I am a lover of true crime. This isn’t much of a surprise to my family and friends. For years, true crime has taken over the media I consume(podcasts, tv shows, movies, books, etc). When I stumbled upon Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, I knew this was something I needed to read. I wasn’t disappointed.
Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is obsessed with true crime. Ever since she can remember, true crime has been prevalent in her life. Hilary believes that she inherited her interest in crime from her mother, but has questions about the psychology surrounding why people find true crime to be so entertaining. In her quest to answer that question, Hilary examines her past, does research, and starts combining what she learns into this graphic memoir. Hilary talks about high profile cases(Zodiac, Ted Bundy, etc) that impacted her life and moves onto other not as high profile cases and the often overlooked victims that are also etched into her memory (Anne Marie Fahey for example). For those of us that enjoy true crime, Hilary also lists authors she loves, the crime shows she watches, and the podcasts she listens to. This graphic novel made me feel normal – she outlines her obsession of love and true crime, while also saying that outsiders may see some weirdness in people loving/enjoying true crime. This is definitely an unconventional book/topic, but there is an audience who will appreciate it.
While I enjoyed this graphic novel, it does jump around a lot (the author acknowledges this). It didn’t bother me much as it made sense to me and followed the jumpy way my own brain works. Reading about how the author tries to figure out why she loves true crime and why she started down this path made me think about why I too love true crime. Hilary highlighted some cases that I hadn’t heard about and some that I had already explored. It was validating to read something that talked about my own anxieties, love of true crime, etc.