cover image Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession

Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession

Edited by Sarah Weinman. Ecco, $18.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-283988-6

Weinman (The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World) provides a worthy successor to the Best American Crime Reporting annual series in this thoughtful and wide-ranging true crime anthology, which includes 13 previously published essays. The recent shift in reporting such stories from the victim’s perspective is exemplified in the deeply sad retelling of the 1966 University of Texas mass shooting, Pamela Colloff’s “The Reckoning: The Story of Claire Wilson.” Wilson was seriously injured by the sniper who carried out a shooting spree from the UT Tower, killing Wilson’s boyfriend and the baby she was carrying at the time. Sarah Marshall’s disturbing “The End of Evil” details her struggle to decide whether serial killer Ted Bundy should be thought of as belonging “to a separate species from the rest of us.” And in an era when true crime podcasts and TV shows continue to proliferate, Alice Bolin’s “The Ethical Dilemma of Highbrow True Crime” details the problems of such popular fare, which often contains unverified and potentially libelous speculations. The superior quality of these essays begs for future volumes. Agent: David Patterson, Stuart Krichevsky Literary. (July)