The Anatomy of Evil – Michael H. Stone

Happy belated release day!

Thanks to Prometheus Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

THE ANATOMY OF EVIL by Michael H. Stone (released November 7th, 2017)

I had mentioned true crime yesterday (and posted this synopsis) and this is one of those true crime books that will fascinate you. I learned a lot and got the same creepy and paranoid feeling that I normally do with true crime.

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My Thoughts: 5/5 stars!

What makes a person evil? How does that differ from our perception of evil in today’s society? Michael Stone outlines his research of some of the most high-profile killers within the pages of THE ANATOMY OF EVIL. I know that I’ve frequently wondered what went wrong or what happened to these high-profile serial killers (watching a lot of documentaries and reading about the killers will do that). Is there one specific thing that makes someone evil?

Michael Stone is a renowned psychologist, and former host of the Most Evil series on Discovery Channel, and has analyzed over 600 biographies on violent criminals. He has definitely done his fair share of research and has developed a hierarchy of 22 levels. There are specific personality traits that lead to crimes of passion, sadistic torture, and murder. The two common traits are narcissism and aggression. Some contributing factors – on their own or a number of them combined – can push people over the edge and lead to them committing these awful and unspeakable crimes. Heredity, adverse environments, mental illness, brain injury, drug abuse, and many others are considered to be the root causes of evil behavior.

This book is one that really immerses the reader. If you’re a fan of true crime or serial killers fascinate you, then you definitely need to pick this one up. Even if it’s just skimming through to see the profiles on some of the killers he researched (these will not be the high-profile ones like Manson, Bundy, or Dahmer) The hierarchy was very interesting to read and see how all of his research came to these conclusions. This doesn’t read like a textbook would – so it’s not just a regurgitation of facts.

Overall, if you like nonfiction and true crime, then this is one I’d highly recommend. If you liked Most Evil, then this will be right up your alley. I found it truly fascinating and eye-opening to see what can contribute to evil and how the public perceives evil.

 

Do serial killers and true crime fascinate you or scare you?

–Jess

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