February 14th 2022, is True Crime Fiction’s first birthday, so I feel it is important to thank everyone who has been listening to the podcast, reading the website, sharing and liking posts and in general to those who have enjoyed TCF. It has been hard work, and at times the review schedule has felt a little oppressive, but given that I was not really sure what would come out of True Crime Fiction, I am really pleased with what it has produced. We’ve had over 11,000 downloads in the first year and we’ve got plans for future development.
Please, if you have enjoyed TCF over the last year consider becoming a patreon at patreon.com/truecrimefiction, from as little as £1, and help cover equipment, hosting and various other costs. At patreon you can simply support, or you can become a member of higher tiers, and get early release episodes and bonus material particularly around the Self Help for Serial Killers stream of content. For now though I’d like to run down some of our most popular posts and episodes over the last twelve months.
By far, the most popular podcast has been West Cork. Of course within the last year there has also been a Netflix documentary on the Sophie Toscan Du Plantier case, which has probably helped push the numbers up, but even before that it was popular. It is easy to hear why when you start listening because it is a well produced, thoughtful true crime podcast, and along with Evil Has a Name: The Untold Story of the Hunt for the Golden State Killer, Audible is setting a gold standard for true crime podcasting and should be extremely proud of itself.
However it’s not just the big boys who have been producing great true crime podcasts, Sweet Bobby, Down the Hill, Bad Bad Thing and Who Killed Emma? all get well deserved and honourable mentions. I will very rarely review something that I do not think is good quality, but I am always on the look our for true crime podcasts that look at things through a different lens, or speak about the margins of life. If you have any suggestions as listeners or readers please let me know via the contact page.
When it comes to true crime books the most popular has been Killing for Company, about Denis Neilson. There are several context factor which may have influenced this, David Tennant’s recent spectacularly chilling performance in the tv adaptation of the book, and the fact that it was one of the first I reviewed, so has had more opportunity to be read and listened to than others which has probably helped. Even with this factored in, I would still place it as one of the best true crime books out there, partly because of Masters sensitivity, lack of gratuitous instinct, and genuine quest to understand what could propel a man to such gross crimes.
When it comes to fiction things have been a little more quiet, but there are one or two books that have still stood out. The Book Club by CJ Cooper has by far been a favourite of both readers and listeners, and I was pleased that CJ agreed to be interviewed for the pod – we hope to have her back on in the future, but that does rather depend on me getting about million other things organised, but keep your fingers crossed. Other fiction books that have stood out include My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyankin Braithwaite, Dust of the Bones, by Paul Howarth and the very recently reviewed The Key in The Lock by Beth Underdown. All books reviewed by TCF are available to buy or pre-order through the TCF shop, with profits going to support independent book retailers and TCF.
I lastly need to point you in the direction of my own fiction work on True Crime Fiction. Self Help for Serial Killers: Let Your Creativity Bloom, which I have so far released the Intorduction and Week One, Part One, but over the year will be releasing much, much more and is only availible on the podcast. It’s been a wonderful year, so I thank all the writers, journalists, and amateur podcasters (like myself) who have made exploring this world, and brining others attention to it such a rewarding oportunity. Happy Valentines Day.