Mindhunter (1995) – John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

John Douglas is the man who became the lead FBI profiler just when the word was beginning to come into practice in the late 70s, through the 80s, and with author Mark Olshaker he takes us inside some of his cases, and the work he has done over the decades.

There are some truly horrifying people out there committing unspeakable atrocities; murder, rape, serial killing… These things terrify most of us to our very soul, and Douglas, and his fellow agents looked into this darkness, and refused to flinch. Plunging into the abyss time and again to offer their guidance and expertise to solve some of the cases that shook the world.

Serial killers fascinate a great many, but it’s not their actions that I find fascinating, it’s their profiling and capture that intrigues me, and Douglas’ Mindhunter, and the cases within, which served as the inspiration for the Netflix series of the same name, does exactly that. Through his tenure with the Bureau, and the Investigative Support Unit (formerly the Behavioural Science Unit) Douglas was involved in countless cases, and they all take their toll.

Reading some of the tales, and learning how the cases were worked and (most of them) solved, makes for a chilling and page turning read long into the dark of a couple of nights (it’s a very quick read).

I have nothing but respect for the work Douglas has done, and love that he has shared his tale the way he has. I understand there are more books that he’s written and you can be sure they will be joining the book shelf. He and Olshaker have a very easy writing style, and the cases just wrap the reader up.

I loved delving into these cases. Which is not to say I delighted in the horrific details of the crimes, and they truly are horrendous, but reading how certain patterns and signatures could be detected in the actions, and they those same things could be understood, and interpreted, used to track and stop the offending party.

Mindhunter is a great read, and if you’ve seen the series, you owe it to yourself to read the original source material. As mentioned, despite the heavy and dark subject material, the book moves at a fast and enjoyable pace, but never lets up from the tension and horror that people inflict on others.

Douglas gives us an overview of some iconic, as well as some I had never heard of, and I contemplated the terrible events of each and every one of them. So very troubling, but the one that reasonated with me and nearly broke me was the one involving the murder of a young girl named Shari Faye. Heartbreaking, as all of these cases are, but that one hit me heard.

Mindhunters is a fascinating read that scratched that true crime itch that sometime surfaces for me. And it did it right, because I’m more interested in the investigation and profiling side of things, and Douglas is the perfect go to for all of that!

A brilliant read!

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