The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson is the story of Chicago as they were preparing to host the world fair in 1893. Chicago was set on using this world fair to announce itself as a major world city. They felt they were viewed as a second-rate city compared to Chicago, especially in America.
Also, they wanted this world here to showcase not to America but to the world that Chicago was an elite city. Half of this book is focused on the city of Chicago, architects, and engineers who mobilized to make this. Suddenly, they must overcome because it needs to be planned and built for this event.
After two years, they built a city from scratch. The world Ferris ground was this ideal model city, and each building had its focus. The other half of this book focuses on the darker side of the city of Chicago. So the white city refers to the fair because all the monumental buildings were coated in white. The devil refers to this individual who built a hotel for the World Fair and turned it into his murder ground. He designed all these secret rooms and ways to pop gas into hotel rooms to kill people or knock them out.
Books like The Devil in the White City explore the darker aspects of human nature, true crime, or the psychology of infamous individuals. They provide a captivating blend of history and narrative storytelling.
5 Books Like The Devil In The White City (True Crime & Serial Killer)
The Devil In The White City is a true event serial killer book where a devil chooses the white city for his crime. All the sorts of macabre-type stuff that he created were his ideal killing ground. So you have this exciting element where you’re looking at this world fear, a huge human accomplishment.
As a fascinating delve into both sides of the city of Chicago and the evil side through the devil. There are many true accounts of serial killers in biographical books on Amazon. But I found five similar story and plot-related books you like reading. If you want true crime books similar to The Devil In The White City, you’ll enjoy these books.
1. Zodiac: The Shocking True Story of the Hunt for the Nation’s Most Elusive Serial Killer
This is the first book in the Zodiac Killer series. If you like books about serial killers and crime, you might enjoy this one. This one has a detective Darek who has a bit of a sordid past. He has a new partner in Lizzy, who is an FBI agent. Derek wants to get into the FBI, but his current case brings up some things from his past that could ruin him.
So in this, he is trying to solve the case to get the job he wants while trying to protect himself and his other zodiac buddies from his youth. Many events are going on in this from the past and the present.
Zodiac is a book that ends with quite a cliffhanger, like The Devil In The White City. You must read the rest of the series to get closure and answer this. The first book in the series doesn’t give you any answers. It’s giving you a lot of questions you find quite annoying. Some elements innate open your eyes to a whole new world there. The characters in this that are being abused are all quite young. So some trigger warnings for you there.
Author: Robert Graysmith
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Serial Killers True Accounts, Criminology
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Mass Market Paperback
2. The Monster Of Florence
The Monster Of Florence is a novel written by Douglas Preston. He is in the story because this is based on true events. Douglas Preston is an American who moves with his family to Florence to write a novel and experience something new. Whereas Mario Spezi has been a journalist his entire life, he’s lived in Florence. He’s been covering the monster killings since the first day they happened. Imagine beautiful countryside in Italy with a vineyard or the most beautiful overlooking the hill.
The story begins with a couple going at it in a car and then being murdered. We don’t know if there are one or multiple killers, but they kill lovers everywhere. There’s a sketch of who they think is the actual killer. This book will show Italy’s justice system and its difference from America.
There were rumors that they were planting evidence to ensure they weren’t the case. So basically, they were trying to ensure they were saving their careers and that the entire world wasn’t laughing at Italy. It is because they couldn’t find the killer. It was fascinating, similar to The Devil In The White City, and I enjoyed reading this.
Author: Douglas Preston
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: Criminal Procedure Law, Serial Killers True Accounts
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback
3. If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood
If You Tell is the most intense true crime I’ve ever read in my entire life. It follows a woman named Shelley, and it talks about her childhood, which was an absolute hot mess. So the book starts horribly, and then it keeps getting worse and worse. When Shelley was a little kid, her mom was a hot mess. She was an alcoholic and super abusive.
No one knows her childhood, but her dad divorced her mom. Then her dad married other girls, and he tricked her into thinking that he was only four years older than her when he was ten years older. It is a big deal because when they got married, the girl he married was like 18. So he tricked her regarding his age or lied about his age.
Shelly is the most controlling kid ever. She has a brother who comes with her and will not even talk. Shelly does all the talking for him, which is bizarre, and sometimes apparently, he had been seen in his room. One day the mom is murdered. Finally, this family gets the other boy, who is now older. They never say how old he is, but he’s old enough to sit at the table and not a baby. But he is entirely feral when they get him. So they struggle with these three kids, but they get the feral boy a little more involved in normal behavior.
As Shelley gets older, she gets more and more malicious, and she does things intentionally to hurt people, including breaking glass and putting it in people’s shoes. So that is horrible. Then, she grows up and becomes a mom herself. It is her story as a mom and the three daughters she has. Like The Devil In The White City, it is graphic, heartbreaking, and horrible.
Author: Gregg Olsen
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Serial Killers True Accounts, Biographies & Memoirs
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD
4. American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century
Israel Keyes is one of the most terrifying serial killers in history. You got to get into how he manipulated his world, how he was two different people, and the real person was what everyone saw. Everyone saw this fake personality that wasn’t him. He’s a cold-blooded killer. He couldn’t show that. So he had this persona.
I enjoy American Predator because I’ve always enjoyed a true crime fan of the psychological aspect of how human beings go one way or the other. When it comes to morals, they have those because of some dysfunctional issue in their brain. Either way, they become these people, and this man, Israel Keyes, became a serial killer and killed many people in the United States. You can relate the character with The Devil In The White City.
There are different authors. It will be interesting to see their spin on how they tell the story of this serial killer. Most people have heard of Richard Ramirez. He is a stone-cold serial killer. So it’s good to revisit this information in a dense book like this one.
Author: Maureen Callahan
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Serial Killers True Crime, Crime & Criminal Biographies
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle
5. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark is a true crime novel, and it’s one woman’s obsessive search for the Golden State Killer. You might not be familiar with the Golden State Killer. The East Area rapist broke into people’s houses in Northern California and raped women, whether alone, with a couple, with children, or with a partner. He ransacked their house, and he raped them. Then he would leave nothing. There was violence, but no one was murdered. But then, eventually, he was linked to 10 murders down in Southern California.
So he became known by McNamara as the Golden State Killer once all those crimes were connected. Within this book, we have McNamara. She was an investigative journalist, and she interviewed detectives and cops who went through the investigation when the crimes were occurring. She passed away before this novel was published or entirely written.
So her partner had a techie guy assistant who did all the tech work on the internet. The mystery has never been solved, so she writes this book is called a genre buster, which is very true. You will get the same thrill and feelings as The Devil In The White City.
Author: Michelle McNamara
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Serial Killers True Crime, Law Enforcement Biographies
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
These books offer a unique opportunity to delve into real-life events and characters, transporting you to different periods and immersing you in the details of the past.
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