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This is not a bad read for anyone interested in true crime. However, I would strongly recommend reading books by others. The author is clearly well read on the subject, has engaging writing style, and to his credit admits that he is not an expert in this field. I am a physician, soon to be board certified in both Adult and Forensic Psychiatry, and as a professional my problems with Vronsky's book are with the many misleading and/or inaccurate pieces of information provided regarding descriptors and classifications. For the sake of brevity I'll stick to one example. For instance, he writes that the American Psychiatric Association's DSM equivalent term for psychopathy is Antisocial Personality Disorder and proceeds to equate the two. This is absolutely incorrect and much has been published over the past 30 years. The constructs of psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder, though have some overlap, are NOT equivalent. In fact psychopathy is not even a formal DSM diagnosis and furthermore necessitates further formal training by both psychologists and psychiatrists to appropriately assess. Even more basic is how Vronsky uses.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful
This comprehensive overview of the origin, psychology and prevention of serial murder is quite different from your typical sensationalized account of a particular case, though Vronsky uses examples of cases to good effect when illustrating a concept. This is closer to a psychology textbook than 'true crime' and I found its reliance on history, brain science, philosophy and forensic science to be very effective. I wish Vronsky would do an update to this 2004 book to address new developments in this topic. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful