Power Brokers: New True Crime 2019

The #MeToo movement has engendered public soul-searching into the way society holds people in positions of power responsible for their misdeeds. Here, we look at forthcoming books that explore the relationships between fame, power, and accountability.

Chasing Cosby

Nicole Weisensee Egan. Seal, Apr.

In her first book, Egan, an investigative journalist, writes of the events leading up to Bill Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction, examining the role Cosby’s reputation and cultural status played in obscuring his crimes, and how those crimes were actively covered up for more than a decade. Egan has reported on the Cosby case since 2005, first for the Philadelphia Daily News and then for People.


Jake Brennan. Grand Central, Oct.

Based on Brennan’s podcast of the same name, this collection incorporates fictional elements into true incidents involving musicians.“I’m not inventing anything out of whole cloth to be entertaining,” Brennan says, using as an example Sam Cooke, who was shot after he broke into a female hotel manager’s office. Although ruled a justifiable homicide, rumors have circulated for years that there might be more to the story. Brennan says this reflects the impulse to absolve beloved stars of their crimes. “After he died, these conspiracy theories spread in an attempt to protect him. But the truth is right there staring us in the face.”

The Girls

Abigail Pesta. Seal, Aug.

Pesta cowrote Sandra Uwiringiyimana’s 2017 memoir, How Dare the Sun Rise, an account of surviving a massacre in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a child and making a new life in the U.S. In her latest, Pesta highlights the stories of athletes who were abused by U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, the ways in which Nassar built trust despite ongoing predation, and the aftermath of his 2018 conviction for his victims.

The Program

Toni Natalie, with Chet Hardin. Grand Central, Nov.

In 2018, Nxivm made headlines when founder Keith Raniere was arrested on sex-trafficking charges and the self-help company was discovered to be a cult with ties to Hollywood. Natalie was the group’s first recruit, and with coauthor Hardin, an investigative journalist, she discloses how Raniere, her former boyfriend, used her as a test subject for the coercive techniques he’d use to found Nxivm.

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A version of this article appeared in the 03/25/2019 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Power Brokers