59 books like The Perfect Father

By John Glatt,

Here are 59 books that The Perfect Father fans have personally recommended if you like The Perfect Father. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of In Cold Blood

Katherine Ramsland Author Of The Serial Killer's Apprentice: The True Story of How Houston’s Deadliest Murderer Turned a Kid into a Killing Machine

From my list on true crime books that teach you about the minds of murderers.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated with true crime since a serial killer operated in my hometown when I was a kid. I’m now an expert on criminal psychology, which I teach at DeSales University. I’ve appeared in more than 200 crime documentaries and was an executive producer on Murder House Flip (my idea) and A&E’s Confession of a Serial Killer: BTK. I’ve published more than 72 books, and over the past 12 years, I’ve penned a blog on the dark side of the human psyche for Psychology Today. Currently, I’m writing a fiction series based on a female forensic psychologist who runs a PI agency and consults on unique death investigations. 

Katherine's book list on true crime books that teach you about the minds of murderers

Katherine Ramsland Why did Katherine love this book?

I think this book is the classic true crime to show the power of using fictional devices for fact-based narratives.

Truman Capote explored the psyches of a killing team, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, as he reported on the 1959 quadruple homicide of the Herb Clutter family in Holcombe, Kansas. He wasn’t a journalist, but he adopted the role, hedging his work as “narrative nonfiction.” I learned a lot about this technique for my own work.

With him was his childhood companion, Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird), and she helped Capote gain access to the inside story. He extensively interviewed Perry Smith, giving readers a sense of how and why this convict got involved in the terrible mass murder of a family. 

By Truman Capote,

Why should I read it?

16 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 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.

Who am I?

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 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.

Who am I?

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 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.

Who am I?

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?




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 Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe

Deborah Halber Author Of The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America's Coldest Cases

From my list on cold cases involving unidentified victims.

Who am I?

I’d always known about the Lady of the Dunes. I’d read about how she was found in the dunes of Provincetown, Massachusetts, on July 26, 1974. I didn’t know about the tens of thousands of other unidentified victims like her, stowed around the US in the back rooms of morgues and unmarked graves. As a journalist who has always given a voice to those who struggle to be heard, I feel compelled to research and write about these Jane and John Does and the people who work to keep their cases in the public eye. I share a unique bond with writers who do the same.

Deborah's book list on cold cases involving unidentified victims

Deborah Halber Why did Deborah love this book?

Hikers stumbled upon the body of a young woman near Boulder, Colorado, in 1954. Buried in an anonymous grave, for decades she was yet another Jane Doe, abandoned and unidentified. 

Decades later, historian Silvia Pettem joined forces with law enforcement and forensic experts. Together, they exhume the Jane Doe and achieve the seemingly impossible: they identify her and her probable killer. 

By Silvia Pettem,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Someone's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1954, two college students were hiking along a creek outside of Boulder, Colorado, when they stumbled upon the body of a murdered young woman. Who was this woman? What had happened to her? The initial investigation turned up nothing, and the girl was buried in a local cemetery with a gravestone that read, "Jane Doe, April 1954, Age About 20 Years."

Decades later, historian Silvia Pettem formed a partnership with law enforcement and forensic experts and set in motion the events that led to Jane Doe's exhumation and eventual identification, as well as the identity of her probable killer.…

Book cover of Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: The Uncensored Story of the JonBenet Murder and the Grand Jury's Search for the Truth

Rick Geary Author Of A Treasury Of Victorian Murder Compendium: Including: Jack The Ripper, The Beast Of Chicago, Fatal Bullet

From my list on unsolved murders.

Who am I?

I trace my interest in true crime back to the early 1970s when I worked as a staff cartoonist for a weekly newspaper in Wichita, Kansas. A former cop lent me his vast collection of mugshots. Looking into the literal face of crime awakened in me a lasting interest. He also gave me a copy of the complete police file of an unsolved murder from years earlier. Scrutinizing it gave birth to my passion for real-life mysteries like Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, Mary Rogers, and the Black Dahlia. To my mind, questions are always more fascinating than answers.  

Rick's book list on unsolved murders

Rick Geary Why did Rick love this book?

This is the most detailed account we’re likely to get of what remains an enduring mystery: the 1996 murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in her home in the affluent town of Boulder, Colorado. From the beginning, police and all other observers were baffled, although the victim’s parents remained under a cloud of suspicion. An added bizarre element was the mother’s grooming of her daughter to compete in child beauty pageants.

By Lawrence Schiller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, Lawrence Schiller thoroughly recreates every aspect of the complex case of the death of JonBenét Ramsey. A brilliant portrait of an inscrutable family thrust under the spotlight of public suspicion and an affluent, tranquil city torn apart by a crime it couldn't handle, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town uncovers the mysteries that have bewildered the nation.

Why were the Ramseys, the targets of the investigation, able to control the direction of the police inquiry?

Can the key to the murder be found in the pen and writing pad used for the ransom note?

Was it possible…

Book cover of Blood on the Tracks

E.R. Yatscoff Author Of Fire Dream

From my list on gutsy crime thrillers and exotic adventure reads.

Who am I?

My travels have been quite adventurous, purposely or by accident. I’ve visited 32 countries, 5 of them Communist. I look below the surface. I love the jungle and even Mexican police. My young reader novels have elements of crime. I knew and know a lot of tough guys and use elements of them in my characters. Crime weaved through much of my 32-year firefighting career. Firefighter crime thrillers are rare. Firefighters do come in contact with crime: bomb threats, meth labs, child abuse, arson of all sorts, murder, assaults, drownings, and as they say ‘much, much more’. I’m glad to be retired.

E.R.'s book list on gutsy crime thrillers and exotic adventure reads

E.R. Yatscoff Why did E.R. love this book?

Okay, so you’ve read cop stories, PI tales, and lawyer crime fiction. How about a railroad detective? Yeah, they are for real.

Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell and her trusty dog have an intimate knowledge of the railroad and who uses it. Not often is she called in for murder but when she does she bites off more than she can chew. She occasionally has a bit of romance with someone so it fills out that end of things.

She is vulnerable yet tough. I never knew railroad police went so deep into investigations. Gotta read her tales.

By Barbara Nickless,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Blood on the Tracks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Amazon Charts bestseller.

A young woman is found brutally murdered, and the main suspect is the victim's fiance, a hideously scarred Iraq War vet known as the Burned Man. But railroad police Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell, brought in by the Denver Major Crimes unit to help investigate, can't shake the feeling that larger forces are behind this apparent crime of passion.

In the depths of an icy winter, Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde-both haunted by their time in Iraq-descend into the underground world of a savage gang of rail riders. There, they uncover a wide-reaching conspiracy and…

Book cover of The Diary of Mattie Spenser

Kim Taylor Blakemore Author Of The Good Time Girls

From my list on fierce women in the American West.

Who am I?

The United States Old West is a legend, a myth, a land of contradictions. I grew up and have never left this vast land of scorching deserts, soaring peaks, misty coasts, and redwoods that touch the heavens. I grew up on the myths – Tombstone, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Pearl Hart. What I love most are the stories of the women of the West, who survive with grit, wiles, and no small amount of courage. I love finding the lesser known women through novels and research and seeing their lives bloom before my eyes. Cowgirls, sufragettes, doctors, ex-slaves, Cheyenne, Arapahoe, cattle rustlers, homesteaders, dancehall girls.

Kim's book list on fierce women in the American West

Kim Taylor Blakemore Why did Kim love this book?

This novel follows the journey of Mattie Spenser, a young bride who leaves her comfortable city life behind to settle in the harsh and unforgiving Colorado frontier.

As she faces numerous challenges, including isolation and the demands of homesteading, Mattie's inner strength and resilience shine through. Mattie's determination, the vivid depiction of frontier life, and the exploration of women's roles in the Old West pulled me right into her world.

A truly unique voice that absolutely enthralled me.

By Sandra Dallas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Unexpectedly married to the man considered the catch of her hometown, a young woman finds herself traveling via covered wagon to Colorado in search of a new start, with only her reticent husband and her personal journal to keep her company

Book cover of A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

Laura Jean Baker Author Of The Motherhood Affidavits: A Memoir

From my list on the dark complexities of motherhood.

Who am I?

I wear many aprons. I am a writer; a professor of creative writing and literature; a mother to five children – daughters and sons; the wife of a criminal defense attorney; and the daughter of therapists. I read and write at the intersection of these influences: crime, motherhood, and psychology. When I teach children’s literature, I lean toward the Brothers Grimm. Childhood is grittier – more suspenseful – when we darken the stories. The same is true of motherhood. Nobody wants to read about a perfect mother, especially when mothers spend so much of our psychic energy worried about our children in the forms of violence, illness, and death. I prefer to seek out books that complicate the otherwise pristine stories of our lives we pretend to tell.

Laura's book list on the dark complexities of motherhood

Laura Jean Baker Why did Laura love this book?

If you vividly remember the Columbine High School shooting or any of the horrific moments of spectacle violence in the subsequent two decades (Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Parkland, etc.), this book answers questions you might have been afraid to ask, such as, how do parents of these “monsters next door”– in particular their mothers – survive in the wake of such horror, and where do they find grace? As a mother to three boys and two girls, in a 21st-century America that continues to be plagued by gun violence, I read (and re-read) Sue Klebold’s honest story, aware on every page, that the reverberating effects of Columbine, complete with active-shooter training in our kids’ schools, still permeate our everyday lives.

By Sue Klebold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Mother's Reckoning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.

For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan's mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could…

Book cover of Colorado Black on White

Sara Frances Author Of Unplugged Voices: 125 Tales of Art and Life from Northern New Mexico, the Four Corners and the West

From my list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text.

Who am I?

After flirting with careers as an archaeologist, pilot, concert pianist, and diplomat, I settled on photographer after just a few month’s residence in Heidelberg, Germany, while studying for my Masters in Comparative Literature. The camera provided close personal interaction with people, while hearing their stories from a wide variety of cultural perspectives and social environments. Introduced by parents, I formed an obsession with opera, Native American drum music, vinyl recordings, and historic places, particularly Georgia O’Keeffe country, “south of the border” from our Colorado base. My family of musicians and artists stopped, listened, and loved the light and land of the Four Corners. I self-define as a photojournalist-poet, a griot.

Sara's book list on beautiful imagery and intriguing text

Sara Frances Why did Sara love this book?

Of prolific nature photographer Fielder’s many books, this is my fav.

It commands attention, a gift to be treasured, big, bold, luxurious. You’ll drown in the luscious reproductions, as though you were on the trail with him!

The unexpected bonus: his commentary tells you about his experiences loose in the wild, how chance weather patterns and animals made for dramatic imagery, his devotion to craft, and sheer delight in tramping the land of the West.

By John Fielder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Colorado Black on White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Fielder is Colorado's preeminent nature photographer. Colorado Black on White is his 50th Colorado book. In the mold of Colorado's best-selling book of all time, Colorado 1870-2000, Fielder represents his state exclusively in black and white. He edited 230 color images from his life's work in Colorado over the past 40 years, and rendered each in blacks, whites, and subtle tones of gray. Without the distraction of color, the viewer engages the shapes, textures, lines, and edges of this most scenic of states as never before.

Divided into eight chapters, Fielder spares no subject endemic to his adopted state.…

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