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True Crime

Discovery of the “Real” Lolita from the Classic

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This story appears through BookTrib’s partnership with the International Thriller Writers. It first appeared in The Big Thrill.  When discussing a novel, many an author will be only too happy to cite the real person who inspires a character or the news story that sparks the idea for a plotline. But Vladimir Nabokov, no great surprise, wasn’t like other authors. He always denied that the case of Sally Horner, abducted at the age of 11 from Camden, New Jersey, in 1948, inspired his 1955 novel Lolita. Sarah Weinman argues otherwise, in her meticulously researched and movingly written nonfiction book The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandelized the World (Ecco). In so doing, Weinman became a literary detective, poring…

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The Crate: A Story of War, a Murder, and Justice

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A few years ago I received a surreal phone call telling me there had been a murder. Whaaaat? A crate had been discovered. It had been hidden on our property. We opened it. And nothing could have prepared us for the horror inside. My first book, The Crate: A Story of War, a Murder, and Justice, is not a book I expected to write. I live an ordinary little life in Connecticut as a publicist, wife and mother. I always imagined writing a romance, maybe, or even a historical fiction, since that’s my favorite genre to read. From my little bubble, I never thought I’d be telling the true story of a violent crime that rocked my family. The discovery…

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Charlie Donlea’s Fictional Answer to Crime Docu-Dramas

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Over the past few years, podcasts and television shows like Serial and Netflix’s Making A Murderer have taken over the country, if not the world. Thousands of people tune in every day to find out what happened next in these real-life cases where the question of did they or didn’t they pervades throughout the entire trial and beyond. Now, in a thriller unlike any other out there, Charlie Donlea has provided us with the book we didn’t even know we could have. Don’t Believe It is basically the literary answer to those true crime dramas: Sidney Ryan is a filmmaker, whose on-going docu-drama The Girl of Sugar Beach has taken over the country. Ten years previous in St. Lucia, Grace Sebold was arrested and convicted…

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Part One: BookTrib Q&A with Bestselling Author Lisa Gardner

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There’s something great about reading the next book in a series – it’s like an exciting new adventure with an old friend. You know all their secrets, passions and dreams; and, even though some time has passed since you were last together, when you open that book cover it’s as though you’d never been apart. This is what bestselling author Lisa Gardner accomplishes in her Detective D.D. Warren series: she has made it her specialty to take us to places we never thought we’d go. Look For Me, sees the return of both beloved Detective D.D. Warren and Flora Dane, the victim-turned-vigilante from Find Her and takes them on a case involving the brutal deaths of an entire family, with one teenager missing. It may…

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Part Two: BookTrib Q&A with New York Times Best Selling Author Lisa Gardner

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This is Part Two of our interview with Lisa Gardner. Click here to read Part One. New York Times best selling author Lisa Gardner’s latest novel in the Detective D.D. Warren Series sees the return of not only D.D., but also Flora Dane, the victim-turned-vigilante from Gardner’s previous bestselling novel, Find Her. Now, in Look For Me, D.D. is given a case where an entire family has been murdered, and the teenage daughter, Roxy, is missing. With a ticking clock on how much time is left, D.D. is confronted with one of the most complex cases of her career. BookTrib got to talk with Lisa Gardner about the research behind her novel, returning to old characters, writing kick-ass women and more.   BookTrib: As…

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Undisclosed is One of Three True Crime Podcasts We’re Devouring

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As soon as I listened to season one of Serial two years ago, I was hooked on true crime. There’s just something strangely compelling about a real-life mystery unfolding before your eyes – despite the potentially gruesome subject matter. And I’m not alone. From the success of documentaries like Making a Murderer to the 20th anniversary of JonBenét Ramsey’s death in 2016, true crime has been everywhere the last few years. My mother finds this deeply unsettling. ‘Who wants to hear about that horrible stuff?’ she often asks. Umm, me and pretty much everyone else on earth. Not only are these often crazy, interesting stories, but there’s a voyeuristic quality that’s both horrifying and fascinating. It’s our greatest fears come to life,…

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Murder, He Wrote: The Night Of-Inspired Summer Reading

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Based solely on the first episode, the new HBO limited series, The Night Of, seems to be equal parts True Detective and NPR’s Serial in the best ways possible. The story follows a young man, Nasir Khan (who goes by Naz) who gets swept into a horrible crime after a night of misguided frivolity with a mysterious, beautiful woman. Naz, a college student, picks her up in his father’s cab on his way to the popular kids’ college party, and has a dreamlike night of sex, drugs and odd drunken knife games before waking up to a nightmare: the woman’s body has been stabbed to death in bed next to him. Naz, who clearly doesn’t watch a lot of Law & Order, flees…

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Genre-Redefining True Crime Author Ann Rule Passes Away

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“Three percent of all males are deemed to be antisocial and without conscience, while only one percent of females seem to lack compassion for others. But the icy manipulations of that one percent are utterly fascinating. No one can be crueler than a woman without a conscience.” – Ann Rule, Empty Promises and Other True Cases. Ann Rule, a seminal author who redefined the true crime genre, passed away at Highline Medical Center in Washington on Sunday at the age of 83. She is survived by her five children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ann Rule first rose to fame in the true crime genre following an astronomical coincidence. It was the mid-1970s and Ann had been writing various true crime articles…

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Video: Missed It? Live Interview with Jack MacLean, Author of Global Predator

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ABOUT GLOBAL PREDATOR High above the mountains of the North West Frontier, a Global Predator circles waiting to unleash its Hellfire missiles. The trail of Osama Bin Laden’s deputy, the elusive Egyptian terror master, Ayman al-Zawahiri has gone cold until a chance recording identified by a translator at the National Security Agency offers new clues. A special intelligence team assembles and plots to catch at him at a meeting with other high ranking al Qaeda leaders. In Pakistan’s beautiful Swat Valley, the local Taliban have been stepping up their attacks on anyone educating girls. English aid worker Sally is taken hostage while visiting one of her schools. When Wilkins, escaping his reckless trading mistakes at his London bank, is forced…

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