LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

True crime

See below for a selection of the latest books from True crime category. Presented with a red border are the True crime books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great True crime books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Killer Cults

Killer Cults

Author: Stephen Singular Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/11/2020

What's scarier than a murderer? Someone with the charisma to compel others to kill for them . . . or to kill themselves. Meet these cult leaders--and get an inside look at their beliefs and how they controlled others. Some cults, led by leaders like Charlie Manson, Jim Jones, and David Koresh, are notorious. But others are less well known, such as Shoko Asahara and his doomsday cult, Aum Shinrikyo, who orchestrated the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. Or Joseph Di Mambro and Luc Jouret, who founded the Order of the Solar Temple, a doomsday cult that led to the death of 51 members by murder or suicide. Then there is Marshall Applewhite, leader of Heaven's Gate, who, along with 38 followers, killed themselves in the belief that the Hale-Bopp comet signaled the arrival of a spaceship that would transport them to a higher plane of existence. What makes cult leaders so compelling is their often-unfathomable power over their adherents. Why do people kill others or themselves for a questionable set of beliefs? Killer Cults tells the stories behind both famous and unfamiliar cults, and the people behind them. Across a series of profiles, we learn the jaw-dropping truth behind some of the most mystifying and deadly cults, and their leaders, all of whom led their followers down a dark, murderous path.

Watching the Devil Dance

Watching the Devil Dance

Author: William Toffan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2020

In June 1966, Matthew Charles Lamb took his uncle's shotgun and wandered down Ford Blvd. At the end of the bloody night, two teenagers lay dead, with multiple others injured after an unprovoked shooting spree. In his investigation into Lamb's story, William Toffan pieces together the troubled childhood and the history of violence that culminated in the young man's dubious distinction as Canada's first known spree killer-at which point the story becomes, the author writes too strange for fiction. Traveling from the border city streets, to the courtroom, to the Oak Ridge rehabilitation center, and finally the Rhodesian army, Watching the Devil Dance is both a thrilling narrative about an unbelievable true crime and an insightful analysis of the 1960s criminal justice system.

The Killer's Shadow

The Killer's Shadow

Author: John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2020

The legendary FBI criminal profiler and international bestselling author of Mindhunter and The Killer Across the Table returns with this timely, relevant book that goes to the heart of extremism and domestic terrorism, examining in-depth his chilling pursuit of, and eventual prison confrontation with Joseph Paul Franklin, a White Nationalist serial killer and one of the most disturbing psychopaths he has ever encountered. Worshippers stream out of an Midwestern synagogue after sabbath services, unaware that only a hundred yards away, an expert marksman and avowed racist, antisemite and member of the Ku Klux Klan, patiently awaits, his hunting rifle at the ready. The October 8, 1977 shooting was a forerunner to the tragedies and divisiveness that plague us today. John Douglas, the FBI's pioneering, first full-time criminal profiler, hunted the shooter-a white supremacist named Joseph Paul Franklin, whose Nazi-inspired beliefs propelled a three-year reign of terror across the United States, targeting African Americans, Jews, and interracial couples. In addition, Franklin bombed the home of Jewish leader Morris Amitay, shot and paralyzed Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, and seriously wounded civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. The fugitive supported his murderous spree robbing banks in five states, from Georgia to Ohio. Douglas and his writing partner Mark Olshaker return to this disturbing case that reached the highest levels of the Bureau, which was fearful Franklin would become a presidential assassin-and haunted him for years to come as the threat of copycat domestic terrorist killers increasingly became a reality. Detailing the dogged pursuit of Franklin that employed profiling, psychology and meticulous detective work, Douglas and Olshaker relate how the case was a make-or-break test for the still-experimental behavioral science unit and revealed a new type of, determined, mission-driven serial killer whose only motivation was hate. A riveting, cautionary tale rooted in history that continues to echo today, The Killer's Shadow is a terrifying and essential exploration of the criminal personality in the vile grip of extremism and what happens when rage-filled speech evolves into deadly action and hatred of the other is allowed full reign. The Killer's Shadow includes an 8-page color photo insert.

The Last Woman to be Hanged

The Last Woman to be Hanged

Author: Robert Hancock Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2020

On the eve of her hanging, Ruth Ellis wrote to a friend: 'I must close now but remember I am quite happy with the verdict, but not the way the story was told, there is so much that people don't know.' Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged in Britain. This is her story. In July 1955 Ruth Ellis was sentenced to death for the shooting of her lover, motor-racing driver David Blakely. Barely three months later she was executed at Holloway prison. In this book, Robert Hancock sets the record straight. Using official documents including the transcript of her trial at the Old Bailey, he unlocks the full, secret background to the story of the last woman to be hanged in Britain. Meticulous and fair in its analysis, The Last Woman to be Hanged is an absorbing portrait of the tragic life of a young woman, a vivid snapshot of an era and a gripping account of a notorious case that shocked the nation.

House of Heroin

House of Heroin

Author: Haroon Ullah Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/11/2020

A disturbing inside look at the Muslim Mafia, the organized crime syndicate that controls global opiate production and trafficking-a story of corruption, terrorism, greed, and human suffering-from a veteran U.S. State Department official and former senior adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry. Today, a powerful crime organization thrives, one that may exert even more influence than the Italian Mafias fabled Five Families. Based primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan, this other Mafia is responsible for the majority of the worlds heroin production and distribution, estimated to be worth thirty to fifty billion dollars annually. In this expansive, eye-opening book, seasoned American diplomat Haroon K. Ullah draws upon his deep personal contacts and professional experience pursuing drug traffickers to examine the global struggle between Western law enforcement and this Muslim drug cartel. He reveals how, for years, the global heroin trade has been controlled by a handful of powerful Pakistani and Afghan families. These drug lords, in collusion with corrupt government officials and a newly resurgent Taliban, partner with a large trafficking and distribution syndicate to move vast quantities of poppy seed pods to processing labs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These labs then produce the heroin and opium that is shipped to Karachi and distributed to markets in Europe and North America-and on to the streets of cities and small towns, helping to fuel the opioid crisis ravaging millions of lives. The money generated from these drugs pays for the terrorists attacking soldiers and civilians worldwide. Moving from the poppy fields of Helmand Province, Kabul, and Karachi to London and New York, The House of Heroin interweaves facts and insights with numerous powerful stories from Ullah's time in the State Department. The result is a fascinating, informed, and personal narrative of the modern drug trade-from poppy cultivation in the Middle East to small communities across the United States.

Relentless Pursuit

Relentless Pursuit

Author: Bradley J. Edwards Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/11/2020

This is the definitive story of the case against Jeffrey Epstein and the corrupt system that supported him, told in thrilling detail by the lawyer who has represented Epstein's victims for more than a decade. In June 2008, Florida-based victims' rights attorney Bradley J. Edwards was thirty-two years old and had just started his own law firm when a young woman named Courtney Wild came to see him. She told a shocking story of having been sexually coerced at the age of fourteen by a wealthy man in Palm Beach named Jeffrey Epstein. Edwards, who had never heard of Epstein, had no idea that this moment would change the course of his life. Over the next ten years, Edwards devoted himself to bringing Epstein to justice, and came close to losing everything in the process. Edwards tracked down and represented more than twenty of Epstein's victims, and shined a light on his network of contacts and friends, among them Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew. Edwards gives his riveting, blow-by-blow account of battling Epstein on behalf of his clients, and provides stunning details never shared before. He explains how he followed Epstein's criminal enterprise from Florida, to New York, to Europe, to a Caribbean island, and, in the process, became the one person Epstein most feared could take him down. Epstein and his cadre of high-priced lawyers were able to manipulate the FBI and the Justice Department, but, despite making threats and attempting schemes straight out of a spy movie, Epstein couldn't stop Edwards, his small team of committed lawyers and, most of all, the victims, who were dead-set on seeing their abuser finally put behind bars. This is the definitive account of the Epstein saga, personally told by the gutsy lawyer who took on one of the most brazen sexual criminals in the history of the US, and exposed the corrupt system that let him get away with it for far too long.

The Scoundrel Harry Larkyns and his Pitiless Killing by the Photographer Eadweard Muybridge

The Scoundrel Harry Larkyns and his Pitiless Killing by the Photographer Eadweard Muybridge

Author: Rebecca Gowers Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/11/2020

The mysterious figure from 1870s California known as Major Harry Larkyns has long been written off as little more than a liar, seducer and cheat. In fact now he is only remembered at all because he was shot dead by the magnificently strange photographer Eadweard Muybridge. But has history correctly understood either killer or victim? The Scoundrel Harry Larkyns, part biography, part crime investigation, lays bare some long-concealed and extraordinary truths, and shows how after a catastrophic childhood, Harry grew up to be a fragile but beguiling reprobate. The exploits of his tragically short life would span three continents and range from a stint as an adolescent army cadet in India, through a louche spell in Second Empire Paris, to his days as a Bohemian rogue in the American Wild West. But what sealed his fate was to fall in love with another man's wife.

We Keep the Dead Close

We Keep the Dead Close

Author: Becky Cooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/11/2020

You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn't let you forget. 1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious 23-year-old graduate student in Harvard's Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment. Forty years later, Becky Cooper, a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she'd threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumour proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a 'cowboy culture' among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims. WE KEEP THE DEAD CLOSE is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman's past onto another's present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history.

Red River Girl

Red River Girl

Author: Joanna Jolly Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2020

Longlisted for the Crime Writers' Association ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction A gripping account of the unsolved death of an Indigenous teenager, the detective determined to find her killer and a country's hidden secrets On 17 August 2014, the body of fifteen-year old Indigenous runaway Tina Fontaine was found weighted down in the Red River in the Canadian city of Winnipeg. The loss of Tina was a tragedy for her family and for the Indigenous community. But it also exposed a national scandal: Indigenous women are vastly more likely than other Canadians to be assaulted and killed. Over the past few decades, hundreds had been murdered - or simply gone missing. Many of these cases have never been solved. Tina's Fontaine's death caused an outcry across Canada. The police investigation and trial that followed sparked a widespread debate on the treatment of Indigenous women, while the movement protesting those missing and murdered became an international news story. In an astonishing feat of investigation, award-winning BBC reporter and documentary maker Joanna Jolly has reconstructed Tina's life, from her childhood on the Sagkeeng First Nation Reserve to her difficult teenage years. Red River Girl is the compelling story of the elaborate police investigation into Fontaine's death and the detective obsessed with bringing her killer to justice - and an exploration of the dark side of a country known for its tolerance and liberal values. It reveals how Indigenous women, sex workers, community leaders and activists are fighting back to protect themselves and change perceptions. Most importantly, Red River Girl is an unforgettable description of the search for justice.

Valentino Affair

Valentino Affair

Author: Colin Evans Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2020

In 1922, Rudolph Valentino was one of the most famous men alive. But few knew that the star had a dirty secret that he desperately wanted to bury. The lurid tale began a decade earlier when former Yale football star and notorious playboy Jack de Saulles made headlines across three continents by pursuing the beautiful young Chilean heiress Blanca Errazuriz, known as the Star of Santiago. After the birth of their son, though, the marriage soured. Jack was going after every chorus girl on Broadway, claiming that Blanca had banished him from their bed. By 1916, Blanca wanted a divorce, rare then and even more so in a wealthy, powerful Catholic family. Enter Valentino, then still known as Rodolfo Guglielmi, a professional dancer in New York City, famous for the Argentinean tango. Blanca discovered that her husband had been sleeping with Joan Sawyer, Rodolfo's dance partner, so she set about cultivating the hungry young performer. Whether Blanca and Guglielmi became lovers remains unclear, but the ambitious Italian gave evidence on her behalf in divorce court. Furious, de Saulles had Guglielmi arrested on trumped-up vice charges, tarnishing the dancer's reputation. But Blanca was fighting bigger battles. De Saulles's family had been pulling strings, persuading the courts to grant him partial custody of their child. When it appeared that he wasn't going to return the boy to his mother's care, Blanca exploded. On a sweltering August night in 1917, she drove to Jack's mansion and shot him dead. Several people witnessed the act, but Blanca's family hired the best defense lawyer around, who salvaged de Saulles's reputation and made Blanca out to be a saint. During the most sensational trial of the decade, millions devoured the juicy details of how a high-society marriage violently unraveled. Guglielmi, desperate to avoid further poisonous publicity, fled to California, changed his name to Rudolph Valentino, and the rest is Hollywood history.

The First Time He Hit Her

The First Time He Hit Her

Author: Heidi Lemon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2020

For readers of true crime and books such as SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO, a shocking and movingly told portrait of the murder of suburban mum Tara Costigan and an examination of why domestic violence affects us all Tara Costigan was the woman next door. A hard worker. Quick to laugh and easy to like. She was happy, confident, strong. A woman who always looked after herself and her kids. Close with her family and her friends, she was much loved. Then, in 2013, she met Marcus Rappel. A local tradie, he was charming and sincere, they dated and fell in love. That should have been the end of a happy-ever-after story. But for Tara, it was much uglier. And for her family it would be devastating. A year later, Tara was pregnant to Marcus. Her family had been worried for a while, but Tara didn't tell anyone how Marcus's jealousy was souring the relationship. She tried to keep it quiet. Despite everything, she never imagined he would be physically violent - he would never hurt her. Tara was wrong. One fine day, the last day of summer in 2015, she was holding their newborn baby in her arms when he attacked her with an axe. Her murder seemed to come out of the blue. But as this extraordinary, often shocking book reveals, it did not. THE FIRST TIME HE HIT HER is an attempt to understand why dozens of women are murdered each year by men who profess to love them.

I Have Struck Mrs. Cochran with a Stake

I Have Struck Mrs. Cochran with a Stake

Author: Leslie Lambert Rounds Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2020

How the forgotten case of murder while sleepwalking changed history After creeping out of bed on a frigid January night in 1832, teenage farmhand Abraham Prescott took up an ax and thrashed his sleeping employers to the brink of death. He later explained that he'd attacked Sally and Chauncey Cochran in his sleep. The Cochrans eventually recovered but - to the astonishment of their neighbors - kept Prescott on, somehow accepting his strange story. This decision would come back to haunt them. While picking strawberries with Sally in an isolated field the following summer, Prescott used a fence post to violently kill the young mother. His explanation was again the same; he told Chauncey he'd fallen asleep and the next thing he knew, Sally was dead. Prescott's attorneys would use both a sleepwalking claim and an insanity plea in his defense, despite the historically dismal success rates of these arguments. In the two murder trials that followed, Prescott was convicted and sentenced to death both times. Prescott's crime has landmark significance, however, notably because many believed the boy was mentally ill and should never have been executed. The case also highlights the discriminatory role class plays in the American justice system. Using contemporaneous accounts as well as information from other insanity and sleepwalking defenses, author Leslie Lambert Rounds reconstructs the crime and raises important questions about privilege, societal discrimination against the mentally ill and the disadvantaged, and the unfortunate secondary role of women in history.