True crime – 2020 was a very good year

January 31, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

The year 2020 might not have been so great overall, but if you are a true crime fan, things did get a little bit better over the last 12 months. In some people’s eyes, they got a lot better.

That’s the view of author Sarah Weinman, whose new book, Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit & Obsession, contains this paragraph about the growth of the true-crime genré in its introduction:

“Lately, it’s felt different. More highbrow. More participatory. More investigative. More in the public interest. More reflective, critical, even postmodern. The current state of the genre has broadened far past stories once reliably contained within the pages of mass-market paperbacks, covers with dripping fonts. Or tabloid-friendly tales slickly packaged into programs that air on Investigation Discovery, Oxygen, and Lifetime.”

Weinman’s book contains contributions of various writers in the true crime genre, and if the download the sample from Amazon, you will get not only the introduction but also the first chapter, Michelle Dean’s account of a truly bizarre relationship between a mother and daughter that ended in a murder.

Along the same lines, the editors of have put together a list of the best true crime books of 2020, and if you are into the genre, you will want to check it out to make sure you haven’t missed anything good.

From stories of systemic corruption to personal memoirs, they take on crime at every level. It was also a strong year for deeply researched tales of espionage and duplicity, with larger than life figures and feats emerging from world historical events, bringing the individuals into focus. Below you’ll find a range of books, from contemporary crime narratives to memoirs to historical nonfiction. We’ve labeled them all “true crime” because that’s how diverse the genre has become, and we’re here to celebrate its continuing rise. Source: The Best True Crime Books of 2020 ‹ CrimeReads

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