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Best True Crime Books

Harry MacLean is an Edgar Award winning true crime author and lawyer living in Denver, Colorado. His latest book Starkweather, set to be released on November 28, 2023, is the definitive story of Charles Starkweather, often considered to be the first mass killer in the modern age of America. This is set to be one of the best true crime books as tells the tale of the killing spree that changed America. The true crime book chronicles the shocking event and its lasting impact – a crime spree that struck deep into the heart of the heartland.

Best True Crime Books: Starkweather by Harry MacLean


“Surprise: We live in the golden age of crime writing. Exhibit A: Harry MacLean’s absorbing taxonomy STARKWEATHER (Nov. 28), a history of the murderer whose nihilism inspired generations of responses, from Springsteen’s “Nebraska” and to the media’s embrace of crime itself.” —Christopher Borelli, Chicago Tribune


“MacLean offers the most comprehensive work to date on the horrific murder spree launched in Nebraska by nineteen-year-old Charles Starkweather. As a community insider, MacLean presents a convincing case that the myth of teenage lovers on a murderous lark must be remedied. True-crime fans will be enthralled.” —Dr. Katherine Ramsland, professor of forensic psychology and award-winning author of Confession of a Serial Killer


“Starkweather is a comprehensive, poetic, and brutal examination of American violence and our collective propensity for self-deception that upends everything you think you know about these so-called natural born killers. MacLean has penned an instant classic.” —Tod Goldberg, author of Gangsters Don’t Die


“Spellbinding.... Anyone today who seriously wonders how our crimescape became so freakish must read this book. It's one of our most meticulously researched and important crime-history books in a long time.”

– Ron Franscell, New York Times bestselling author of ShadowMan: An Elusive Psycho Killer and the Birth of FBI Profiling


“Starkweather is a profound and beautiful reexamination and reinvestigation of a story that is instantly familiar. Not simply essential reading for true crime fans, but for anyone who wants to understand the root of our fascination with the genre. Mythbusting and surprising, MacLean's latest transcends the genre that it also elevates.” —Ivy Pochoda, author of Sing Her Down



So the stage was set as 1957 came to a close. The country was filled with self-confidence and a bustling optimism. There was no real fear of an evil out there, no real fear of an evil inside. As cruel as war was, it was never random. You knew the face of the enemy. Someone won and someone lost. Play by the rules, be decent ad respectful of another, take care of your family and go to church, and life will be good. Yes, terrible things happen, like a car-versus-train accident that kills a family of four, but seldom at the hands of another, here in Nebraska.

The American lexicon did not include the word mass murder. Or spree killer. Or serial killer. Not that some hadn’t existed in the past, but they were never mythologized or given a categorical title. They hadn’t been brought into your home through the eye of television or given front-page coverage day after day for weeks.

Enter Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate. Read more excerpts from Starkweather »

Best True Crime Books by Harry MacLean
True Crime Book Author: Harry MacLean

HARRY N. MACLEAN is the author of the true crime classic In Broad Daylight: A Murder in Skidmore, Missouri, which won an Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and was a New York Times bestseller for twelve weeks, selling over 1 million copies. His other books include Once Upon A Time: A True Story of Memory, Murder, and the Law, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and served as the basis for Buried, the Emmy-nominated Showtime series, and The Past Is Never Dead: The Trial of James Ford Seale and Mississippi's Search for Redemption, which was short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. His first novel, The Joy of Killing, was selected as one of the ten best novels of 2015 by the Denver Post. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Best True Crime Books by Harry MacLean

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Aug 02, 2023

Looking forward to reading this one!

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