Charles Manson, the CIA, and a Very Different Side of Helter Skelter

Book review: Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties, by Tom O'Neill with Dan Piepenbring So many years later, Manson’s name still served as a kind of shorthand for a very American form of brutal violence, the kind that erupts seemingly from nowhere and confirms the nation’s darkest fears about... Continue Reading →

Mini Reviews: Two New True Crime Anthologies

The Case of the Vanishing Blonde, by Mark Bowden (Amazon) Unspeakable Acts, edited by Sarah Weinman (Amazon) Two new books of long-form true crime nonfiction are out this month, and they're both pretty good. Let's get into it. First up is gifted narrative nonfiction author Mark Bowden's The Case of the Vanishing Blonde. My introduction... Continue Reading →

The First Book from The Last Podcast on the Left

The Last Book on the Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History's Most Notorious Serial Killers (Amazon / Book Depository) Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski, and Ben Kissel of The Last Podcast on the Left, the long-running, make-you-laugh-til-you-cry comedy podcast covering stories of crime, the macabre and supernatural, conspiracy theories, alien abductions, high strangeness and general... Continue Reading →

Memoir and Unsolved Murders in Appalachia

Book review: The Third Rainbow Girl, by Emma Copley Eisenberg (Amazon / Book Depository) Emma Copley Eisenberg looks back on her time in Appalachia, in West Virginia's rural Pocahontas County, and the connection to a notorious unsolved double murder of two young women that took place in the region in 1980. The women, Vicki Durian... Continue Reading →

Pre-2019 Favorites

If new nonfiction this year was a little lackluster, I did feel more enthusiastic about the backlist titles I read throughout the year. It was one of these that was my absolute favorite and the best book I read this year: Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, by Kapka Kassabova - Kassabova returned... Continue Reading →

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