As a true crime author I’m always fascinated with some of the neater sub-genres of true crime. Historical true crimes is one of those. These are not just stories about older crimes, they represent a great chance to provide some local history in the context of the crime story. I am one of the people that strongly believe that true crime is a great way to convey historical events.
Jason Lucky Morrow’s latest book – Famous Crimes the World Forgot (Ten vintage true crime stories rescued from obscurity) is a great hit. I know a lot of readers like the format of a crime per book – but these short stories are fantastic. Unlike his previous book, which linked a number of crimes around Washington DC, this one uses the entire nation as a tapestry. Not only that the crimes range from 1900 to 1961.
The writing is solid and engaging. I think most readers are going to be surprised at some of these crimes. Some of the serial killings covered in the book are ones I’ve never heard of before. Of course these happened before the phrase “serial killer” was part of our lexicon.
Some of these crimes are particularly gruesome in nature too. When you compare one of these crime to the Lizzie Borden case, you wonder why these didn’t get the same degree of coverage in the popular media.
Morrow has once more dusted off a lot of old true crime magazines and a lot of newspaper articles to recreate these crimes. He provides his references which is a big help. While he doesn’t dive into the actual police files of the cases, it isn’t necessary with these short stories. If you were doing a single book on one case – yes, the case files would be a necessity. Here you don’t even sense a gap.
My rating – five out of five stars. Well worth picking up. If you are fan of the genre – check out Morrow’s web site too: http://www.historicalcrimedetective.com/about/ I’ve become quite a fan of “Mug Shot Monday”