100 books like Highway of Tears

By Jessica McDiarmid,

Here are 100 books that Highway of Tears fans have personally recommended if you like Highway of Tears. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Know My Name: A Memoir

Genevieve Kingston Author Of Did I Ever Tell You?: A Memoir

From my list on young women on journeys of self-discovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young girl and aspiring writer, I was shocked when I learned how recently women had been afforded the right to publish under our own names. As a life-long reader of female authors, and lover of complex female protagonists, I’m passionate about supporting and sharing stories by and about women. As an author and playwright, I love to seek out buried narratives or minor characters, and put them center stage. I hope you enjoy these extraordinary books by these extraordinary women.

Genevieve's book list on young women on journeys of self-discovery

Genevieve Kingston Why did Genevieve love this book?

My overwhelming feeling after finishing this book was gratitude. I felt so grateful to Chanel Miller and to all the women who somehow find the courage and capacity to speak out about sexual assault.

Miller writes skillfully and devastatingly about the details of her own highly publicized attack on the Stanford Campus. I was glad to get to know the human being behind the headlines and to read an honest and meticulous account of the long legal process that follows such a harrowing event. I devoured this approachable, relatable, fearless book quickly, unable to put it down.

By Chanel Miller,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Know My Name as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Universally acclaimed, rapturously reviewed, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and an instant New York Times bestseller, Chanel Miller's breathtaking memoir "gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter." (The Wrap).

"I opened Know My Name with the intention to bear witness to the story of a survivor. Instead, I found myself falling into the hands of one of the great writers and thinkers of our time. Chanel Miller is a philosopher, a cultural critic, a deep observer, a writer's…


Book cover of Murdered Midas: A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise

Dean Jobb Author Of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

From my list on Canadian historical true crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

True crime stories offer a window into the past, transporting readers to another time and place. They reveal human behaviour at its worst and people striving to do the right thing. And the narrative is always dramatic and compelling, with mysteries to be solved, suspects to be captured, justice to be done. My books profile a Jazz Age con artist, a Victorian Era serial killer, and a gentleman jewel thief of the 1920s. I write a column of true crime stories and book reviews for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and I teach in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dean's book list on Canadian historical true crime

Dean Jobb Why did Dean love this book?

“I shall die violently,” Sir Harry Oakes once predicted. He was right. In 1943, the sixty-eight-year-old’s battered, burned corpse was found in his villa in the Bahamas. No one was ever convicted of murdering the prospector who struck it rich in Northern Ontario and hobnobbed with the likes of Duke of Windsor, the governor of the Bahamas, and the former King Edward VIII. Gray, Canada’s most acclaimed popular historian, recreates the case and identifies the likely culprit in this deeply researched, vividly told account of a crime so sensational it upstaged news from the battlefields of the Second World War. 

By Charlotte Gray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murdered Midas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year

In this “engrossing must-read” by “Canada’s most accomplished popular historian” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine), the glittering life and brutal murder of Sir Harry Oakes is newly investigated. Murdered Midas is “superior true-crime writing” (The Globe and Mail).

On an island paradise in 1943, Sir Harry Oakes, gold-mining tycoon, philanthropist and one of the richest men in the British Empire, is murdered. The news of his death surges across the English-speaking world, from London, the Imperial centre, to the remote Canadian mining town of Kirkland Lake in the Northern Ontario bush.…


Book cover of The Whisky King: The Remarkable True Story of Canada's Most Infamous Bootlegger and the Undercover Mountie on His Trail

Dean Jobb Author Of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

From my list on Canadian historical true crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

True crime stories offer a window into the past, transporting readers to another time and place. They reveal human behaviour at its worst and people striving to do the right thing. And the narrative is always dramatic and compelling, with mysteries to be solved, suspects to be captured, justice to be done. My books profile a Jazz Age con artist, a Victorian Era serial killer, and a gentleman jewel thief of the 1920s. I write a column of true crime stories and book reviews for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and I teach in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dean's book list on Canadian historical true crime

Dean Jobb Why did Dean love this book?

Rocco Perri, Canada’s most notorious gangster of the Jazz Age, built an Ontario-based bootlegging and vice empire with his wife, Bessie. Cole, an award-winning novelist, tells the story of this Al Capone wannabe who grabbed headlines, eliminated rivals, and evaded the law for years as he smuggled booze into the Prohibition-parched United States. And to add a twist, the story of Perri’s rise to underworld power is told in tandem with the efforts of Frank Zaneth, an undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, to bring the kingpin to justice.

By Trevor Cole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Whisky King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“True-crime writing at its finest.” —Dean Jobb, author of Empire of Deception

A rich and fascinating history of Canada’s first celebrity mobster, Rocco Perri—King of the Bootleggers—and the man who pursued him, Canada’s first undercover Mountie, for readers of Erik Larson, Dean Jobb and Charlotte Gray

At the dawn of the 20th century, two Italian men arrived in Canada amid waves of immigration. One, Rocco Perri, from southern Italy, rose from the life of a petty criminal on the streets of Toronto to running the most prominent bootlegging operation of the Prohibition era, taking over Hamilton and leading one of…


Book cover of The Missing Millionaire: The True Story of Ambrose Small and the City Obsessed With Finding Him

Dean Jobb Author Of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

From my list on Canadian historical true crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

True crime stories offer a window into the past, transporting readers to another time and place. They reveal human behaviour at its worst and people striving to do the right thing. And the narrative is always dramatic and compelling, with mysteries to be solved, suspects to be captured, justice to be done. My books profile a Jazz Age con artist, a Victorian Era serial killer, and a gentleman jewel thief of the 1920s. I write a column of true crime stories and book reviews for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and I teach in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dean's book list on Canadian historical true crime

Dean Jobb Why did Dean love this book?

What became of Ambrose Small? That’s the mystery at the heart of this riveting story of wealth, lies, and betrayal. The Toronto theatre magnate disappeared in 1919, on the day he made a fortune from the sale of his chain of vaudeville and movie houses. Was he kidnapped and murdered before he could cash in, or did he want to disappear? Daubs explores this century-old cold case and immerses readers in 1920s Toronto, a city with a straitlaced reputation—dubbed “Toronto the Good”—but no shortage of sinners and shady characters. This richly detailed account is as absorbing as any fictional whodunit.

Book cover of Murders and Mysteries: A Canadian Series

Dean Jobb Author Of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

From my list on Canadian historical true crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

True crime stories offer a window into the past, transporting readers to another time and place. They reveal human behaviour at its worst and people striving to do the right thing. And the narrative is always dramatic and compelling, with mysteries to be solved, suspects to be captured, justice to be done. My books profile a Jazz Age con artist, a Victorian Era serial killer, and a gentleman jewel thief of the 1920s. I write a column of true crime stories and book reviews for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and I teach in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dean's book list on Canadian historical true crime

Dean Jobb Why did Dean love this book?

Wallace—a history professor, librarian, and bookseller—was one of Canada’s first true crime writers. This collection of sixteen stories of murder and mayhem, first published in 1931, is a trove of long-forgotten tales. Some of the crimes he chronicles made international headlines. Harry and Dallas Hyams, identical twin brothers from New Orleans, were accused of killing an employee in Toronto in 1893 to collect on insurance policies. Adelard Delorme, a Catholic priest in Montreal, stood trial four times for the 1922 murder of his brother and was ultimately set free. Wallace apologized for straying from mainstream history into the realm of the gruesome and sensational to record, as he put it, “what God in His wisdom saw fit to permit to happen.”

Book cover of We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence

Rebecca McKanna Author Of Don't Forget the Girl

From my list on true crime that still honor the victims.

Why am I passionate about this?

After writing a novel about the toll true crime can take on victims’ loved ones and the risk it runs of glamourizing killers while overshadowing victims, I’ve been on the hunt for true crime books that don’t fall into these traps. The titles on this list showcase beautiful writing and tell compelling stories without dehumanizing the victims or glamourizing the perpetrators. 

Rebecca's book list on true crime that still honor the victims

Rebecca McKanna Why did Rebecca love this book?

As a Harvard undergrad, Cooper hears a story about an anthropology professor who murdered a female graduate student with whom he was having an affair, burning her body with cigarette butts and surrounding her in red ochre.

This “macabre legend” illustrates a common critique of true crime—a victim provided no name and no identity beyond the way she was brutalized. A former New Yorker editorial staff member, Cooper performed meticulous research on the 1969 murder, debunking the affair rumor and instead exploring a more interesting story about memory, institutional power, and misogyny in academia.

She also excavates the story of the crime’s victim, 23-year-old Jane Britton. Full of twists and turns, this real-life whodunit provides an exacting portrait of who Jane was and what her loved ones lost.

By Becky Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Keep the Dead Close as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2021 CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION

'I'm obsessed!' REESE WITHERSPOON

'Exhilarating ... Becky Cooper masterfully uncovers the story of Harvard undergrad Jane Britton.' VOGUE
________________________
You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn't let you forget.

1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an…


Book cover of I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her

Rebecca McKanna Author Of Don't Forget the Girl

From my list on true crime that still honor the victims.

Why am I passionate about this?

After writing a novel about the toll true crime can take on victims’ loved ones and the risk it runs of glamourizing killers while overshadowing victims, I’ve been on the hunt for true crime books that don’t fall into these traps. The titles on this list showcase beautiful writing and tell compelling stories without dehumanizing the victims or glamourizing the perpetrators. 

Rebecca's book list on true crime that still honor the victims

Rebecca McKanna Why did Rebecca love this book?

While on assignment for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Connors was raped by a man recently released from prison. Before, he lets her go, he tells her not to contact the police, warning her, “[…] I will find you.”

The phrase becomes the through line of Connors’ book, which is both about her quest to find a way forward after the assault and about her journey to uncover her assailant’s past and the reasons he might have committed this crime. The result is a poignant look at both the trauma left in crime’s wake as well as the societal influences that cause crime to occur in the first place.

By Joanna Connors,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Will Find You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A hard-hitting memoir about a woman's search to understand the man who raped her

Joanna Connors was thirty years old when she was raped at knifepoint by a stranger.

Many years later she realised she had to confront the fear that had ruled her life ever since that day. She needed, finally, to understand. So she went in search of her rapist's story, determined to find out who he was, where he came from, what his life was like - and what leads a person to do something as destructive as what he did to her.

'More chilling than a…


Book cover of Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York

Rebecca McKanna Author Of Don't Forget the Girl

From my list on true crime that still honor the victims.

Why am I passionate about this?

After writing a novel about the toll true crime can take on victims’ loved ones and the risk it runs of glamourizing killers while overshadowing victims, I’ve been on the hunt for true crime books that don’t fall into these traps. The titles on this list showcase beautiful writing and tell compelling stories without dehumanizing the victims or glamourizing the perpetrators. 

Rebecca's book list on true crime that still honor the victims

Rebecca McKanna Why did Rebecca love this book?

In 1991, a maintenance worker at a Pennsylvania rest area discovered a man’s head in a trash barrel.

Even though he hadn’t touched blood, people suggested the worker should take an AIDS test. Green’s exceptional book opens with this moment, dropping the reader into early ‘90s AIDS panic and the brutal murders of a string of gay and bisexual men from Manhattan.

Green fleshes out the victims’ lives, showing how homophobia was their constant companion, even in the way the police and media treated their eventual murders. Diligently researched and compassionately written, Green’s book is a page-turner that never dehumanizes its victims or glorifies their killer.

By Elon Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Call as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**WINNER OF THE EDGAR® AWARD FOR BEST FACT CRIME**

A "terrific, harrowing, true-crime account of an elusive serial killer who preyed upon gay men in the 1990s."
-The New York Times (Editor's Pick)

"In this astonishing and powerful work of nonfiction, Green meticulously reports on a series of baffling and brutal crimes targeting gay men. It is an investigation filled with twists and turns, but this is much more than a compelling true crime story. Green has shed light on those whose lives for too long have been forgotten, and rescued an important part of American history."
-David Grann, #1…


Book cover of The Tenderness of Wolves

Karen Odden Author Of Down a Dark River

From my list on mystery and suspense by women authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been an avid reader of mysteries since I discovered Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden at age seven. I not only consume mysteries but I write about them: in 2002, my PhD dissertation discussed Victorian novels of suspense. Since then, I have published four Victorian mysteries with Random House, Harper Collins, and Crooked Lane. I am perpetually drawn to reading and writing books that trace the arc from confusion and chaos to clarity and order because I believe it is one of our deepest impulses as human beings—to understand our world. 

Karen's book list on mystery and suspense by women authors

Karen Odden Why did Karen love this book?

This heart-wrenching historical novel won the prestigious Costa Book of the Year award. Set in 1867 in Dove River, a tiny settlement in the Northern Territory, this tale is told by several narrators. Often, that technique is used ineffectively, but Penney has made each voice so distinct that the book transcends the genre of murder mystery to become a reflection upon how people perceive the same event very differently. When Mrs. Ross discovers the murdered body of the trapper Laurent Jammett, her worst nightmare comes true: her seventeen-year-old son Francis has disappeared and has been named the primary suspect. Searchers set out from Dove River, following his tracks across the snow, ultimately discovering the truth behind the murder. This tale compellingly explores themes of justice and redemption. 

By Stef Penney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tenderness of Wolves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1867, Canada: as winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a man is brutally murdered and a 17-year old boy disappears. Tracks leaving the dead man's cabin head north towards the forest and the tundra beyond. In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the township - journalists, Hudson's Bay Company men, trappers, traders - but do they want to solve the crime, or exploit it? One-by-one the assembled searchers set out from Dove River, pursuing the tracks across a desolate landscape home only to wild animals, madmen and fugitives, variously seeking a murderer,…


Book cover of The Tracey Fragments

Tyler James Russell Author Of When Fire Splits the Sky

From my list on authentically (and engagingly) capture trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

After finding out a close friend of mine had what was once called Multiple Personality Disorder, I set out looking for stories, only to find that, according to most fictional representations, my friend was likely to be a violent, amnesiac murderer. Fortunately, this is wildly inaccurate. Unfortunately, it's socially prominent, and enormously destructive. This has sparked a decade-long obsession (and close friendship), the result of which is my debut novel, When Fire Splits the Sky, which was released in November of 2022 by Unsolicited Press. My other writing has been nominated for the Rhysling and Best of the Net, and has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction and F(r)iction, among others.

Tyler's book list on authentically (and engagingly) capture trauma

Tyler James Russell Why did Tyler love this book?

This novel is an incredible feat of writing “from the inside” of a character.

Teenager Tracey Berkowitz narrates her story as she looks for her missing brother, who thinks he’s a dog, but she is absolutely not a reliable narrator. I was lucky enough to have Maureen as a mentor, but for everything she taught me, this book somehow manages to say even more.

A fascinating psychological portrait. There is so much cold, brutal poetry in its pages.

By Maureen Medved,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tracey Fragments as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Naked under a tattered shower curtain, fifteen-year old Tracey Berkowitz has been sitting in the back of a bus for two days, looking for her brother, Sonny, who thinks he is a dog. Tracey's stories begin to twist and intertwine truth with lies, absorbing the reader into the games and delusions she uses to escape her despair.

The Tracey Fragments is a raw, moving account that immerses the reader into the labyrinth of a troubled, adolescent psyche, full of twists and turns, fear and uncertainty, trust and betrayal.

Maureen Medved adapted her novel into a film screenplay that was directed…


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