While I have quite an impressive collection of books on Jack the Ripper by now I tend to avoid true-crime books that deal with more modern cases, most of them are extremely sensational and seem to be written for the shock-value.
I had high hopes for this book when I began it as it seemed to focus more on the history of profiling and how one man almost single-handedly started the FBI's Behaviour Science Unit. However it quickly turned into listing details of the murders in a way that made little sense to me: switching between giving names and exact circumstances of a victim's death and just saying 'and then he killed X more people. If I could have been sure that giving the names of quite a lot of the victims was done to remind the reader that they were real people and not just some faceless beings I would have been fine with it. Just...I did not get the feeling. I got the feeling of somebody who really needed to reach a minimum word count. I actually put the book down a couple of times with the intention of quitting but then changed my mind, picked it up again, only to get that uncomfortable feeling again that had made me put it down before. Eventually I gave up at around 30%
There is also the small matter of the author using Serial Killer and Mass Murderer interchangeable which they aren't...and which really shouldn't happen to a seasoned true crime writer in a book about serial killers.
Still I'm willing to acknowledge that perhaps I'm just the wrong audience for the book and came with the wrong expectations. This is not really a book about the history of profiling. It plays a role but the killers are the main focus. If you're searching for facts about those you could probably do worse than this book.
Thanks to Edelweiss for providing the review copy