Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reading True Crime

Just the Facts, Ma'am
Greed, deceit, desire, ambition, corruption, murder  -- these are all elements in true crime books which much like ubiquitous TV crime shows and films, receive a fair amount of attention.

For fans of the genre, a quick list of the latest best of the worst:

Whitey Bulger : America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt that Brought Him to Justice by Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy
The story of a legendary criminal, captured in June 2011 after a sixteen-year manhunt.

American Desperado : My Life, from Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset by Jon Roberts and Evan Wright
A Mafia insider and former head smuggler for the Medellin cartel describes his violent relationships with criminal powers, his alliance with the U.S. government, and his role in reshaping the nation's war on drugs.

The Inventor and the Tycoon : a Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures by Edward Ball
This historical true crime entry details the strange partnership between a 19th century entrepreneur and the father of moving pictures.

Octopus : Sam Israel, the Secret Market, and Wall Street's Wildest Con by Guy Lawson
For this wild tale of hedge fund fraud, keep your aluminum foil hat handy.

Nobody Walks : Bringing My Brother's Killers to Justice by Dennis M. Walsh
The driving story of the author's relentless quest to stop his brother's murder from becoming a cold case.

A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel : Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China by Pin Ho, Wenguang Huang
A real-life murder mystery with a political overlay.

Desert Reckoning : a Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History by Deanne Stillman
The author recounts clash and deadly collision in the desolate California desert.

Assassins of the Turquoise Palace by Roya Hakakian
Who was responsible for the machine-gun murders of protesters in a Berlin restaurant? Opinions varied, but the federal prosecutor would charge on to a clear verdict.

Caveat Emptor : the Secret Life of an American Art Forger by Ken Perenyi
The author confesses; tells all with "inside" stories. A useful book for any art fan, including flea market shoppers.

Life After Death by Damien Echols
A West Memphis Three member's account of his eighteen-year death row incarceration discusses justice system flaws that led to his conviction, the abuses he suffered in prison, and the trio's vindication in 2011.