search-icon

4 Chilling Reads to Get You Through Mindhunter Season 2

by  | August 21

Mindhunter is one of those shows that everyone expected to be fantastic. With the legendary David Fincher directing a gritty take on John Douglas’s highly acclaimed book of the same name and lead by the always captivating Jonathan Groff, there was no way this show could fail. Still, Season 1 had a lot of surprises, especially with the breakout performance by Cameron Britton (and his creepy little mustache), which cemented this show as a powerhouse work that demands to be seen. Now with the highly anticipated release of Season 2, almost two years after the premiere of the pilot season, fans are anxiously awaiting even more heavy hitters of the serial killer world. So after you inevitably binge watch Season 2 of this groundbreaking work of true crime storytelling, sit back with these books to keep your crime fix satisfied. 

The Kill Jar

The Kill Jar

by J. Reuben Appelman

Based on the series trailer, Season 2 of Mindhunter will focus heavily on the Atlanta child murders, a string of killings of predominantly young black males in the late 70s and early 80s that completely gripped the city in fear. In The Kill Jar, J. Reuben Appelman examines a similar string of child murders in Detroit. In this deep dive into police cover-ups, pedophile rings, and the history of a very complicated city, Appelman creates a truly original work of literary true crime. Just like how I’ll watch Season 2 of Mindhunter, I read this book in one day, since it snatches you from the opening line and dares you to get deeper and deeper in until you feel like you can never emerge the same way you entered. In this very dark look into the era when these murder sprees were occurring mostly undetected, Appelman spins a personal narrative into a true crime one, with the seamless precision of a true expert.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn

by Meg Medina

When the Season 2 trailer dropped, it teased to some major serial killer heavy hitters who were going to make appearances in this new installment. A flash of Manson, a snippet of BTK...and, yes, even the Son of Sam himself, David Berkowitz. Set amid the terror of Berkowitz’s random Bronx shooting spree is Meg Medina’s Burn Baby Burn. The story follows teen Nora as she navigates love, growing up, and her complicated family life as tension within the city grows more and more deadly each day. A truly gripping story that delves into Nora’s character at the same time that it uses the shadow of Berkowitz to show the danger that lurks outside of ourselves every day, Burn Baby Burn is a fantastic work of New York fiction.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Bind, Torture, Kill

Bind, Torture, Kill

by Roy Wenzl, Tim Potter, Hurst Laviana, L. Kelly

If you’re a bona fide true crime buff, you may have noticed a familiar face lurking in the background of Mindhunter Season 1 (I mean, you really can’t mistake that mustache), but if you don’t know, it was the infamous Dennis Rader, a.k.a. the BTK killer. He is apparently going to be an even bigger part of Season 2, given some very strong hints throughout the trailers. Truly a horrifying man, Dennis Rader was the family man next door half of the time and a sadistic killer the other half. By taunting police, killing at random, and the truly horrific nature of his crimes he should have stood out, but his bland appearance and family-man persona allowed him to operate for 31 years mostly undetected. Delving deep into Rader’s twisted psyche, Bind, Torture, Kill sheds unprecedented new light on a truly American monster.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Flowers in the Attic

Flowers in the Attic

by V.C. Andrews

The true standout performance in Season 1 of Mindhunter is irrefutably Cameron Britton’s spot-on rendition of the Co-Ed Killer, Ed Kemper. So it wasn’t a huge surprise that he makes a teaser appearance for Season 2. The real Ed Kemper was one sick dude (his Wikipedia page reads like a particularly disturbed slasher movie), but during his prison time he actually ended up being an ideal prisoner. Back in the day, he even volunteered to read audiobooks for the blind, one of which was V.C. Andrews’s classic work, Flowers in the Attic. This Gothic novel, first published in 1979, tells the chilling tale of the Dollanganger children as they struggle to survive under the rule of their tyrannical grandmother. A deeply unsettling, but beautifully written classic, Flowers in the Attic is the perfect Gothic mystery to hold you over until Mindhunter’s inevitable Season 3.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!
Amy is a Legal Contracts Assistant at Simon & Schuster. She loves thrillers, contemporary fiction, and all things Stephen King! If she isn’t talking about her obsession with true crime podcasts like Last Podcast on the Left she is gabbing on about any and all things film. She loves reading in her favorite NYC bars, which you can see on her bookstagram, @boozehoundbookclub