books The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written  

Ranker Books
685 votes 190 voters 5.9k views 20 items Embed

True crime novels have all the best elements: grisly crimes, complex characters, beautiful language, well-crafted storytelling, and the sad and sickening fact that every detail really happened. This list contains information on true crime novels, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best true crime novels come in many forms. Some good true crime novels are about one specific crime, while other popular true crime novels are about serial killers. A few of the greatest true crime novels even give readers inside information about the mafia.

What books will you find on this true crime reading list? Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi has to be near the top. Used as the basis for Martin Scorsese's 1990 masterpiece, Goodfellas, this true crime book follows the story of Mafia informant, Henry Hill. Helter Skelter is another one of the best true crime novels ever written.

Truman Capote detailed the 1959 killings of the Herbert Clutter family in his non-fiction novel, In Cold Blood. Other good books featured on this top true crime novels list include The Devil in the White City, The Executioner's Song, and Devil's Knot.

Which true crime novel is your favorite? Vote the best books up to the top of this list and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

list ordered by

1
76 7
In Cold Blood is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
In Cold Blood Truman Capote

60+ Celebrities Accused of Horrible Crimes The Best Biographical Novels Ever Written

2
72 7
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
Helter Skelter Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

3
55 7
The Stranger Beside Me is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written

4
31 5
Zodiac is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
Zodiac Robert Graysmith

5
40 11
Midnight in the Garden of Good... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written

6
36 10
The Devil in the White City is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written

7
31 7
The night stalker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
The Night Stalker Philip Carlo

8
22 4
The Onion Field is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
The Onion Field Joseph Wambaugh

9
25 7
The Executioner's Song is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
The Executioner's Song Norman Mailer

10
19 8
Under the Banner of Heaven is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written

11
25 14
Columbine is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
Columbine Dave Cullen

12
22 12
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written

13
18 9
Wiseguy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
Wiseguy Nicholas Pileggi

14
13 6
Devil's Knot is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
Devil's Knot Mara Leveritt

15
14 7
And Never Let Her Go is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written

16
15 8
The Innocent Man: Murder and I... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written

17
5 3
House of Evil is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
dreapress added House of Evil The Sylvia Likens story.

18
2 3
People Who Eat Darkness is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
People Who Eat Darkness Richard Lloyd Parry

19
6 9
Blood and Money is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written
Blood and Money Thomas Thompson

20
4 10
A Wilderness of Error: The Tri... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best True Crime Novels Ever Written