Everyone loves a good murder (podcast), don’t they? And there isn’t a single true crime podcast better than My Favorite Murder. If you aren’t a Murderino yourself, here’s a quick rundown to get you caught up to speed: Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark – comedians and TV writers – chat about their favourite true crime stories and tell jokes. Pretty simple, isn’t it? Beyond that simple description, though, My Favorite Murder is a record-setting podcast that entertains, amuses, and frightens listeners each week. If you’re like us and can’t get enough of this brilliant podcast, then here’s a list of reading recommendations just for you!
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
Okay, so, there’s no way you haven’t heard about this book if you’re on any kind of social media platform, seeing as they just caught the killer, but any crime-related reading list without this book just isn’t complete. In I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, seasoned writer and amateur sleuth Michelle McNamara hunts for the Golden State Killer, a much-forgotten cold case that spans over forty years, multiple states, fifty sexual assaults, and ten gruesome murders. Listen, I read a lot of horror books, and I was genuinely creeped out by this one. If you’re a fan of true crime in any shape or form, this needs to be your next read.
Out Of Thin Air: A True Story of Impossible Murder in Iceland by Anthony Adeane
In 1974, two men vanished without a trace under suspicious circumstances, shocking the people of Iceland, where serious crime is almost non-existent. After someone comes to police and describes a dream they had that related to the case, six individuals are arrested for the murder and their sentencing begins. As the trial continues, however, cracks begin to appear, and the validity of the confession is called into question. Seamlessly weaving elements of true crime, history, and cultural folklore together, Out of Thin Air is the perfect read for any type of reader.
If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin
Okay, so this one’s fiction*, but how can you leave a book that’s compared to Big Little Lies and Stranger Things off the list? Plus, it reads just like true crime! Late one night in a sleepy town, a distraught woman stumbles into a police station to report a crime. What follows is anything but an open-and-shut case, and the lives of many people will never be the same. Filled with thrills and twists that rival the best of them, If I Die Tonight is the perfect thriller for the social media-addicted, ’80s-nostalgic age.
*It’s basically going to be all fiction going forward… I promise they all read just like true crime, though!
The Cellar by Minette Walters
All sorts of ugly secrets come to the surface for the Songoli family when their young son goes missing. The most important one just so happens to be the fact that they keep a fourteen-year-old slave, Muna, in their basement. They don’t think much of her, however, since they believe she can’t write or speak English. But, as we know, sometimes the quiet ones are the ones to fear… The Cellar is a darkly sadistic thriller, sure to inspire thought and shock in all its readers.
The Fire Court by Andrew Taylor
Set against a backdrop of Restoration-era London, Andrew Taylor returns to the story of James Marwood and Cat Lovett as a (potential?) serial killer is on the loose, potentially putting a wrench in the plans to rebuild London after the Great Fire destroyed the city. With such a unique premise and setting, The Fire Court is the perfect read for true crime fans because of its historical backdrop and, obviously, the murders.
Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou
A mysterious fire. Sisters with a (potentially deadly) secret. A life lived in the shadows. What more could you possibly want from a thriller? Equal parts lyrical and twisted, Laurie Petrou’s debut novel will keep you guessing until the very last page. Also, bestselling author A. J. Banner called the book “unputdownable,” and I just think that’s a really cool line.
Hysteria by Laurie Petrou
Heike has the ideal life. A loving husband, a wonderful son, and a good home life. But then a mysterious cabin and a strange little girl turn up out of the blue, and Heike’s life is thrown into chaos, made all the worse by the sudden disappearance of her son. Can her husband be trusted, or has he been involved all along? Was her life really as idyllic as it seemed, or was there something sinister lurking in the background? In this mind-bending thriller, the reader is really never sure what to expect or who to trust.
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
The Perfect Mother is the book of the summer! In this thrilling ride, a night of fun for a group of mothers looking for a break from the monotony of parenthood turns sinister when one of the mothers’ child is taken from his crib. Taking place of the course of 13 days, The Perfect Mother will keep you guessing until the final, shocking revelation. Also, Kerry Washington is set to star in the film adaptation, and we’re pretty excited about that.
Cold Skies by Thomas King
Beloved author Thomas King returns to the world of the equally beloved Thumps DreadfulWater for a third time with Cold Skies. This time around, Thumps is enjoying a peaceful retirement with his cat and a few plates of eggs when the body of a man looking to revolutionize water- and oil-digging technology turns up on the eve of a water conference in Chinook and a baffled police department turns to the ex-detective for help, despite his best attempts to refuse…
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
If you haven’t heard of The Woman in the Window by now, you need to go to your bookstore more frequently! A recluse who spends her days drinking wine, a perfect family, and a shocking revelation guided A. J. Finn‘s debut into immediate bestseller status, and we really can’t say much more without spoiling the book. You’ll just have to read it for yourself to see.
Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth
Set in colonial Australia in the 1880s, Only Killers and Thieves uses its historical backdrop to tell the story of the McBride family and the lengths they will go to get vengeance on the people that wronged their family. Only Killers and Thieves was also compared to the likes of Philipp Meyers and Cormac McCarthy, which is pretty high praise for a DEBUT novel!
Do you have a favourite thriller or true crime read? Or, do you have any other true crime podcast recommendations? Let us know on Twitter @SavvyReader!