Books

Top 5 books that examine a cold case, chosen by Janice Hallett

The author, screenwriter and award-winning journalist selects five books that reexamine a real-life cold case to pin down the perpetrators of terrible crimes

Cold case: a neon-light question mark

Image: Emily Morter on Unsplash

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

A series of home-invasion murders in California are linked by McNamara, who throws herself into uncovering the identity of the prolific Golden State Killer. This exceptional book is a tribute to the author’s commitment in tackling a baffling, stone-cold case.

Alligator Candy by David Kushner

When David’s 11-year-old brother Jon disappeared in early-1970s Florida, the Kushner family were plunged into a nightmare. David retained only patchy memories, so for this moving book he returns to the story as if it were a cold case.

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The Hunt for the Silver Killer by David Collins

Collins examines the bid to reopen inquests into a series of terrifying alleged murder-suicides in the north-west of England. If they’re right, the killer is at large even as you read this.

The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson

It took 35 years for justice to be served in the murder of Nelson’s aunt, killed as a 23-year-old law student. Nelson blends the events that led to the killer’s arrest, with an examination of the effects of trauma on a family.

Dead in the Water by Penny Farmer

In 1978 Chris Farmer, 25, and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Peta Frampton, were found drowned off the coast of Guatemala. But it would take 40 years to piece together what happened in this cold case, and confront their killer. A tragic and riveting story.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett cover

Janice Hallett is a curator for LoveMyRead’s bespoke book subscription service, and her latest novel, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, is available here.

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