True Crime

Bad Blood

Bad Blood

$16.95
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - The gripping story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos--one of the biggest corporate frauds in history--a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley, rigorously reported by the prize-winning journalist. With a new Afterword.

"Chilling ... Reads like a thriller ... Carreyrou tells [the Theranos story] virtually to perfection." --The New York Times Book Review



In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the next Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with its breakthrough device, which performed the whole range of laboratory tests from a single drop of blood. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.5 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work. Erroneous results put patients in danger, leading to misdiagnoses and unnecessary treatments. All the while, Holmes and her partner, Sunny Balwani, worked to silence anyone who voiced misgivings--from journalists to their own employees.
Empire of Pain

Empire of Pain

$32.50
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR - A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin. From the prize-winning and bestselling author of Say Nothing.

"A real-life version of the HBO series Succession with a lethal sting in its tail...a masterful work of narrative reportage." - Laura Miller, Slate

The history of the Sackler dynasty is rife with drama--baroque personal lives; bitter disputes over estates; fistfights in boardrooms; glittering art collections; Machiavellian courtroom maneuvers; and the calculated use of money to burnish reputations and crush the less powerful. The Sackler name has adorned the walls of many storied institutions--Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, but the source of the family fortune was vague--until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis.

Empire of Pain is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Cap d'Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. It follows the family's early success with Valium to the much more potent OxyContin, marketed with a ruthless technique of co-opting doctors, influencing the FDA, downplaying the drug's addictiveness. Empire of Pain chronicles the multiple investigations of the Sacklers and their company, and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability.

A masterpiece of narrative reporting, Empire of Pain is a ferociously compelling portrait of America's second Gilded Age, a study of impunity among the super-elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed that built one of the world's great fortunes.

Furious Hours : Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

Furious Hours : Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

$26.95
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ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2019

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY Time, LitHub, Vulture, Glamour, O Magazine, Town and Country, Suspense Magazine, Inside Hook

New York Times

Best Seller


"Compelling . . . at once a true-crime thriller, courtroom drama, and miniature biography of Harper Lee. If To Kill a Mockingbird was one of your favorite books growing up, you should add Furious Hours to your reading list today." --Southern Living

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted--thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.

Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case.

Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country's most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

Gilded Edge: Two Audacious Women and the Cyanide Love Triangle That Shook America

Gilded Edge: Two Audacious Women and the Cyanide Love Triangle That Shook America

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"The Gilded Edge is a compelling read from start to finish. Gripping, suspenseful, cinematic. This is narrative nonfiction at its best."--Lindsey Fitzharris, bestselling author of The Butchering Art

Astonishingly well written, painstakingly researched, and set in the evocative locations of earthquake-ravaged San Francisco and the Monterey Peninsula, the true story of two women--a wife and a poet--who learn the high price of sexual and artistic freedom in a vivid depiction of the debauchery of the late Gilded Age

Nora May French and Carrie Sterling arrive at Carmel-by-the-Sea at the turn of the twentieth century with dramatically different ambitions. Nora, a stunning, brilliant, impulsive writer in her early twenties, seeks artistic recognition and Bohemian refuge among the most celebrated counterculturalists of the era. Carrie, long-suffering wife of real estate developer George Sterling, wants the opposite: a semblance of the stability she thought her advantageous marriage would offer, threatened now that her philandering husband has taken to writing poetry.

After her second abortion, Nora finds herself in a desperate situation but is rescued by an invitation to stay with the Sterlings. To Carrie's dismay, George and the arrestingly beautiful poetess fall instantly into an affair. The ensuing love triangle, which ultimately ends with the deaths of all three, is more than just a wild love story and a fascinating forgotten chapter. It questions why Nora May--in her day a revered poet whose nationally reported suicide gruesomely inspired youths across the country to take their own lives, with her verses in their pockets no less--has been rendered obscure by literary history. It depicts America at a turning point, as the Gilded Age groans in its death throes and young people, particularly women, look toward a brighter, more egalitarian future.

In an unfortunately familiar development, this vision proves to be a mirage. But women's rage at the scam redefines American progressivism forever.

For readers of Nathalia Holt, Denise Kiernan, and Sonia Purnell, this shocking history with a feminist bite is not to be missed.

A Peculiar Book Club Season 4 selection! See the Peculiar website for more details.

JFK, Oswald and Ruby: Politics, Prejudice and Truth

JFK, Oswald and Ruby: Politics, Prejudice and Truth

$39.95
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In this book, former Warren Commission lawyer Burt Griffin examines anew the Kennedy assassination, its various investigations, its effects on the Cold War and the civil rights movement, and the motives of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. Griffin begins with his own skeptical reaction to the assassination, proceeds to the Dallas police investigation, and continues with the efforts of himself and his colleagues to sift truth from those who concealed, withheld, or exaggerated evidence.

After nearly six decades of study, Judge Griffin is satisfied that Oswald acted alone. He concludes that violence in the Cold War and civil rights movement caused Oswald to believe that blame for Kennedy's death might be placed on followers of rightwing activist and former U.S. Army general Edwin Walker. Walker was an outspoken enemy of Oswald's idol, Cuban president Fidel Castro, and a firm opponent of racial integration--and Oswald had already attempted to murder Walker in April 1963. The author gives the Walker movement a more prominent place in the assassination story and traces the conflicting ambitions of Walker, Oswald, Kennedy and Ruby as they collided in October and November 1963. This book will help serious readers separate truth from fiction and to become examiners of how insignificant, unsuspected, powerless people driven by very personal needs and fears can, with the help of a firearm, alter the course of history.

Little, Crazy Children

Little, Crazy Children

$28.00
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For readers of Ann Rule and Gregg Olsen, a riveting new true crime book from the acclaimed author of True Crime Addict and creator/host of the podcasts True Crime This Week and The Philosophy of Crime, as he explores the unsolved murder of 16-year-old Lisa Pruett in the real life town of the bestselling novel Little Fires Everywhere for a painstakingly researched account of a senseless and heartbreaking tragedy and the people who were pulled into its aftermath.

In September of 1990, in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, sixteen-year-old Lisa Pruett, a poetry lover and member of a church youth group, was on her way to a midnight tryst with her boyfriend, when she was viciously stabbed to death only thirty feet from the boy's home.

The murder cast a palpable gloom over the upscale community and sparked accusations, theories, and rumors among Lisa's friends and peers. Together they wove a damning narrative that circled back to a likely suspect: "weird" high school outcast Kevin Young. Without a shred of evidence the teen was arrested, charged, and tried for the crime. His eventual acquittal didn't squelch the anger and outrage among those who believed that Kevin got away with murder.

With a fresh perspective and painstaking research culled from police files, court records, transcripts, uncollected evidence, and new interviews, James Renner reconstructs the events leading up to and following that heartbreaking night. What emerges is a portrait of a community seething with dark undercurrents--its single-minded authorities, protective status-conscious parents, and the deeply peer-pressured teens within Lisa's circle.

Who had the capacity for such unchecked violence? What monsters still lurk in the dark? After more than thirty years, questions like these continue to fester among the community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, still deeply scarred by wounds that remain hidden, unspoken, and unhealed.

Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century America

Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century America

$28.95
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Finalist for the 2022 Cheiron Book Prize​

An Organ of Murder explores the origins of both popular and elite theories of criminality in the nineteenth-century United States, focusing in particular on the influence of phrenology. In the United States, phrenology shaped the production of medico-legal knowledge around crime, the treatment of the criminal within prisons and in public discourse, and sociocultural expectations about the causes of crime. The criminal was phrenology's ideal research and demonstration subject, and the courtroom and the prison were essential spaces for the staging of scientific expertise. In particular, phrenology constructed ways of looking as well as a language for identifying, understanding, and analyzing criminals and their actions. This work traces the long-lasting influence of phrenological visual culture and language in American culture, law, and medicine, as well as the practical uses of phrenology in courts, prisons, and daily life.

The Feather Thief

The Feather Thief

$18.00
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As heard on NPR's This American Life

"Absorbing . . . Though it's non-fiction, The Feather Thief contains many of the elements of a classic thriller." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"One of the most peculiar and memorable true-crime books ever." --Christian Science Monitor

From the author of The Fishermen and the Dragon, a rollicking true-crime adventure and a captivating journey into an underground world of fanatical fly-tiers and plume peddlers, for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins--some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin's, Alfred Russel Wallace, who'd risked everything to gather them--and escaped into the darkness.

Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.
Under the Banner of Heaven : A Story of Violent Faith

Under the Banner of Heaven : A Story of Violent Faith

$19.00
$8.99
$8.99 - $19.00
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - From the author of Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, this extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America's isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities. - Now an acclaimed FX limited series streaming on HULU.

"Fantastic.... Right up there with In Cold Blood and The Executioner's Song." --San Francisco Chronicle

Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God; some 40,000 people still practice polygamy in these communities.

At the core of Krakauer's book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America's fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.

Vanishing of A.E. Leehman

Vanishing of A.E. Leehman

$11.99
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Everyone thought they knew A.E. Leehman, right up until she disappeared in July of 1953.

Follow County Detective Bert Williamson, who's keeping secrets of his own, as he calls upon the talents of old Army buddies to help him wend his way through a case well beyond his ability.

Working with one cock-sure reporter while barely tolerating another, bucking the district attorney, and forced to surrender the matter to State Police, Williamson discovers there's far more to the story than anybody else realizes.

Based in true-crime with sparkling characters, great dialogue, a twisty-turny plot with a jigsaw of facts: faith, love poetry, word games, librarians, and a surprising but logical conclusion all play their part in The Vanishing of A.E. Leehman.