Advantages: methodical, detailed, full of case studies and forensic facts
Disadvantages: lack of an index, some points are repeated
When I choose to read a non-fiction book, I always read the author's biographic note first to make sure that s/he knows what they write about and that, as a result, I will gain valid knowledge out of this experience. If I am not interested in learning factual data then I simply choose non-fiction. What I particularly dislike are opportunistic journalists who write on a complex subject, such as forensics, without an adequate background, only to create sensationalism and earn an extra buck.
This is not the case with this book. The writer, Robert Keppel, was at the time of publication a Chief Criminal Investigator in Washington and has been an investigator or consultant to over 2000 murder cases and over 50 serial murders. He also has a PhD in Criminal Justice. William Brines was the president of a publishing house and helped Keppel with the suitable writing language for a wider audience.
This book is not an easy read and sometimes not pleasant at all. Hardly the ideal bedtime story. However, it is a great textbook on the criminal psyche of a serial killer, useful to students of criminology, law enforcement and forensic professionals, and the wider audience who wants to get scientific and well-established knowledge in the understanding of the deviant criminal murderous mind. It is also full of forensic scientific info, and those who enjoy TV shows such as CSI, Law and Order or the Mentalist will find this book extremely interesting, although they may realise that true crime is far worse and more difficult to digest than any fictional depiction.