Inside The Criminal Mind: Review

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Inside the Criminal Mind provides a fascinating and insightful look into the inner workings of the criminal. This book touches on the mentalities that apply in a general way to all criminals and then explains in more depth in relation to each criminal type (whether it’s burglars or pedophiles).

Samenow’s main point is that the criminal has a “criminal personality” which has been present to the relations of the criminal since they were young. Thus, one can potentially identify criminals as youths or can justify finding a criminal guilty (even if they plead temporary insanity) by using their past history to demonstrate that they have a criminal personality. This book does a fantastic job of explaining and using examples to demonstrate exactly what classifies as a criminal mind. Samenow illustrates, using quotes from criminals and those with a criminal mind, exactly what goes on in the minds of most criminals and how they feel about things.

While it’s obvious that the author stands behind his idea of a criminal personality, he recognizes that it doesn’t apply to all cases. Near the end of the book Samenow recognizes that there are actually people who commit crimes of insanity, who didn’t really have control over their actions due to their mental state. He points out that although that can happen, it’s extremely uncommon and is usually very easy to tell whether the person was actually in control of their actions. I appreciated that the author recognized other types of criminals, versus just focusing on those with a criminal personality, because there are always exceptions to the rule which needs to be recognized.

Samenow writes in a style that is very pleasurable to read. He writes in a manner that, while academic sounding, is still easy to follow and understand. There wasn’t a moment in this book where I was confused as to the point that the author was trying to get across as he is very clear in his message and intent. Samenow also brings examples of the criminal personality to life through actual stories and quotes from the criminals, bringing the message home to the reader.

I would recommend this book for those interested in psychology or understanding the criminal mind. This is a highly informative book that really makes me think about what shapes the criminal.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

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5 thoughts on “Inside The Criminal Mind: Review

    kateywrites said:
    June 18, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    This sounds really interesting! I just finished The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime by Adrian Raine and would like to compare the theories expounded in both books.

    voicetonemood said:
    June 18, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Reblogged this on voicetonemood and commented:
    Insightful

    christineplouvier said:
    June 18, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    I needed this information! Thank you for reviewing this book!

    Bookgirl said:
    June 19, 2014 at 4:28 AM

    sounds like an excellent reference for crime writers

      echooutside responded:
      June 19, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      That’s a really good point. I hadn’t thought about that audience for the book.

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