“Savage Appetites” Book Review

I’ve often wondered where my love for true crime comes from and what this obsession means about my personality. Rachel Monroe had the same wonderings and wrote this nonfiction book about the different aspects of true crime and why some people are drawn to it. The book is divided into four parts:

1. The Detective – focusing on Frances Glessner Lee (the female pioneer of forensics who built miniature replications of crime scenes in the 1940s)
2. The Victim – revolving around Sharon Tate and her role as a victim of the Manson family
3. The Defender – which talks about the case of the wrongly-convicted West Memphis Three (and the story of how a ‘normal’ woman got married to a prison inmate)
4. The Killer – which describes a relationship between two potential mass murderers (one of whom is a young girl obsessed with online forums dedicated to killers)

While well-known cases like Tate and Columbine are described in detail, there was so much to learn in this book (even when events were over-reported on by the media). Monroe’s style of writing was perfect for a non-fiction book – there was absolutely no dryness or piling on of unnecessary details. In fact, I gobbled each page up as if I was reading a fast-paced thriller. I also loved how Monroe brought her own experiences as a journalist and true crime fan into the story – this was a helpful throughline to tie all of the separate cases together.

I absolutely recommend this book for any true crime fans out there (especially women like me who love Nancy Grace and a good Forensic File rerun). I’ll be eagerly anticipating Monroe’s next book!

5 stars

*Free ARC provided by NetGalley and Scribner Books in exchange for an honest review*

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