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6 Books to Investigate Based on Your Favorite True-Crime Podcast

by  | December 24

When your preferred way to decompress after a long day at work is a glass of wine and your favorite true-crime podcast, it can feel like torture to have to wait until the next episode of your show is out. Instead of waiting impatiently, practice your sleuthing skills by diving into a true-crime book. Here’s our list of the 6 best books to read based on the sometimes gruesome, always fascinating podcasts in your “must-listen” queue.

Savage Appetites

Savage Appetites

by Rachel Monroe

My Favorite Murder

One of the things we love about Karen and Georgia on My Favorite Murder is how self-aware they are about their obsession with true crime and murder. If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t get enough of these violent, real-life stories, Savage Appetites takes a look at our cultural fascination with violence, and relates it to four archetypes depicted by true stories Monroe has identified as a starter pack for true-crime addiction.

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I'll Be Gone in the Dark

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

by Michelle McNamara

The Murder Squad

Regular listeners of The Murder Squad will no doubt remember show hosts Paul Holes and Billy Jensen’s involvement in the hunt for the Golden State Killer. In I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, you’ll learn how author Michelle McNamara—who coined the term Golden State Killer and brought the case back into the spotlight—first became obsessed with the hunt for the killer and worked tirelessly to uncover his identity until her untimely death. After McNamara died, Jensen stepped in to help finish writing her account of a horrific case that was finally solved, with the help of Holes, in 2018.

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Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders

Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders

by Christopher Goffard

Dirty John

Read the book that started it all! Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders contains the original newspaper story that inspired the Dirty John podcast. In the book, you’ll not only get another look at the conman known as Dirty John, but you’ll also dive into stories ranging from wrongful imprisonment to parents on death row and everything in between. This collection examines human nature at its best and worst in a unique format.

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Highway of Tears

Highway of Tears

by Jessica McDiarmid

In the Dark

Avid listeners of In the Dark know about the problems in the criminal justice system, including the story of Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for the same crime over 21 years, as featured in Season 2 of the podcast. In Highway of Tears, Jessica McDiarmid examines the murders of Indigenous women and girls—caused in part by racism and lack of protection—as she pursues justice for their families. Be inspired to advocate for change in the justice system

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Cold Cases: A True Crime Collection

Cold Cases: A True Crime Collection

by Cheyna Roth

Up and Vanished

Can’t get enough of cold cases such as those of Tara Grinstead and Kristal Reisinger on Seasons 1 and 2 of Up and Vanished? Get your fill of them in Cheyna Roth’s Cold Cases: A True Crime Collection, where you’ll learn more about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, D. B. Cooper’s airplane heist, and more. The suspense will definitely get your adrenaline pumping!

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Captive

Captive

by Catherine Oxenberg

Uncover: NXIVM

Have you gone down a Wikipedia rabbit hole trying to learn more about the cult NXIVM after tuning into Season 1 of Uncover? Captive by Catherine Oxenberg is the perfect book for you. Oxenberg is not just a former Dynasty star and true-crime enthusiast—she’s actually a parent of a former member of NXIVM. In her book, Oxenberg shares what it was like to watch her daughter fall victim to this cult and how she eventually ended up saving her child.

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Photo Credit // Bill Oxford on Unsplash

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Sarah Walsh is a Strategy Lead at Branch & Bramble by day and a book addict by night. Her favorite way to spend a weekend is a cup of tea paired with a new romance novel or personal development book. Find her on Twitter at @sarahmwalsh or Instagram at @sarahmichellewalsh to chat all things books.