• Top 10 Best True Crime Books in the UK 2021 (Robert Kolker, Howard Marks and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best True Crime Books in the UK 2021 (Robert Kolker, Howard Marks and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best True Crime Books in the UK 2021 (Robert Kolker, Howard Marks and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best True Crime Books in the UK 2021 (Robert Kolker, Howard Marks and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best True Crime Books in the UK 2021 (Robert Kolker, Howard Marks and More) 5

Top 10 Best True Crime Books in the UK 2021 (Robert Kolker, Howard Marks and More)

We think it’s fair to say that it’s never been a better time to be a true crime fan. Whether based on British, American or other country's cases, the genre is flourishing and has exploded into all forms of media from TV to podcasts. But lest we forget, the humble book is where it all kicked off, and in many instances, it’s where these other forms of media find their inspiration. 


The only issue is finding the right book, which becomes increasingly difficult the more saturated the market becomes. So, to lead you through the gruesome serial killers and even the charming criminals, we’ve created a guide and ranking to help you narrow down which terrifying tales you should choose to keep you up at night. After all, the real world is much more unthinkable than fiction. 

  • Last updated: 08-01-2021
  • 275 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a True Crime Book in the UK – Buying Guide

Before jumping straight in, it might be worth taking a minute and considering what types of stories and topics you’d like to read about as well as a couple of other divisive or practical factors. Luckily, we're going to cover all these in this guide. 

Decide the Type of Crime and Your Preferred Perspective

Decide the Type of Crime and Your Preferred Perspective

True crime is a blanket name for a genre that spans a vast number of illegal activities. Therefore, it’s important to identify what type of crime book you’re looking for. Perhaps you’re most interested in the details of the crimes, which can range from cold-blooded serial killers to first-rate shoplifters and everything in between.


Alternatively, you may enjoy learning about the characters involved in the crime and their backstories. If this is the case, biographies on crime figures will provide a great insight. Another more recent angle to consider is one which looks at the offences through the eyes of the investigating detectives or forensic psychologists.


Of course, many of these different points of view will overlap in some titles – a story on a group of missing women could take in the thoughts and beliefs of the police, say, and not just the author. That said, we think it can make for a much more satisfying read when you consider where the focus comes from

Consider Whether You Need a Conclusive Ending

Consider Whether You Need a Conclusive Ending

Many of us would call ourselves true crime addicts, or even aficionados, but during our time reading books, listening to podcasts and watching TV shows, we’ve found that one thing splits the community like no other – the style of ending


You see, some people want that cliff hanger that keeps the brain ticking over and the mystery alive, while others are looking for a satisfactory ending with all the loose ends tied up so that they can sleep peacefully at night. Neither is right or wrong, it’s all a case of preference. 


So, as we’re in the duty of providing every reader with the ending they desire, we’ll mention whether it is conclusive or not in our spec table below each product. There’ll be no spoilers, so you don’t have to worry about that, just a nod to what you can expect. 

Find the Right Format for Your Reading Needs

Find the Right Format for Your Reading Needs

Finally, sometimes we have to consider practical points to when it comes to reading. This primarily refers to your preferred format when reading. Depending on where and how often you read, different formats can be better for your needs. 


For example, you wouldn't want to take a big ol' true crime hardback on the packed underground on your commute – these stories are seriously addictive, so a paperback would be better for cramming in every minute of reading you can. That said, a hardback would be perfect for a collector of true crime novels, displayed proudly or given as a gift. 


Nowadays, there are, of course, digital eBooks and audiobooks to consider too. Both of these will require a device or subscription for you to access them, but they could save you money in the long run and they're great for on the go. Plus, is there anything more immersive than a creepy crime tale being read to you at night

Top 10 Best True Crime Books in the UK

Now that you’ve given thought to the different types of true crime books available and the format in which you would like to consume them, let’s get to our top 10. We’ve got options that span generations and stories from the truly deprived to the classic wrong place, wrong time crimes, so there should be something for every fan. 

10

Robert GraysmithZodiac: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Bizarre Mass Murderer

£6.55

Type of BookSerial killer
Conclusive EndingNo
Available FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook
Set InUSA
Date Published 1986
Length 384 pages
9
Type of BookDrug smuggling, biography
Conclusive EndingYes
Available FormatsPaperback, hardback, eBook, audiobook
Set InUSA, UK
Date Published 1996
Length 456 pages
8

Chenya RothCold Cases: A True Crime Collection

£9.30

Type of BookVarious
Conclusive EndingNo
Available FormatsPaperback, eBook
Set InVarious
Date Published 2020
Length 280 pages
7

Jeff GuinnManson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson

£11.26

Type of BookBiography
Conclusive EndingYes
Available FormatsPaperback, hardback
Set InLos Angeles
Date Published 2013
Length 399 pages
6

John Douglas and Mark OlshakerMindhunter: Inside the FBI Elite Serial Crime Unit

£8.19

Type of BookForensic psychology
Conclusive EndingYes
Available FormatsPaperback, hardback, eBook, audio CD
Set InUSA
Date Published 1995
Length 448 pages
5

Rabia ChaudryAdnan's Story: The Case That Inspired the Podcast Phenomenon Serial

£1.17

Type of BookMurder
Conclusive EndingNo
Available FormatsPaperback, hardback, eBook, audiobook, audio CD
Set InBaltimore, Maryland
Date Published 2016
Length 416 pages
4

Lorraine Gamman Gone Shopping: The Story of Shirley Pitts - Queen of Thieves

£10.77

Type of BookRobbery, biography
Conclusive EndingYes
Available FormatsPaperback, eBook, audiobook, MP3 CD
Set InLondon
Date Published 1996
Length 398 pages
3

Robert KolkerLost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery

£9.41

Type of BookSerial killer
Conclusive EndingNo
Available FormatsPaperback, kindle, audiobook
Set InLong Island, New York
Date Published 2013
Length 432 pages
2

Truman CapoteIn Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences

£7.15

Type of BookMurder
Conclusive EndingYes
Available FormatsPaperback, hardback, eBook, audiobook
Set InKansas
Date Published 1965
Length 320 pages
1
Type of BookVarious, forensic psychology
Conclusive EndingYes
Available FormatsPaperback, hardback, eBook
Set InUK
Date Published 1997
Length 672 pages

Compare the Best True Crime Books

Image
1
Paul Britton The Jigsaw Man 1

Paul Britton

2
Truman Capote In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences 1

Truman Capote

3
Robert Kolker Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery  1

Robert Kolker

4
Lorraine Gamman  Gone Shopping: The Story of Shirley Pitts - Queen of Thieves  1

Lorraine Gamman

5
Rabia Chaudry Adnan's Story: The Case That Inspired the Podcast Phenomenon Serial 1

Rabia Chaudry

6
John Douglas and Mark Olshaker Mindhunter: Inside the FBI Elite Serial Crime Unit 1

John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

7
Jeff Guinn Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson 1

Jeff Guinn

8
Chenya Roth Cold Cases: A True Crime Collection 1

Chenya Roth

9
Howard Marks Mr Nice 1

Howard Marks

10
Robert Graysmith Zodiac: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Bizarre Mass Murderer 1

Robert Graysmith

Name

The Jigsaw Man

In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences

Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery

Gone Shopping: The Story of Shirley Pitts - Queen of Thieves

Adnan's Story: The Case That Inspired the Podcast Phenomenon Serial

Mindhunter: Inside the FBI Elite Serial Crime Unit

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson

Cold Cases: A True Crime Collection

Mr Nice

Zodiac: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Bizarre Mass Murderer

Features

First-Hand Insight Into Some of the UK's Most Devastating Crimes

One of the First, and Still One of the Best

A Humanizing Account for Armchair Detectives Who Love the Mystery

The Story of a Charming British Woman Who Happened to Be Very Good at Pinching Things

An Enthralling Story Filled With Foggy Contradictions and Perplexing Characters

Learn About the History of Criminal Profiling With One of Its Pioneers

An Authoritative Account of a Truly Troubled Soul

A Non Fiction Collection of Some of the World's Most Notorious Unsolved Crimes

Follow the Story of One of Britain's Biggest Drug Lords

One of the World's Most Chilling Cold Cases

Price£1.82£7.15£9.41£10.77£1.17£8.19£11.26£9.30£1.20£6.55
Type of BookVarious, forensic psychologyMurderSerial killerRobbery, biographyMurderForensic psychologyBiographyVariousDrug smuggling, biographySerial killer
Conclusive EndingYesYesNoYesNoYesYesNoYesNo
Available FormatsPaperback, hardback, eBookPaperback, hardback, eBook, audiobook Paperback, kindle, audiobook Paperback, eBook, audiobook, MP3 CDPaperback, hardback, eBook, audiobook, audio CDPaperback, hardback, eBook, audio CDPaperback, hardbackPaperback, eBookPaperback, hardback, eBook, audiobook Paperback, hardback, audiobook
Set InUKKansasLong Island, New YorkLondonBaltimore, MarylandUSALos AngelesVariousUSA, UKUSA
Date Published 1997196520131996201619952013202019961986
Length 672 pages320 pages 432 pages 398 pages416 pages448 pages399 pages280 pages456 pages384 pages
Link

More Gripping Reads

More Gripping Reads

Looking for more reads to keep you rapt on a lazy Sunday or a long journey? We have loads more comprehensive book articles with recommendations for every taste, but there's one thing the three below have in common – they're packed with gripping and addictive stories you won't be able to put down.  

Summary

There you go, a collection of some of the best true crime books that are available to be bought online today. We're sure that at least one of these will provide you with the heart-pounding scares and gory insight that you're looking for. It's a tough topic to get right, but we believe each of these does the genre justice. Enjoy! 

Author: Lewis Clark

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