One thing all of us true crime junkies love are true crime podcasts. It’s like a true crime documentary you can take anywhere with you, whether you’re working at your desk or running errands. If you love podcasts, check out this list of crime fiction books that center around or have a podcast element to the plot—and get ready to combine the best of both worlds!
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Rachel Krall has the hottest new true crime podcast after she set an innocent man free. In her new season, she has been brought to a small town that has been ripped apart by a rape trial. The local star athlete golden boy has been accused of raping the police chief’s granddaughter. As Rachel begins to investigate, she starts to get mysterious letters signed by someone who claims their sister Jenny was murdered twenty-five years ago, while the police declared her death an accidental drowning. As Rachel becomes overwhelmed with the two mysteries, she soon finds that the two cases have connections and may not be separate at all.
Beneath Devil’s Bridge by Loreth Anne White
True crime podcaster Trinity Scott’s newest serial is the case of Clayton Jay Pelley, a former high school guidance counselor who confessed to murdering one of his students twenty years ago. Even though Pelley has confessed, his motive behind the murder was never found. Now, as Trinity interviews Pelley in prison, he now claims he didn’t do it. Going deeper invested in the investigation, Trinity reaches out to Rachel Walczak, the detective who put Pelley behind bars. As Rachel begins to question her decisions from twenty years ago and Trinity unearths more revelations the town begins to wonder, is Pelley actually innocent? Is there a murderer roaming the town?
Sadie by Courtney Summers
West McCray, a popular radio personality, just received a call from a stranger asking him to help find a nineteen-year-old runaway named Sadie. After it’s revealed that Sadie ran away after the murder of her young sister, West travels to Colorado to investigate. On her own journey with only determination and a switchblade, Sadie searches for the man who murdered her younger sister, Mattie, as West begins a podcast. Told in alternate perspectives from Sadie and transcripts of West’s podcast, can he catch up with Sadie before it’s too late?
I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan
Twenty years ago, two young children were murdered, and people still wonder if the police got the right man for the crimes. Filmmaker Cody Swift has always been haunted by the deaths of his two childhood friends and the loose ends that the police never provided answers to. Cody returns home and starts a podcast investigating the assumed solved murders. Soon enough, a dead body is found, and Cody realizes that someone out there doesn’t want this case reopened.
Truth Be Told by Kathleen Barber
Originally released as Are You Sleeping and now a hit TV show on AppleTV+ starring Octavia Spencer, this is the story about Josie Buhrman, whose father was murdered thirteen years ago. Josie is now married after being estranged from her mother, who joined a cult, and her sister who betrayed her. When an investigative journalist features her father’s murder on her latest podcast, Josie must return home to confront her past.
Conviction by Denise Mina
Anne McDonald turns to her favorite true crime podcast for escapism after her husband’s sudden announcement that he is leaving her. What better way to distract yourself than listening to stories of murder and deception? Realizing other people have it much worse, Anna hits play and realizes that the newest episode features a victim she knew in a previous life that she has worked hard to leave behind. Soon after, Anna’s life explodes and she’s on the run from her past.
Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke
With experience as a trained social worker, Elle Castillo hosts a true crime podcast about cold cases involving missing and abducted children. Now, Elle finally feels ready to tackle the case of The Countdown Killer, a monster who kidnapped and murdered three girls over seven days and mysteriously stopped after taking his eleven-year-old victim twenty years ago. When Elle finds a dead body after a tip and another child is abducted, it seems her investigation is resurrecting a serial killer or a copycat.
If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier
Sera is a true crime podcast junkie and feels they prepare her for the worst as women like her go missing every single day. When her favorite podcast host, Rachel, goes missing, Sera can’t help but want to help. Following hidden clues in the episodes of Rachel’s podcast, Sera finds herself on an isolated ranch where she soon finds that Rachel isn’t the only woman to disappear from this area.
Possession by Katie Lowe
Hannah has no memories from the night ten years ago when her husband was murdered. After a stranger was charged with the crime, Hannah and her young daughter left London. Now, the past is coming back to haunt Hannah when a true crime podcast known for reopening cases people once thought were solved begins to look into Hannah’s husband’s murder, believing the man committed of the crime is innocent. With no one to turn to, Hannah confides in coworker, Darcy, and finds that one big secret is still haunting her.
Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski
Written in podcast format, Six Stories is about the body of Tom Jeffries, who was found dead in 1997 that the police chalked up to an accidental death. Now in 2017, journalist and podcaster Scott King is conducting six interviews of those who were there that fateful night. Six friends and six stories, but they are all vastly different from one another. Who is telling the truth and who is hiding something dark and disturbing?
Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier
Paris Peralta has just been arrested for the murder of her much older, celebrity husband and that’s not even the worst of her problems. With the arrest comes unwanted attention and Paris is terrified someone will recognize her and find out what she’s been hiding all these years. Meanwhile, the podcast Things We Do In the Dark is about to do a feature on Ruby Reyes, a woman the media called The Ice Queen, who was convicted of an eerily similar murder twenty-five years ago. Now, Ruby has been unexpectedly released from prison and it couldn’t be at a worse time. Ruby knows exactly who Paris is and expects compensation for her silence.
The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan
The cold case murder of popular sorority girl Candace Swain was never solved. One night, Candace left a party and disappeared, only to be found dead two weeks later. Now, Lucas Vega has become obsessed with Candace’s case while interning at the medical examiner’s office and finds new information that he believes could solve her murder. When the police refuse to listen to Lucas, he starts a podcast in hopes he can solve her case which gets the attention of US marshal Regan Merritt. When a tip comes in, the caller is found brutally murdered, leading Lucas and Regan to believe they are finally getting closer to the truth about who killed Candace.
The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead
In college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her friends became seduced by a mysterious man who introduced them to a world they never thought existed. By their senior year, only Shay and her friend, Laurel, would escape his clutches. Now as an adult, Shay is living in Texas trying to leave that world behind until she learns of Laurel’s death through her favorite crime podcast. Enlisting the help of the podcaster, Shay begins her own investigation to find out what really happened to Laurel, even if it means revisiting a past she tried to leave behind.