Tales of Cocaine, LSD, and Murder: True Crime Books to Read


With the increased popularity of true-crime shows such as Conversations with a Killer, Tiger King or The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, bibliophiles craving more detailed accounts of the world of drug traffickers and murderers will be able to finally satisfy their yearning by indulging in some of these mesmerising true crime books.

Blow by Bruce Porter

Bruce Porter’s New York Times bestseller Blow is the riveting story of George Jung’s rise from small-time marijuana dealer, to one of the main cocaine traffickers of the 1980s in America, ultimately working his way into the heart of Pablo Escobar’s Medellín cartel. 

Blow draws on interviews with George Jung, his ex-wife Mirtha, FBI agents and many more to deliver a thorough account of Jung’s childhood and early adult years, his friendship with Pablo Escobar’s business partner Carlos Lehder, and his ultimate downfall.

A gripping and captivating read, Blow is the ultimate book for anyone interested in the inner workings of the cocaine drug trade and the Medellín cartel. 

Snowing in Bali by Kathryn Bonella

As part of the research for her book Hotel K, Kathryn Bonnella spent almost two years living in Bali, interviewing inmates of Kerobokan Prison. Snowing in Bali evolved organically out of her time in Indonesia, telling the story of Bali as a global hotspot for the distribution of narcotics. 

Traversed with interviews, Snowing in Bali recounts the sensational reality of Bali’s drug traffickers- from their multi-million dollar earnings and extravagant lifestyles, to sitting on death row in Indonesian high-security prisons. 

Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill

The culmination of twenty years of research, Tom O’Neill’s Chaos invites the reader into a world of LSD, orgies, and murder. He exposes revelations about the Helter Skelter author and Charles Manson’s prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, and the murderers themselves, unearthing a grotesque and large-scale cover-up. 

Exposing evidence of legal misconduct, police negligence, mind-experiments conducted by the CIA, and secret surveillance by government agents, Tom O’Neill presents a wide array of new information, strong enough to overturn society’s understanding not only of the sixties, but also of present-day America.

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

Finally, now a Major Motion Picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street is an autobiographical book recounting Jordan Belfort’s life as a conniving stock-chopper, intoxicated by power, greed and excess. 

Littered with exuberant stories of women, crime, drugs and million dollar cars, The Wolf of Wall Street reads like fiction, perfectly painting the lavishness and the ultimately self-destructiveness of Belfort’s lifestyle. 

Words by Samira Rauner

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