Often these books will follow a very similar pattern

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often these books will follow a very similar pattern as a thriller or police procedural. There is a crime, and the efforts to solve the crime and bring the perpetrator to justice, which offers readers a sense of closure. This seemed important, especially as the crimes described are often disturbing. Ending the True Crime book with a criminal being brought to justice seems to be a necessary reassurance to readers. We discussed that the wide variety of True Crime books can have different appeals. Devil in the White City was our example book, and the historical detail could appeal to readers of history and historical fiction. Many stated that one of the biggest appeals was the kind of vicarious thrill you get from reading something scary from the safety of your own world.
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Many people who read True Crime, especially of the Ann Rule serial killer variety, often like a similar scary edge to their fiction. Serial killer fiction such as James Patterson or even horror seemed a likely appeal. Some True Crime books were described as fast-paced and quick reads (Ann Rule), but we also discussed more leisurely, atmospheric examples like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil . TRAVEL Humor Literary quality - language, writing style Cultural study - the insider's knowledge and details Extreme adventure/quest - vicarious experiences for the armchair traveler Character driver - internal meditation/journey that parallel the external one Genre bending - easily combined with subjects such as farming, horticulture, adventure, cooking, memoirs/biography, history, geography, exploration, and sports Unexpected discoveries - new insights and information TRUE ADVENTURE Many of the stories address the theme of man battling against nature, and succeeding against all odds in surviving Some involve a search for treasure, whether it’s actual treasure or not They allow vicarious participation in adventures one could never undertake personally The success of the protagonist in reaching his goals acts as an inspiration to readers to follow their own dreams – and validates one’s personal ambitions Readers often get involved with the characters and come to care about what happens to them in the end The working class experience is often addressed – another point of identification for readers Learn about new topics – the background details of the story are very important, and can lead a reader to further pursuit of a new subject There’s a lot of crossover into other genres, such as sports, disasters These stories appeal to a reader looking for something that reads like a novel but is actually a true story
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