April 6th, 2007

bear by san

Book report #27: Anatomy of Motive, John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Book report #27: Anatomy of Motive, John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Yes another in the series of psychological autopsy books by a former FBI profiler and his co-writer. These are generally accessible, occasionally quite snarky (I mean that as a compliment), and not particularly deep, intended for a general/popular audience. I started reading them when I was going to be** a forensic anthropologist* (for anyone who cares, I was also going to be a neurosurgeon, a jockey (too big), a middle distance runner (bad knees), an astrophysicist, a geologist, and a science fiction writer.)  But they are interesting.

(I'm the weirdo who started watching Criminal Minds because of the John Douglas and Roy Hazelwood books, not the other way around. Well, and there was that Mandy Patinkin thing.)

Anyway, surfacy, but interesting. And it does give you an overview of how the process of growing up a serial killer, spree killer, or other assorted criminal works. And even more so, some of the ways one would go about catching them.

Also, the Unabomber chapter is pretty fascinating.

There are a bunch more of these by the same team: they're all pretty good without being spectacular.


*This has rendered me entirely unable to read Patricia Cornwell books without snickering. Because, you see, her forensics novels read as if she bases each one on a single pop forensics book, and I've read all the same pop forensics books she has....

**I blame a severe childhood addiction to Quincy. No, I mean, severe.

Next up: Bruce D. Patterson, The Lions of Tsavo. And then maybe Tricia Sullivan's Maul.
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