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American Demon: Eliot Ness and the Hunt for America’s Jack the Ripper

In his latest true-crime thriller, bestselling popular historian Stashower turns his attention to the so-called “Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run,” aka the “Cleveland Torso Murderer,” a still-unidentified maniac seemingly responsible for a dozen or more murders in Depression-era Cleveland. The author’s focus falls on the investigative role played by Eliot Ness, who was named the city’s safety director after his success in Chicago as the charismatic leader of a mob-busting brigade. Read more

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Mick Herron Wins Crime Novel of the Year Award for Slough House

Mick Herron has won the Theakston Old Peculier crime novel of the year award, after his fifth time being shortlisted in six years. Herron won the award for Slough House, the seventh instalment in his series of the same name, which follows a band of failed spies. In the book, a new populist movement is taking hold on London’s streets, and the spies find themselves on the run in the aftermath of a blunder by the Russian secret service that left a British citizen dead. The series was recently turned into an Apple TV+ show starring Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas. Read more

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Why is the ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ author wanted for questioning in a murder?

It’s all resurfaced just before the movie’s release thanks to a recent article in the Atlantic by its editor, Jeffrey Goldberg, which updates and doubles down on a piece he wrote for the New Yorker in 2010. Back when Owens was known as the co-writer of a couple works of nonfiction, Goldberg published an 18,000-word exposé on Owens and her now-ex-husband, Mark, revealing that the couple — along with Mark’s son Christopher — were suspected by Zambian authorities of being involved in the killing of an alleged poacher (a homicide caught on camera) along with possible other criminal activities. Read more

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Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks

The 12 essays in this superlative collection from New Yorker staff writer Keefe reflect, as he says in his preface, his abiding preoccupations: “crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial.” … Every one of these selections is a journalistic gem. Immensely enjoyable writing married with fascinating subjects makes this a must-read. Read more

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How a Death-Row Inmate’s Embrace of Conservatism Led to His Release

In 1957, Edgar Smith, a 23-year-old former Marine who was both a husband and a new father, confessed to the bludgeoning murder of 15-year-old Vickie Zielinski in New Jersey. After deliberating for two hours, a jury convicted him. The judge sentenced him to death and he was sent to Trenton State Prison. What interests Weinman, who writes the Crime column for The New York Times Book Review, is not the murder but what transpired in its wake. Through a confluence of events, William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of National Review and one of the architects of the 20th-century conservative movement, learned that Smith was a fan of his publication. Flattered, Buckley began to mail the inmate the latest issues. These communications initiated a relationship that would add up to nine years and 1,500 pages of correspondence — and, ultimately, Smith’s release from prison. Read more

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C. J. Sansom Awarded Diamond Dagger

CJ Sansom has been announced as the recipient of the highest honour in British crime writing, the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Diamond Dagger. One of Britain’s bestselling historical novelists, Christopher John Sansom was born in 1952 in Edinburgh. He was educated at Birmingham University with a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he retrained as a solicitor and practised in Sussex, until becoming a full-time writer. Read more

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