Tag Archives: Recommended by Mike

Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn

Go Down Together by Jeff GuinnTitle:  Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde 

Author:  Jeff Guinn

Call #:  364.1522 GUI

Author Guinn expertly tells the story of Bonnie and Clyde and not the tale. In the over 75 years since this criminal couple were gunned down in an ambush in Louisiana, they have been mythologized, romanticized and idolized in books, magazines and film. Many in Depression-Era American lauded their attacks on the banks and the law, but Guinn depicts them as they truly were: inept crooks who robbed and murdered their way across the Midwest and the South over a nearly two year period in the 1930’s.

Recommended by:  Mike


My Thoughts Be Bloody by Nora Titone

My Thoughts Be Bloody by Nora TitoneTitle:  My Thoughts Be Bloody:  The Bitter Rivalry Between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth That Led to an American Tragedy

Author:  Nora Titone

Call #:  973.7092 TIT

Despite the huge number of books about the Lincoln assassination and all its major players, Nora Titone has written an original and lesser known story about this historical event. Focusing primarily on the life of John Wilkes and the Booth family prior to the assassination, the author provides many essential insights into the character of John Wilkes, the strained relationship he had with his family, especially his father, legendary actor Junius Brutus Booth and his brother the equally talented Edwin Booth. Living up to his father’s name and realizing he was a much lesser actor than his brother, John Wilkes harbored a jealousy and hatred for them that combined with an ever increasing sympathy and support for the Southern cause (both father and brother supported the North), that the reader will see came together in a twisted way that legitimized, in John Wilkes’ mind, not only why he had to kill Lincoln but where.

Recommended by:  Mike

Death in the City of Light by David King

Death in the City of LightTitle:  Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi Occupied Paris

Author:  David King

Call #:  364.1523 KIN

In Paris 1944, Marcel Petiot was a kindly physician who often refused to charge patients and was referred to as “The People’s Doctor”.  He also professed to be aiding the French Resistance in their fight against the Nazi occupation by offering people safe passage out of the country.  He was also a serial killer.  Eventually, he was charged with 27 murders, but authorities believed the total could be as high as 150.  The mystery of Petiot’s actions and motivations began the day numerous bodies were found buried in a lime pit on his property.  Confusion reigned as Petiot was supported by some as having done away with Nazi sympathizers while others argued he was pretending to provide help to those desperate to leave France simply to lure them to their deaths to steal their property.  In this well-written and researched book author King tells a complex tale of deceit, horror and personal evil on a scale hard to imagine.

Recommended by:  Mike

The Murder of the Century by Paul Collins

Murder of the Century by Paul CollinsTitle:  The Murder of the Century:  The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars

Author:  Paul Collins

Call #:  364.152 COL

In 1897 New York, body parts are being discovered in various places and with no suspects, motives or even an identifiable victim.  The city becomes engulfed in the effort to solve this crime.  The public becomes more and more fascinated with the story as newspapers compete to come up with the latest clue or the most blaring headline.  The author not only describes the pursuit in great detail, but he also captures an era, a time and place in a way that puts you right in the middle of the story.

Recommended by:  Mike

The Mirage Man by David Willman

Mirage Man by David WillmanTitle:  The Mirage Man:  Bruce Ivins, the Anthrax Attacks, and America’s Rush to War

Author:  David Willman

Call #:  363.325 WIL

Shortly after the attacks on 9/11, America was terrorized again.  Overshadowed by the horror of that day, this second attack goes almost forgotten due to its subtle nature and the fact that it took years to track down it’s perpetrator.  Five people were killed and seventeen people were infected when letters tainted with Anthrax were sent through the U.S. mail.  An eccentric scientist, Bruce Ivins, eventually became the prime suspect and Willman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, does a wonderful job of explaining the science involved in committing the act as well as researching the state of mind and convoluted motives behind such actions.

Recommended by:  Mike

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik LarsonTitle:  In the Garden of Beasts:  Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin

Author:  Erik Larson

Call #:  943.086 LAR

A compelling look at Germany in the 1930’s, the beginnings of Hitler’s reign and the many signs of the horror to come.  William E. Dodd, a professor from Chicago, was not President Franklin Roosevelt’s first choice to be America’s ambassador to Germany.  Considered too plain, frugal and passive to be an effective diplomat, he was disliked by many in the U.S. State Department.  Though unhappy in the position, Dodd tried to do his job well and over a period of time came to understand the brutality and philosophy of the Nazi Party would lead the world into a great war.  It was only after it was too late did the American government, including those who mocked him, realize he was right.

Recommended by:  Mike

Bringing Adam Home by Les Standiford with Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews

Bringing Adam Home by Les StandifordTitle:  Bringing Adam Home:  The Abduction That Changed America

Author:  Les Standiford with Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews

Call #:  364.1523 STA

On a July morning in 1981, 6-year-old Adam Walsh, son of John Walsh who would go on to create the TV program America’s Most Wanted, was abducted outside a Sears store in Hollywood, Florida while his mother was inside shopping for lamps.  He was never seen alive again.  He was decapitated and his head dumped in a nearby canal; the only part of Adam ever found.  This book is as frustrating as it is sad.  Because of shoddy detective work and police department arrogance it took 27 years for the killer to be charged and he was already dead.  It was the dedicated work of co-author Matthews to personally piece the crime together over a quarter of a century after it happened that the Walsh family finally had a small form of justice.  The gruesome details of Adam’s murder are sickening, but the efforts of his parents to change attitudes and laws concerning missing children are inspiring and a true tribute to Adam’s memory.  A disturbing and important book.

Recommended by:  Mike