Because there’s so much more true crime out there.
Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries reboot has the whole world talking — and the whole Internet working together to solve some of its toughest crimes. If you’ve finished marathon-watching the show, but still want more of the gritty true crime the series has to offer, pick up one of these books like Unsolved Mysteries to read while you wait on season 2.
The original Unsolved Mysteries premiered in 1988, hosted by the star of TV’s The Untouchables, Robert Stack. Stack passed away in 2002, having hosted the series on NBC, CBS, and Lifetime. After Stack’s death, Unsolved Mysteries found homes on Spike and YouTube, before being resurrected in a new, hostless format on Netflix in 2020.
Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries reboot has proven to be a cultural phenomenon, with fans already floating a bevy of theories about what really happened in the show’s featured, as-yet unsolved cases. If you can’t get the series out of your head, check out these must-read books:
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Cassandra Tipp’s husband, father, and brother are all long dead, under strange and shocking circumstances. Now the writer herself has disappeared, leaving behind a mysterious manuscript and a massive fortune. Her niece and nephew are all set to inherit Cassie’s wealth, but they’ll have to unravel the mysteries of her last book first.
Claire has a picture-perfect life… only because no one talks about how her husband abuses her. A chance meeting with another woman looking to get out of Dodge sparks a plan: Claire and Eva will trade places on flights to California and Puerto Rico, and start new lives in new places. But when Eva’s flight goes down, Claire has the perfect opportunity to fake her own death… until Eva’s problems come looking for her.
Media mogul Vonda Allen is one of the most hated women in America. When her personal bodyguard is attacked during her book tour, it’s up to his old partner, P.I. Cass Raines, to find out what her friend’s employer is hiding and who wants her dead.
Emma Copley Eisenberg spent years investigating the now-40-year-old case of two murdered women in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. She shares her findings in The Third Rainbow Girl: a new work of true-crime that lays out the 1980 murder case, a wrongful conviction from 1993, the 1997 confession, and how the case shaped one corner of Appalachia forever.
When circumstances force Lena to drop out of college to keep her family from drowning in inherited debt, she heads to Lakewood, Michigan to take part in a top-secret medical research program. The studies range from changing eye colors to curing degenerative illnesses, but the lack of transparency makes Lena wary — as well it should.
Ten years ago, Wyatt’s sister disappeared, and people in his hometown have never stopped suspecting that he had something to do with it. When he chances upon a young girl, lost and mute, in the middle of nowhere, Wyatt thinks he may have found his salvation — a way to prove to his neighbors that he isn’t the monster of their imaginations. But the discovery will drag both Wyatt and small-town cop Odette back into that older case, forcing them to confront the decade-old crime in ways they cannot prepare for.
In 2011, Iowa police uncovered a Chinese agricultural company’s plot to steal and reverse-engineer crops owned by Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer, leading to a 2-year F.B.I. investigation. In The Scientist and the Spy, Mara Hvistendahl connects the case to the United States’ ongoing trade disputes with China, uncovering decades of anti-Asian racism in American espionage.
It’s 1899 and New York City is enraptured by the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. When Tillie Pembroke discovers her dead sister’s exsanguinated body, the two puncture wounds on the neck point to only one cause: a vampire. Unwilling to accept that a supernatural monster is responsible for her sister’s death, Tillie sets out to solve the case… but will the city’s vampire panic and her own addiction to laudanum get in the way?
After her sister-in-law dies by suicide, Chicagoan Sadie relocates with her husband and their sons to coastal Maine, where their 16-year-old niece and cousin has been left orphaned. The move puts untold pressure on the new little family, and Sadie worries that her husband’s eyes — and other body parts — may have begun to wander again. But when the woman she believes to be her husband’s new mistress is found stabbed to death in her home, the emotionally frayed Sadie lands in the middle of a murder investigation.
Years after they hit it off in business school, Faye and Jack have built a successful business and attractive family from the ground up. Jack’s taken all the credit for the work Faye did, and he’s now conveniently forgotten that their company was her idea, and that he relied on her financial support, unpaid labor, and ingenuity to craft his image. Now their marriage is at an end, and, thanks to a prenuptial agreement, Faye will walk away with nothing… unless she falls back into her old, violent ways and makes Jack pay.
When a string of boys go missing from a small Minnesota town, only to return with irreparable damage, it’s up to a 13-year-old farm girl to figure out what’s happened, and who is responsible. Every family has secrets, and Cassie’s is no exception. But when her sister becomes just as violent and withdrawn as the boys in town, and the local adults aren’t interested in getting to the root of the problem, Cassie must solve the case on her own, or risk losing herself to Lilydale’s dark underbelly.
A year after a friend introduced them on the Pacific Crest Trail, Justin and Aspen Matis married and began to build a life together in New York. When that same friend died, Justin left to attend his funeral… and never came home. Matis tells the story of her search for her husband, and her quest to understand what went wrong, in Your Blue Is Not My Blue.
Crime writer Jax Miller breathes new life into the 20-year-old case of two missing girls from Oklahoma in Hell in the Heartland. In 1999, two days before the dawn of the new millennium, teenage friends Ashley and Lauria disappeared from a sleepover that ended with Ashley’s family home being burned to the ground. Studying the cold case in 2015, Miller uncovered stories of negligent investigative work, intrigue, and a string of deaths that might be connected to the girls’ disappearance.
There’s nothing exciting going on in Baja California in 1979, as Viridana knows all too well. When three American tourists come to spend the summer in her hometown, she finds herself drawn to them and their tales of life in the United States. When one of the Americans dies, Viridana lies to protect the others, but soon realizes she may be part of a wider plot to get away with murder.
"Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body." That’s what the note says, but there’s no body to be found. Isolated and lonely, the elderly woman who stumbles upon the mystery of Magda becomes increasingly preoccupied with tracking down the killer in this dark and twisty new novel from My Year of Rest and Relaxation author Ottessa Moshfegh.
The discovery of oil on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation—home to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation—changes the area in unforeseen ways in Sierra Crane Murdoch’s new work of true crime, Yellow Bird. When a 29-year-old white man went missing from a local work site, Fort Berthold resident Lissa Yellow Bird threw herself into the search, and found a new career in the process: investigating missing persons cases on the reservation.
Once, Byeongdo’s serial murders were all anyone could talk about, but he’s never been interviewed before now. The only person he wants to talk to is Seonkyeong, a criminal psychologist whose 11-year-old stepdaughter, Hayeong, has just arrived on her doorstep after the traumatic death of her maternal grandparents. As she interviews the serial killer, Seonkyeong can’t help but notice an array of connections between his demeanor and that of the young girl, who doesn’t seem to mourn the deaths of her caregivers at all.
Thirty-five years ago, Viv Delaney took a job working as a night clerk at an upstate New York motel. She was investigating a string of disappearances in the area… before she became the next victim. Now, her niece has taken the same job, in the same place, hoping to unearth answers about what happened to Viv all those years ago. Women disappear near the Sun Down Motel all the time. The only question is: who’s next?
It’s been three years since Gabe gave up everything to search for his daughter — the girl everyone says is dead, the girl Gabe saw alive, in the back of a strange car on the freeway, the same night. When the car is found at the bottom of a lake, the discovery only leaves Gabe with more questions. Those questions lead him to The Other People: a vigilante group, located on the dark web. They’ll get Gabe the revenge he wants… but only at a great cost.
The Brooklyn Sydney grew up in is disappearing, as Black and brown families flee to the suburbs, and white newcomers move in. But Sydney and her new neighbor Theo are about to discover that something much darker and more powerful than gentrification may be behind Brooklyn’s transformation, in Alyssa Cole’s new thriller, When No One Is Watching.
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