48 books like Killing Women

By Rod Sadler,

Here are 48 books that Killing Women fans have personally recommended if you like Killing Women. 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 In the Name of the Children: An FBI Agent's Relentless Pursuit of the Nation's Worst Predators

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 is an excellent reading about a former FBI agent not giving up on their search to find predators. I truly honor this agent for how he never gave up on the search. From my former experience as a Special Agent with The Drug Enforcement Administration, the writers did a thorough job to focus on how the FBI Agents unselfishly dedicated long investigative hours to target the predators of children. The writers described how the FBI agent’s moral beliefs and his dedication to helping the sexually abused children; perseverance, and creative innovative investigative techniques that enable him to find the predators.

By Jeffrey L. Rinek, Marilee Strong,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In the Name of the Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The voice that narrates In the Name of the Children: An F.B.I. Agent's Relentless Pursuit of the Nation's Worst Predators, which Rinek wrote with the journalist Marilee Strong, sounds warm and humane, qualities missing from much crime writing. Their book is a professional job, filled with illuminating details about the day-to-day operations of the bureau."

—New York Times Book Review 


FBI Special Agent Jeff Rinek had a gift for getting child predators to confess. All he had to do was share a piece of his soul . . .

In the Name of the Children gives an unflinching look at…

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 Never Let You Go

Heather Gudenkauf Author Of Not a Sound

From my list on thrillers and mysteries about dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some of my fondest memories have been of curling up with the family dog and reading a good book. This started as a child with our golden retriever OJ, and continues today with Lolo, our sweet but spoiled German shorthaired pointer. Dogs are such wonderful companions, always up for anything: hiking, exploring, car rides, sitting on the couch, and lounging. It’s no surprise, then, that not only do I love reading books featuring dogs I’ve also included a canine sidekick in each of the nine thrillers that I’ve written. I hope you enjoy this dogged list of mysteries and thrillers as much as I have. 

Heather's book list on thrillers and mysteries about dogs

Heather Gudenkauf Why did Heather love this book?

Chevy Stevens is one of my favorite go-to authors and Never Let You Go, the story of a woman and her child who escape an abusive relationship and eleven years later the threat returns, is a book that has lingered with me for years. In the very first chapter Stevens manages to capture such intense fear and helplessness in Lindsey and her daughter Sophie as well as a sense of determination and a will to survive. But Lindsey can’t do it alone. At her side is Angus – a lug of a German shepherd mix, whom Lindsey found at the local animal shelter. Angus doesn’t make an appearance until about halfway in the novel, but what an appearance he makes. He instantly becomes a beloved family member, providing a sense of comfort and security to Lindsey and Sophie. As Lindsey’s ruthless ex-husband draws ever closer, Lindsey, Sophie, and Angus…

By Chevy Stevens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Let You Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Never Let You Go, Chevy Stevens delivers a chilling, twisting thriller that crackles with suspense as it explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.

"Stevens's taut writing and chilling depiction of love twisted beyond recognition make this a compelling read." ―Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Disturbing, suspenseful, and just a little nerve-wracking." ―Library Journal

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail and Lindsey started over with a new life.

Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a…

Book cover of Protecting Piper

Laura Hunsaker Author Of Dark Past

From my list on books where the hero falls in love first.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been a reader, and with Irish and Scottish families, I’ve grown up hearing beautiful stories of magic and the fair folk. When I discovered romance novels, I was able to combine my love of happily ever afters and the myth and legend of my childhood. I even took classes on the Mythology of Ireland and Britain while I was obtaining my degrees. With a specialty in British Literature, I have been able to ensure my stories, while full of myth and magic, are also steeped in historical accuracy. The lush and vivid descriptions in my stories are paired with magic and time travel, with every story leaving the reader satisfied with the happily ever after the characters have earned.

Laura's book list on books where the hero falls in love first

Laura Hunsaker Why did Laura love this book?

I love this book because the hero, Eric, has been in love with the heroine Piper since they were teenagers. However, the heroine is his brother’s best friend so he pulled back so as not to step on any toes. The entire time, Piper believed he hated her. I love when she realizes that not only doesn’t Eric hate her, but she loves him too.

This author is a master at romantic suspense, so while they are falling in love, there’s so much more going on in the background that when Piper realizes Eric loves her, it makes their story all the sweeter.

By Cynthia Eden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She was off-limits.

Eric Wilde has always known that Piper Lane isn’t for him. She is his younger brother’s best friend…and probably more. But that hasn’t stopped Eric from wanting her, from longing for the one woman that he can’t have. Sure, he’s rich, successful—he’s built a security empire, and he’s got the world at his feet. Only he doesn’t have her.

He is the one man she needs the most.

Free-spirited Piper Lane has always considered Eric to be the enemy. He’s seemed to resent her, and the guy just flat-out makes her nervous. Every time she’s around him,…

Book cover of Five Total Strangers

Keely Parrack Author Of Don't Let In the Cold

From my list on YA set in the cold and that leave you with chills.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is something about books set in the cold, you know immediately bad things are going to happen! It may be my early childhood in Scotland, or my English upbringing, but I have always been drawn to the dark side of stories, the things under the bed, the monsters in the closet. I still love to be scared by the twists and chills but also am a sucker for a happy ending. In my novels, I always strive to entertain, to scare, and surprise, but ultimately there needs to be an emotional truth beneath everything. And this is true of the books I read as well. 

Keely's book list on YA set in the cold and that leave you with chills

Keely Parrack Why did Keely love this book?

Five total strangers trapped in a car together, during a blizzard trying to get home against mounting impossible odds – what’s not to like? I love believable situations which you know as a reader have so much potential to take a deadly turn! 

When a storm strands Mira at the airport with no way to get home, she welcomes the kind offer of sharing a rental car with a woman from her flight. But when this also involves another three people, who all seem to have their own personal baggage and agendas, you know this is not going to be a smooth ride. As if driving in a storm isn’t enough of a problem, personal items keep going missing, and it soon becomes obvious that one of the five is trying to make sure they don’t all make it back alive! This is a fast-paced fun, twisty read, a perfect…

By Natalie D. Richards,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller
A "page-turning thriller that will keep readers guessing until the very end" (School Library Journal) about a road trip in a snowstorm that turns into bone-chilling disaster, from New York Times bestselling mystery author and "master of tension" (BCCB) Natalie D. Richards.
She thought being stranded was the worst thing that could happen. She was wrong.
Mira needs to get home for the holidays. Badly. But when an incoming blizzard results in a canceled connecting flight, it looks like she might get stuck at the airport indefinitely.
And then Harper, Mira's glamorous seatmate from her…

Book cover of Milkman

Nell Freudenberger Author Of The Limits

From my list on what it’s really like to be a teenage girl.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Los Angeles in the 80s and 90s. I was a shy teenager, an obsessive reader, and a secret writer.  I went to an all-girls high school where we wore uniforms, did a lot of homework, and mostly had no idea how to meet boys. The teen girls I encountered in movies, TV shows, and even literature were sexualized to the point of being unrecognizable to me. Now that I work with teenagers (and am a mom to one), I’m fascinated by the variability of girls this age, their wide-ranging intelligence, passions, and ways of being in the world. I love novels that reflect that complexity.

Nell's book list on what it’s really like to be a teenage girl

Nell Freudenberger Why did Nell love this book?

I loved this book because it tells the story of a young woman in a perilous political situation who doesn’t cave to horrifying violence or conform simply to stay safe. I admire the voice Burns creates for the main character, called “middle sister,” because it’s unlike any narration in any other novel. 

For me, the strangeness of middle sister’s narration gets at the disconnect between the way a young woman sees herself and the way the rest of the world sees her—as inconsequential, as a sexual object, as a target. I love the way that she thinks her way out of the traps all around her, using humor and clear-sightedness to survive ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland during the 1970s.  

By Anna Burns,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Liberty fabric covered editions bring classics from the Faber backlist together with important modern titles, putting them in conversation and celebrating both the history and the future of Faber & Faber.

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and…

Book cover of I See You

Marilyn Levinson Author Of Dewey Decimated

From my list on psychological thrillers I've recently read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write mysteries and I love to read them. The mysteries I write are traditional and cozy. The focus is on my sleuth as she solves murders, her relationships, and on the local setting. These past few years I've enjoyed reading mysteries quite a bit edgier than the ones I write. These books are filled with characters that are often unstable or emotionally damaged. The murders are more brutal; the plots are more complex. Psychological thrillers veer off in many directions, and the person narrating the story is not always reliable. You can't take for granted that what a character says is true. Your best bet is to observe the action and enjoy the ride!

Marilyn's book list on psychological thrillers I've recently read

Marilyn Levinson Why did Marilyn love this book?

Zoe commutes to her job every day on a crowded train on the London underground. She discovers that someone is posting advertisements in a local paper saying which women take which trains. And there's a photograph of herself, claiming she's up for some "discreet casual action." Who is behind this and why? Zoe becomes suspicious of everyone in her life—her boss, her significant other—wondering who is cruel enough to set up unsuspecting women that commute by train. She's shocked when she finds out the truth, part of which she never discovers. A final zinger.

By Clare Mackintosh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover the twisty, gripping Richard & Judy Book Club pick and Sunday Times Number One bestseller. And don't miss the next nail-biting thriller from Clare Mackintosh. Hostage is out now.

You do the same thing every day.
You know exactly where you're going.
You're not alone . . .

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who…

Book cover of Stalking Her Sweetly

Emma Bray Author Of Stalking Sophie

From my list on insta-love short reads with possessive alpha males.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always loved reading romance, and something about those jealous, possessive, alpha males just always got my heart racing. I love a hero who's all in from the get-go and will do anything for the woman he loves. He knows what he wants and goes after it. I also get how crazy busy we can be. I don't know about you, but I don't always have time to sit down and read a super long novel. Insta-love romances are short and spicy and don't take more than an hour or two to read. You can count on my insta-love stories to be filled with heat, passion, and happily ever afters.

Emma's book list on insta-love short reads with possessive alpha males

Emma Bray Why did Emma love this book?

Once again, I'm a sucker for a good stalker romance, and boy is Silas a hot stalker. He's not a creepy-type stalker but one who's just totally obsessed with the woman he loves. Everything he does is to keep Jamie safe, even if it is totally over the top. And Jamie is such a cute, goofy heroine. It's hard not to love her. This book had a bit of mystery element to it too, which was really cool. And, of course, it had MINK's signature: a kitty cat co-starring as a character. The way she includes a fluffy feline in all her books really gives them all a sweet touch.


Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Am I stalking my neighbor Jamie? Yes. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Surely not. Look, I realize it sounds bad, okay? But I take care of Jamie’s problems whenever they arise. Just look at her ex-boyfriend, for example. He was trouble. Now he’s not around anymore. See? I solve problems. Whenever Jamie needs help, I’ll be there for her. It’s just who I am. Besides, if you aren’t obsessed with the one you love, are you even in love?


Someone is stalking me. I can’t figure out who it is, but I know they’re out there. And…

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