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Peter Manso

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10 True Crime Books You Won't Be Able To Put Down

Posted: 07/05/2011 8:24 am

What is there to say about true-crime books? They're fun. They can be intellectually compelling, and, like the fictional variety from Hammett, Cain and that crowd, they're more often than not rooted in the far side of respectability or polite society. Most every writer wants to write one. The trick is to come up with the right crime, the right crook or issue. Here are ten of my favorites that helped get me through "Reasonable Doubt: The Fashion Writer, Cape Cod, and the Trial of Chris McCowen":

"Helter Skelter" by Vincent Bugliosi
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Deservedly the all-timer bestseller of the genre, a remarkable page-turner that both moves at about 90 m.p.h but is also chockablock with the many details, complexities and sub-plots, not to say points of law, that studded the Manson investigation and trial. A groundbreaking achievement that probably could only have come from Manson's prosecutor, who's gone on to emerge as a major writer.
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