Friday, 9 November 2018

Book Review: Mindhunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

FBI Special Agent and expert in criminal profiling and behavioural science, John Douglas, is a man who has looked evil in the eye and made a vocation of understanding it. Now retired, Douglas can let us inside the FBI elite serial crime unit and into the disturbed minds of some of the most savage serial killers in the world.

The man who was the inspiration for Special Agent Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs and who lent the film's makers his expertise explains how he invented and established the practice of criminal profiling; what it was like to submerge himself mentally in the world of serial killers to the point of 'becoming' both perpetrator and victim; and individual case histories including those of Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and the Atlanta child murders.

With the fierce page-turning power of a bestselling novel, yet terrifyingly true, Mindhunter is a true crime classic.

God, it feels like such a long time ago that I read this book. It was only back in...May. Okay, that was quite a long time ago now, to be fair. I remember, though, that I was so excited to read this book. It's the book that launched the series (of the same name) on Netflix. And although I've yet to start watching the series, I've seen the adverts for it. I do like to read a book first, before watching the film/series though. 

Minhunter, by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, was a fantastic read. As above, it reads much like a true crime classic. You hardly feel as if you're reading a work of non-fiction. That being said, in some parts, the 'story' did drag on a bit. And, as to be expected I suppose, it was an emotional and, in parts, harrowing read. But then, if you pick up a book that's going to be talking about some of the most infamous serial killers, you've got to expect some blood and gore. 

This is the book that launched me on a true crime kick. I've got a huge stack of true crime books to work through now, and I've already made my way through a few of them. However, Mindhunter didn't live up to the expectations I had for it based on the adverts for the TV series and the reviews of this book. So I didn't rate it too highly. As a result, I'd probably recommend it only to fans of the TV series, or true crime fans. 

Rating: ***

Have you read Mindhunter, or seen the Netflix series? 

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