79 books like In the Name of the Children

By Jeffrey L. Rinek, Marilee Strong,

Here are 79 books that In the Name of the Children fans have personally recommended if you like In the Name of the Children. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of In Cold Blood

Peggy Webb Author Of Black Crow Cabin

From my list on books about crime that transcend the genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a small farm in Mississippi and discovered the wide world through a movable feast of books provided by the Bookmobile. The hayloft was my favorite reading spot. I could look across the lake to imagine myself in WWII Paris, the frozen tundras of Alaska, or anywhere beyond the pastures where Daddy’s cattle grazed. I fell in love with words when I was eight years old, a dreamer spinning stories inspired by the ones I read between the covers of my beloved books. I still love words and hear their music as they flow onto the pages of the thrillers I currently write.

Peggy's book list on books about crime that transcend the genre

Peggy Webb Why did Peggy love this book?

I was first drawn to Capote’s book because it’s an amazing hybrid—a page-turning, true crime story about the Clutter family murders in Kansas that reads like fiction. Capote and I are both products of the Deep South, so I knew to expect lyrical writing and rich details, two elements I treasure in a novel.

When I drive from my home to visit my son in Florida, I go through Monroeville, Alabama, where Capote grew up next door to Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird), and I think of how she helped him interview friends of the victims and watched him almost lose his soul as he interviewed the killers.

Those interviews are the beating heart that sucked me into the story and ensured this novel would become a classic.  

By Truman Capote,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked In Cold Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The chilling true crime 'non-fiction novel' that made Truman Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative published in Penguin Modern Classics.

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly…


Book cover of Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit

Kathryn Canavan Author Of Lincoln's Final Hours: Conspiracy, Terror, and the Assassination of America's Greatest President

From my list on true crime stories written by insiders and experts.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my first newspaper jobs was as a crime writer, covering and discovering crime stories in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. There's a lot of chaff among the wheat in the true crime genre. Some books are padded with the author's personal lives. Some have paper-thin plots. The books I've recommended are well-told, well-researched stories that are hard to put down.

Kathryn's book list on true crime stories written by insiders and experts

Kathryn Canavan Why did Kathryn love this book?

I learned so much from reading this book by the bureau's pioneering profiler.

Books by profilers and local police who solve major murders often focus on the author's career. No one cares. Douglas's books focus on the crimes and the perpetrators.

He has interviewed Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz, Lynette Fromme, John Wayne Gacy, Edmund Kemper, Sirhan Sirhan, Richard Speck, Sara Jane Moore, and Charles Manson. He explains what makes them tick.

By Mark Olshaker, John E. Douglas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a Netflix original series

Discover the classic, behind-the-scenes chronicle of John E. Douglas’ twenty-five-year career in the FBI Investigative Support Unit, where he used psychological profiling to delve into the minds of the country’s most notorious serial killers and criminals.

In chilling detail, the legendary Mindhunter takes us behind the scenes of some of his most gruesome, fascinating, and challenging cases—and into the darkest recesses of our worst nightmares.

During his twenty-five year career with the Investigative Support Unit, Special Agent John Douglas became a legendary figure in law enforcement, pursuing some of the most notorious and sadistic serial…


Book cover of Killing Women: The True Story of Serial Killer Don Miller's Reign of Terror

Alan R. Warren Author Of Murder Times Six: The True Story of the Wells Gray Murders

From my list on covering the criminal justice system in America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When writing about true crime it is important for me to write about the victim’s lives before, during, and even after the crime happened. Unlike the rest of us, after the trial ends, their life continues dealing with the after-effects including parole hearings for the murderer. I've written 12 true crime books and I am the host and producer of the popular true crime history radio show House of Mystery on NBC news talk radio network throughout the U.S. & Canada. I am autistic and I have a master’s degree in Music from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a bachelor of Arts in Criminology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. 

Alan's book list on covering the criminal justice system in America

Alan R. Warren Why did Alan love this book?

This is a relatively new book, but not only does it take you through the case of serial killer Don Miller it explains how difficult it can be for the survivors to move on with their lives. In general, most people think that once the trial is over  that everyone can move on with their lives, but that’s not always the case. Killers like don Miller come up for parole, and that’s when the second part of the journey continues for these survivors. It becomes really hard to move forward with their lives when they have to relive the murders at every parole hearing until either the killer is released or dies.

By Rod Sadler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Rod Sadler takes us through the twisted world of a serial killer, in a labor of love that pays respect to those lives the monster destroyed and reminding us why they should never be forgotten and he should never be free." - Dave Schrader, host of Darkness Radio and True Crime Tuesday, and host of The Travel Channel's 'The Holzer Files'

Will A Serial Killer Soon Walk The Streets Again?

Don Miller was quiet and reserved. As a former youth pastor, he seemed a devout Christian. No one would have ever suspected that the recent graduate of the Michigan State…


Book cover of Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall

Jim Elledge Author Of An Angel in Sodom: Henry Gerber and the Birth of the Gay Rights Movement

From my list on gay history before Stonewall.

Why am I passionate about this?

In post-Roe America, gay people face the very real possibility of our rights being stripped from us, underscoring the importance of this adage: “Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.” That's why years ago, when I realize that many gay men were ignorant about gay history before Stonewall, I began editing anthologies of gay writings from the past. That led me to writing biographies and histories in which I explore gay men’s experiences, hoping my work shines a light on our forgotten past.

Jim's book list on gay history before Stonewall

Jim Elledge Why did Jim love this book?

As with physique photographs, I never associated murder with gay history, but newspapers were full of reports of it, often in coded and lewd language, as early as the 1920s. The cases were virtually identical. An older man meets a younger, attractive one and invites him home. In a fit of “homosexual panic” after the older man’s “indecent advance” toward him, the younger kills the older but, tried, is found innocent, given a light sentence, or paroled. Juries, judges, newspaper reporters, and the police engaged in and promoted such extreme homophobia. Indecent Advances helped me understand a principal excuse our society used in an attempt to cover up its hatred of gay men. 

By James Polchin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Indecent Advances as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A grisly, sobering, comprehensively researched new history.' - The New Yorker

Indecent Advances is a skilful hybrid of true crime and social history that examines the often-coded portrayal of crimes against gay men in the decades before Stonewall.

New York University professor and critic James Polchin illustrates how homosexuals were criminalized, and their murders justified, in the popular imagination from 1930s 'sex panics' to Cold War fear of Communists and homosexuals in government. He shows the vital that role crime stories played in ideas of normalcy and deviancy, and how those stories became tools to discriminate against and harm gay…


Book cover of If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood

Melissa Caribou Annen Author Of The Midwest Madman: An Agent Raines Casefile

From my list on murderous serial killers that keep you up at night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe my love of horror and mystery started young. My first favorite book was The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree. I started writing my first mystery novel when I was in high school. It wasn’t very good, but I still have it. I have so many stories in my head that it’s hard to keep them straight. I also co-host a True Crime podcast, Nothing Happens in A Small Town

Melissa's book list on murderous serial killers that keep you up at night

Melissa Caribou Annen Why did Melissa love this book?

If You Tell reads like a fiction mystery novel. I wasn’t paying attention when I started reading this, and I thought it was fiction. When I realized this book was based on a true story it bewildered me. You hear stories about people, how horrible they can be, but this mother had to be a fictional character – she’s not. She will give you nightmares.

By Gregg Olsen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked If You Tell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A #1 Wall Street Journal, Amazon Charts, USA Today, and Washington Post bestseller.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen's shocking and empowering true-crime story of three sisters determined to survive their mother's house of horrors.

After more than a decade, when sisters Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek hear the word mom, it claws like an eagle's talons, triggering memories that have been their secret since childhood. Until now.

For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors. Through it all,…


Book cover of The Perfect Father: The True Story of Chris Watts, His All-American Family, and a Shocking Murder

Dianne DeMille Author Of Path of the Devil: Camino del Diablo

From my list on true crime and corruption.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an educator and author of many books, I was asked to write a book about the spiritual journey of a DEA agent with two PIs. They were determined to end a notorious Cartel organization operating along the U.S. Southwestern border. For over five years the two Private Investigators (PI) and DEA Agent Larry Hardin prepared the case for prosecution. The case hit one roadblock after another when presented to five different U.S. Attorneys for prosecution. The books listed below will appeal to similar customers and show connections of the criminal underworld and how the judicial system function’s; finding a way to bring them to justice. News junkies, historians, and true crime enthusiasts will enjoy reading these stories told by those who investigated the activities. 

Dianne's book list on true crime and corruption

Dianne DeMille Why did Dianne love this book?

This book is about the horrific murder of Chris Watts' wife and children. Many details of the case give the reader a birds-eye view of the situation, without dramatizing the events. Living in Southern California, I remember hearing the news about these murders and cannot understand how someone could do it. Such a sad story.

By John Glatt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Perfect Father, New York Times bestselling author John Glatt reveals the tragedy of the Watts family, whose seemingly perfect lives played out on social media―but the truth would lead to a vicious and heartbreaking murder.

In the early morning hours of August 13th, 2018, Shanann Watts was dropped off at home by a colleague after returning from a business trip. It was the last time anyone would see her alive. By the next day, Shanann and her two young daughters, Bella and Celeste, had been reported missing, and her husband, Chris Watts, was appearing on the local news,…


Book cover of I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

Kathryn Canavan Author Of Lincoln's Final Hours: Conspiracy, Terror, and the Assassination of America's Greatest President

From my list on true crime stories written by insiders and experts.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my first newspaper jobs was as a crime writer, covering and discovering crime stories in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. There's a lot of chaff among the wheat in the true crime genre. Some books are padded with the author's personal lives. Some have paper-thin plots. The books I've recommended are well-told, well-researched stories that are hard to put down.

Kathryn's book list on true crime stories written by insiders and experts

Kathryn Canavan Why did Kathryn love this book?

Michelle McNamara waded into a new area of criminal investigation—hive investigation.

McNamara, a crime writer, got crime buffs together online, each using specific talents to search for the burglar-kidnapper-murderer who terrorized Californians for 12 years. With their help and DNA from an ancestry website, police were able to arrest ex-cop Joseph DeAngelo.

He pled guilty to 13 counts of murder and kidnapping in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table. Prosecutors called DeAngelo a poster boy for the death penalty.

Mc Namara's dogged detective work helped nab him and she is credited with the appellation Golden State Killer.

By Michelle McNamara,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked I'll Be Gone in the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BASIS FOR THE MAJOR 6-PART HBO® DOCUMENTARY SERIES

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR:

Washington Post | Maureen Corrigan, NPR | Paste | Seattle Times | Entertainment Weekly | Esquire | Slate | Buzzfeed | Jezebel | Philadelphia Inquirer | Publishers Weekly | Kirkus Reviews | Library Journal | Bustle 

Winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Nonfiction | Anthony Award Winner | SCIBA Book Award Winner | Finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime | Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence

The haunting true story of the elusive serial rapist…


Book cover of Stranded

Judith Mathison Author Of Murder at the No-Kill Animal Shelter

From my list on crime solvers and their dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been comforted by the animals in my life, especially my two current feline rescues. When I retired as an attorney, I began working on a murder mystery series, Dead Lawyers, as therapy for my time in the legal biz. The main character, not a pet person, ends up with two cats, and I enjoyed writing humorous scenes on how his life turned topsy-turvy. I needed to explain the backstory, and wrote Murder at the No-Kill Animal Shelter, a prequel novella to the series. I can’t think of anything better than combining animals and mysteries. I’m gladly an award-winning member of Cat Writers Association, along with Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Judith's book list on crime solvers and their dogs

Judith Mathison Why did Judith love this book?

FBI Special Agent Maggie O’Dell is on the hunt for a serial killer who strikes at truck stops and rest areas. Ryder Creed, an injured vet suffering from PTSD, has returned home from Afghanistan without his bomb detection dog, and opened a company specializing in training rescues to become air scent dogs. Law enforcement laughs when Creed appears on the scene to aid O’Dell, accompanied by Grace, a Jack Russell terrier. The laughter ends when Grace locates bodies above and below ground as well as underwater.

As Creed and O’Dell work the case, Kava weaves in information about the differences in dogs tracking missing persons, finding cadavers, and sniffing out drugs, explosive devices, and even certain health conditions. This book launched her Creed series and is tightly written, suspenseful, and educational. Grace, Creed, and Maggie are exceptional characters and a joy to read. So good!

By Alex Kava,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For decades, tired travellers have stopped at rest areas on America's epic highways to rest, refuel and get a bite to eat, but little do they know that one man's rest stop is another's hunting ground. For years the defenceless, the weary and the stranded have been disappearing along the highways and byways, vanishing without a trace. When FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell and her partner, Tully, discover the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, the one clue left behind is a map that will send Maggie and Tully on a frantic hunt crisscrossing the country to…


Book cover of Hoshi and the Red City Circuit

Nick Walker Author Of Neuroqueer Heresies: Notes on the Neurodiversity Paradigm, Autistic Empowerment, and Postnormal Possibilities

From my list on neuroqueer speculative fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first passion, as a youngster, was speculative fiction—stories and comics that set the imagination ablaze with visions of wondrous possibilities and impossibilities. Later, my experiences of being queer, transgender, and autistic led me to an academic career in which I helped create the field of Neurodiversity Studies and something called Neuroqueer Theory (which is what you get when you mix Queer Theory and neurodiversity together and shake vigorously). These days I’m back to writing fiction, including the urban fantasy webcomic Weird Luck, and I’m thrilled to find myself part of an emerging wave of neuroqueer speculative fiction. Here are some of the best so far...

Nick's book list on neuroqueer speculative fiction

Nick Walker Why did Nick love this book?

Autistic minds are uniquely suited to interface with 26th-century computers. Has this led society to appreciate autistic people? Of course not! Instead, they’ve been turned into a caste called Operators, enslaved computer programmers denied human rights. But this is starting to change, and recently-liberated Operator Hoshi Archer has a new life as a private investigator. Her latest case? A serial killer who’s ritually murdering Operators. Dora Raymaker vividly describes autistic experience in a way that no non-autistic writer could, and it was profoundly moving for me to read a book written from the viewpoint of a character whose sensory processing was so much like my own. On top of all this, Hoshi and the Red City Circuit is a gripping can’t-put-it-down detective thriller!

By Dora M. Raymaker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hoshi and the Red City Circuit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Due to their unique neurology, only the enslaved Operator caste can program the quantum computers that run 26th century Red City. When three of the caste are ritually murdered, it's up to private investigator Hoshi Archer—herself a recently liberated Operator—to help the police solve the case. Things get complicated when one of the victims turns out to be Hoshi's ex-girlfriend, and power-hungry bureaucrats and old rivals stir up new problems. An immortal, amoral alien may even be involved. To unwind the plot to take over the city, Hoshi must decipher a deadly computer program and learn to communicate with the…


Book cover of The Echo Man

Jacqueline Grima Author Of The Weekend Alone

From my list on psychological thrillers that will have you gripped.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an avid psychological suspense reader since I was at school, but have only recently begun to write in the genre myself. I’m not sure why it took me so long. If it was my most favourite genre to read, then why not write in it? When I came up with the idea for The Weekend Alone, I knew I had to write it, and I finally discovered what other suspense authors already knew: that playing with a reader’s perception can be the most amazing fun! My next psychological suspense book will be out with HQ Digital in summer 2023. Here’s hoping my own thrillers will keep readers gripped long past lights out!

Jacqueline's book list on psychological thrillers that will have you gripped

Jacqueline Grima Why did Jacqueline love this book?

This serial killer thriller will have you up all night, even after you’ve finished it! Full of blood, gore, and shocking scenes, it tells the story of The Echo Man, who appears to be copying the world’s most famous, or infamous, serial killers, such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, and Ed Kemper. Will the police catch up with him before he strikes again? Keep the lights on, this one is not for the faint-hearted!

By Sam Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An incredible new thriller from an exciting new talent!

The murders have begun...
Across England, a string of murders is taking place. Each different in method, but each horrifying and brutal.

But the killer is just getting started...
Jess Ambrose is plunged into the investigation when her house is set ablaze. With her husband dead and the police pointing at her, she runs. Her only hope is disgraced detective Nate Griffin, who is convinced Jess is innocent.

And he's going to shock the world...
Soon, Jess and Griffin discover the unthinkable; this murderer is copying the world's most notorious serial…


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