Some true crime writing gets a bad rap in the literary world. But a new collection of thirteen true crime nonfiction nonfiction narratives, "True Crime: Real-Life Stories of Abduction, Addiction, Obsession, Murder, Grave-Robbing, and More" [In Fact Books, $15.95], seeks to dispel the notion that all writing within the genre has to be sensationalist, trashy, or considered a guilty pleasure. In fact these stories, when written well, can achieve what the best literature achieves, making us question our collective cultural morality and what it is that makes us human.
It goes without saying these stories can also be totally riveting. In Fact Books put together a list of their favorite American true crime stories, which employ rich characterization, vivid cinematic scenes, and varied points of view to tell their unbelievable true stories as fully and artfully as possible--and that also comment in some way on American culture at the time they were written.