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Picking Up The Pieces
 
 

Picking Up The Pieces [Kindle Edition]

Paul Britton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 9.99
Kindle Price: 4.68 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Amazon Review

It's all the fault of Sherlock Holmes. Perhaps not the first detective novels (William Godwin's Caleb Williams, according to Julian Symons in Bloody Murder, or more popularly The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins), the tales of the Baker Street sleuth nonetheless presented the first accounts of psychological profiling, characteristically drawing upon the faintest of clues. Away from one fictional figure, forensic psychologist Paul Britton was the inspiration for another, television's Cracker. Britton had been involved in the conviction of murderer Paul Bostock in 1979, now acknowledged as the first person to have been caught and convicted using psychological analysis, and he has been consulted on more than 100 subsequent cases. Picking Up the Pieces, the follow-up to The Jigsaw Man, parades a rogues' gallery of cases from his clinical casebook, as disparate and anguished as one might imagine: a man who electrocutes rabbits in place of his abusive father in a home-made electric chair; a woman possessed, supposedly after a ouija board encounter; Colin Ireland, the serial gay killer; various stalkers and rapists; and even his own Wolf-Man, like Dr Freud (though psychoanalysis barely gets a mention), who turns into a werewolf each day at 4pm. Britton's work is controversial--he was involved with the arrest of Colin Stagg for the horrific murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common in 1992, for which Stagg is considering legal action for entrapment--but when applied properly, amounts to little more than old-fashioned detective work, painstakingly worked through. The writing is sleekly episodic, wrapped around his own professional life, and while at times the neo-fictional dialogue can seem a little polished ("They used the garden because the house is full" is his response to an enquiry as to why the Wests buried bodies in the back-garden), the insights offered are genuinely interesting, and responsibly explained. And his conclusion makes grim reading: he is seeing more cases of institutionalised abuse than ever. Uncomfortably gripping. --David Vincent

Review

"Britton has done hugely important work that saves lives. He is fascinating. His book is compelling" (The Sunday Times)

"A unique understanding of the dark side of the human condition" (Red)

"Precise, considered, methodical. His skill is to go beyond the guise, to understand and inhabit the psychopathic mind" (Independent)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Creating a follow-up to "The Jigsaw Man" was never going to be an easy task. Brittons first book provided an unique and highly descriptive insight into a world which most of us, thankfully, will never have to experience first-hand. With his new book, Paul Britton appears to have made a conscious decision to adopt a less graphic approach to his accounts of violent crime. The focus now is much more on the interactions within the clinical context - on understanding the roots of deviant behaviour and on using the psychoterapeutic relation to prevent violent fantasies from becoming reality. Structurally, this book is somewhat less clear than the previous one and initially, there is some degree of confusion as to what the author actually wants to tell the reader. However, stop expecting a second "Jigsaw Man" and chances are you will find yourself able to enjoy the book a lot more. The author has the ability to really let the reader into the minds of his clients, enabling you to understand - if not accept - some of the reasons underlying their thoughts, emotions and behaviour. All in all, a more introspective book from Paul Britton, but still very, very fascinating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with John Douglas (see the book Mindhunter) it is difficult to imagine how Paul Britain kept a sense of balance during a working life dealing with damaged people, many of whom were potentially dangerous to others. As he relates, some not only abused emotionally, but went onto torture physically and even murder in simply appalling circumstances. Trying to analyse and unravel what made these individuals do what they did in the quest to heal, or at least prevent their getting free to continue to prey on others, is a remarkable feat of patience and perceptive skill. As he mentioned in his earlier book 'The Jigsaw Man,' it was effort that extracted a part of himself each and every time he stepped out to assist the police, victims and perpetrators. While he acknowledging the fortune in finding a wife with equal understanding, I cannot help but feel that broader society does not accord enough regard to those who try to cope with the psychological casualties thrown up by everyday life. We are lucky to have such people, individuals willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Highly recommended reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 16 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow some very sad stories and gory details but what a great book! Very interesting as is the jigsaw man also by Paul britton
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good expansion on the first book. 14 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fascinating man and his job. A follow up to the jigsaw man. Very interesting read. I've read it twice already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminology 11 Jun 2013
By dai bin
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An insight into horrendous crimes and criminals and how they can be caught by working closely with the police. Spellbinding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By David B
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very interesting read if you are into psychology and crime. Paul Britton changes tack from the Jigsaw Man and instead of concentrating on his involvement in particular police investigations, he writes about different sorts of characters he has come across in his consulting room. He weaves a narrative of his patients throughout his book in an accessible way, and his dry sense of humour sometimes shows. There is an element of self congratulation in the book, after all it is an autobiography, but still a great read. N.b much of the material dealt with may be upsetting for some readers because he is dealing with sexually deviant and/or violent people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping and interesting 22 April 2013
By Jo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having studied criminal psychology at university I found this book really interesting and informative too, the way Britton writes makes the book easy to read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 22 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought as a gift to follow up Jigsaw Man - unable to put down!! I am next in the queue to read it!
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