrapova

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily Kubincanek

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steven Mcmanus

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Gay

  24. 5 out of 5

    Zep Van Hoof

  25. 5 out of 5

    Becca

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence

  28. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lorien Anderson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Phil

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