The best books inspired by true events or based on actual facts that are more bizarre than fiction

Who am I?

Jane Finch lives in Norfolk, England and is married with one son. Jane has travelled extensively and has also lived in Canada, Spain, and the Caribbean. Having spent over twenty-five years working in English Law, Jane decided to try her hand at writing crime thrillers. Her first novel, Due Process, is based in her hometown in Norfolk. Her book, The Black Widows, published by Solstice Publishing, reached the top ten of Amazon’s crime thriller list. Jane is a member of International Thriller Writers Inc. Now retired, Jane is free to write full-time, when inspired to do so, although she says, None of my friends tell me anything anymore because they know I’ll write about it!”

I wrote...

The Black Widows

By Jane Finch,

Book cover of The Black Widows

What is my book about?

Three women who may have questionable motives but ultimately want to make their husbands pay. Whilst the three protagonists are fictional characters, they were inspired by true-life crimes, and the book features a selection of notorious women who disposed of their husbands for financial gain. 

The Black Widows by Jane Finch is a fictitious thriller about three women who plan and plot the deaths of their ruthless, wealthy husbands. How could these women be so unscrupulous? Was it greed or revenge? Like the spider weaving her web, the author spins three well-developed stories of love, loss, death, betrayal, and triumph. These women are true examples of narcissists, and this book is not your normal run-of-the-mill thriller. 

The books I picked & why

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Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny

By Mike Dash,

Book cover of Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny

Why this book?

Australia’s most famous and murderous event in history involving a shipwreck, a mutinous and bloodthirsty crew, an incompetent captain, and a story that defies belief. I stumbled across this book and almost didn’t read it because it was way out of my comfort zone, but it was a truly compelling (and disturbing) read. So much so that I wrote a sequel and published it as an e-book! This story will haunt your dreams.

Out of My Depth

By Anne Darwin, David Leigh,

Book cover of Out of My Depth

Why this book?

When John Darwin got into debt and ran out of money-making ideas, he decided to fake his own death so that his wife could claim the life insurance. The plan was to move to another country and live off the proceeds of his crime. But things didn’t go to plan. The arrogance and ineptitude of John Darwin, and his complete disregard for his family, defies belief. I couldn’t wait to read this book and was not disappointed. It has now been made into a drama by the BBC in the UK.

Into the Wild

By Jon Krakauer,

Book cover of Into the Wild

Why this book?

For anyone yearning to get completely away from it all this tragic story will make you think twice. In 1992 a young man left his affluent life behind and walked into the Alaskan wilderness. Four months later his emaciated body was found. I enjoy an adventure and found this absolutely compelling, although heartbreaking, and found myself wondering if this young man found fulfillment.

Flight MH370: The Mystery

By Nigel Cawthorne,

Book cover of Flight MH370: The Mystery

Why this book?

A mystery that confounds the world. How can a flight completely disappear? There are several conspiracy theories and ideas but the truth is – no one really knows what happened and probably never will. This book sets out the facts and leaves the reader to decide and it will have you mulling over the endless possibilities. The facts are troubling and the theories continue. Every time I board a plane I think of Flight MH370 and what those passengers must have endured. Bad enough as fiction but to realise it’s true is devastating.

The Homecoming

By Earl Hamner,

Book cover of The Homecoming

Why this book?

This is probably an unusual choice given my four other choices. However, sometimes a book that has no violence, no sex, no blasphemy, and no drugs or alcohol,(although there are two elderly bootlegger sisters) is just what is needed to cleanse the soul. A book about family love, a touch of humour, and creative characters will leave the reader with a warm glow. Of course, this book was the inspiration for The Waltons TV series. The Homecoming is based on true events when Earl Hamner was 15 years old.

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