Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Seven titles on the dark side of true crime

Kate Brody lives in Los Angeles and holds an MFA from NYU. Her work has been published (or is forthcoming) in The New York Times, Literary Hub, Crime Reads, Noema, The Literary Review, The Guardian, Write or Die, and Largehearted Boy, among others. Rabbit Hole is her debut novel.

At Electric Lit Brody tagged seven true crime titles:
all share a few elements: colorful characters, evocative settings, heroes and villains. But most importantly, they are molded. What do I mean by this? Like memoir, they are of life but they do not necessarily resemble life. They are shaped, aesthetic objects.
One entry on the list:
The Comfort of Monsters by Willa Richards

When Dee McBride goes missing in Milwaukee during the “Dahmer summer” of 1991, her disappearance is largely ignored. Media and police resources are instead devoted to obsessing over the details the man Richards refers to only as “the serial killer.” The Comfort of Monsters is a pitch-black book about familial loss, grief, and lurid public interest in grizzly tragedies. Richards explores the way that families and even entire communities can become victimized by tabloid interest in sensational crimes. If you love true crime, you may actually hate this book. The brilliance of Richards’s novel is her refusal to allow the narrative to mimic the fake and tidy structure of a true crime story. Instead, it hems closely to real life and honestly depicts the festering wounds that come with not knowing.
Read about another title on the list.

Q&A with Willa C. Richards.

--Marshal Zeringue