From the very first ?Pilgrim-on-Pilgrim shotgunning, ?America has been a land of violent drunks, greedy relatives, nihilistic teens, icy femmes fatales, withdrawn men who hear voices — and writers drawn to their grisly misdeeds. We learn all kinds of bloodstained trivia in True Crime: An American Anthology‘s collection, which includes everything from Cotton Mather’s gallows sermons to Mark Twain’s raucous sketches of frontier mayhem, Dominick Dunne’s profile of the creepy Menendez brothers, and James Ellroy’s elegy for his murdered mother. For lurid detail, engrossing ? procedural, tawdry atmospherics, and hard-boiled scrutiny of society’s ?underbelly, you just can’t beat these real-life case files. A?