** The Psychopath’s Whisperer by Kent Kiehl

The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience is a clumsily assembled book of science, personal memories, and judicial prescriptions. You would not know it from the first chapter, masterfully situated in a high-security Canadian prison where the author, then a young graduate student, interviews inmates with lengthy rap sheets to determine whether they are psychopaths (the hunt is excellent!) with the view of studying their brains for anatomical peculiarities. That first chapter is self-deprecating, lively, and funny despite the grim surroundings. There are others like it, typically describing further research, both in prisons and in MRI rooms.

Unfortunately, the author also describes how he interviewed for various jobs and got great offers — not in a boasting way, mind you, but with geeky confidence that readers will be fascinated by the tidbits. Not so much. And then, having shown that psychopaths have marked brain differences from the rest of us, he never manages to make coherent recommendations for screening or treatment, or to suggest how to treat psychopaths in the judicial system, so it’s a bit of a missed opportunity.


1 Comment

Filed under Non fiction

One response to “** The Psychopath’s Whisperer by Kent Kiehl

  1. Pingback: ** The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger | FT's Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s