‘The Crime Book’: What We Learned from Giant History of True Crime

by Ezra Buckley on August 26, 2017

New book offers illustrated history, from first known Neanderthal murder to legendary con men to the origins of Eastern organized crime

Bonnie and Clyde are still well known – but plenty of the other criminals in this new tome aren’t household names.

These are flush times for true-crime fans. Not only did the genre take the Academy Award for Best Documentary last year (O.J.: Made in America), but a slew of podcasts and streaming platforms have consistently been turning more obscure crime stories into masterfully rendered narratives. If you’ve been binging on this bounty like so many have, then you’ll find The Crime Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained, an encyclopedic treatment of the topic, makes for excellent companion reading. A compelling compilation of human trickery and awfulness, it covers crimes from arson, art forgery and kidnapping to bank robbery, drug trafficking and, of course, murder, with many of the entries accompanied by helpful illustrations. (Didn’t you always want a visual aid to help you understand exactly how the Great Train Robbery went down or how the chain of command in the Mafia is organized?)

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