Blood, Lies, and Alibis: 8 Books Crime-Buffs Will Love

If you’re a fellow sleuth seeking a mystery to solve, explore these recommendations sure to get your investigating mind fired up!

Non-Fiction Recommendations Thriller & Mystery
Featured image of three books, "Past Life" by Dominic Nolan, "If You Tell" by Gregg Olsen, and "Dead Mountain" by Donnie Eichar.

As an avid fan of mystery and thriller, I know nothing is more daunting than the suspense of what to read next. But fear not! We’ve got you covered. Our list of 8 stories includes non-fiction and fiction works, perfect for any victim to read. These books offer a mix of suspense, mystery, and a touch of horror to keep you entertained and a little on edge — all in the safety of your well-lit home, of course.

So snuggle up, grab a cup of your favorite poison, and turn on the lights as you enjoy one of these spine-chilling mysteries.

Fiction

Past Life by Dominic Nolan

Detective Abigail Boone was missing for four days until they finally found her. Suffering from retrograde amnesia, she struggles to acclimate to her old life and her now-unknown husband and son. With no leads on her abduction, Boone turns to the Sarah Still case she was investigating before she vanished. She pursues the truth against family and authorities’ wishes, raising the question: can she ever recover her former self, even if she finds Sarah?

Past Life by Dominic Nolan, book cover depicting a person in a deserted marsh.
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

“Grabs you and refuses to let go till the very end.”

Alex Gray

Here After by Sean Costello

Reeling from the loss of his ten-year-old son, physician Peter Croft struggles to resume normal life. In his sorrow, he fixates on images of missing children displayed on the hospital’s bulletin board. One particular photo captivates him — a young boy named Clay Dolan, who vanished six years ago. Driven by his desperation for closure, he undertakes the seemingly arbitrary search for Clay, risking his sanity and life.

Here After by Sean Costello, book cover depicting a dirty teddy head on a desolate asphalt road with a forest along side it.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

“An… effective missing-child story with a twist.”

Kirkus Reviews

Snow by John Banville

Ireland, 1957. Detective St. John Strafford journeys to County Wexford to investigate the murder of a priest in Ballaglass House, the ancestral home of the Osborne family. In a deeply religious community ruled by the Catholic Church, Strafford — a Protestant — faces various challenges, from the ever-accumulating snowfall to a society of silence. Delving further into the case, he unravels the secrets of the Osborne family. With his deputy missing, Strafford must decipher the mystery before the community’s hidden truths jeopardize everything.

Snow by John Banville, book cover depicting a home's rooftop spotlighted on a snowy evening.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

“Banville sets up and then deftly demolishes the Agatha Christie format… superbly rich and sophisticated.”

New York Times

Black Water Rising by Attica Locke

Houston, 1981. Jay Porter, former civil rights activist turned lawyer, attempts to unravel a web of lies and deception. After witnessing a woman’s mysterious plunge into the bayou, he is thrust into a dangerous conspiracy involving big oil, racial tensions, and political power plays. As Porter delves into the murky depths of the past, he confronts personal demons, a truth threatening to shatter the city’s facade, and his journey through the turbulent waters of justice and redemption.

Black Water Rising by Attica Locke, book cover depicting a twilight sky and a blurry car passing by with unlit streetlights.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

“A near-perfect balance of trenchant social commentary, rich characterizations, and action-oriented plot…. Attica Locke [is] a writer wise beyond her years.”

Los Angeles Times

Non-Fiction

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar

In February 1959, in the Russian Ural Mountains, nine hikers met a tragic demise on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. The expedition’s uncanny details, including unexplained violent injuries, the hikers hastily leaving their camp without appropriate attire, a peculiar photograph captured by one of them, and the discovery of elevated radiation levels on certain clothing items, baffled even the most astute investigators. Through research and firsthand interviews, Eichar attempts to shed light on the enigmatic mystery of the Dyatlov Pass incident, leaving readers questioning what truly transpired.

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar, book cover depicting a line of skiers in grey scale.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

“The drama and poignancy of Eichar’s solid depiction of this truly eerie and enduring mystery.”

Library Journal

If You Tell by Gregg Olsen

Sisters Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek reveal the decade-long abuse inflicted by their sadistic mother, Shelly. Behind closed doors in their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, the sisters endured unimaginable mental and physical abuse. Despite others being drawn into their mother’s dark influence, the sisters developed a defiant bond that empowered them to escape the escalating nightmare, which culminated in multiple murders. This survivor’s story portrays their journey from victims to resilient women.

If You Tell by Gregg Olson, book cover depicting a foggy landscape.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

“Murder, torture, and sisterly love milked for all their potential melodrama.”

—Kirkus Review

Lost Girls by Robert Kolker

In 2010, the disappearance of Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old Craigslist escort, initially garnered little attention from the Suffolk County police. Seven months later, a chilling discovery near Gilgo Beach on Long Island revealed four bodies, meticulously spaced and wrapped in burlap — none of which belonged to Shannan. Eerily similar to Shannan, all four women were petite, in their twenties, and had come from out of town to work as escorts, and they all advertised on Craigslist. Lost Girls reveals unresolved murders, exposing the internet’s dark side and hidden secrets.

Lost Girls by Robert Kolker, book cover depicting a beach.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

“Rich, tragic… monumental… true-crime reporting at its best.”

Washington Post

A Death in California by Joan Barthel

Hope Masters, residing in an upscale Beverly Hills neighborhood, still found herself eligible for food stamps. Despite her privileged background and past failed marriages, she found hope in a new love with a charming advertising executive. She finally felt as though her life was secure — until she woke up to a gun in her mouth and her fiance dead in the next room. His killer, a mysterious journalist, had been visiting them on a secluded Sierra Nevada ranch. Amid the nightmarish weekend, something even more wicked began to unravel: Hope found herself unexpectedly falling in love with her tormentor.

A Death in California by Joan Barthel, book cover depicting an old iron street name sign.
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

“One of the strangest cases in the annals of American crime.”

—The New York Times

For more exciting book recommendations, click here.

Browse our bookshelves on our Bookshop page!

FEATURED IMAGE VIA MADI LEIGH / BOOKSTR / CANVA