Brady's book throws up a number of contradictions, mostly problematic. The first seven chapters seem to be Brady's attempt at clarifying his own philosophy and outlook, especially regarding 'moral relativism'. Unsurprisingly, his argument mostly centres around the 'all human beings are animals and capable of acts of savagery' schtick. While not a particularly original subject, Brady does write very passionately, in a witty and rhythmic style, and comes across as both articulate and well-versed in his proposals - at times I even forgot that the 'monstrous' Brady we see depicted in the tabloids was the actual author. Yes, the serial killer is derided as a twisted, sick individual, mainly for his working class status, whereas heads of government, banks, judges, senior police chiefs and multinational corporations are free to start wars, oppress social minorities, destroy the environment and kill their enemies at will, whilst justifying their work as 'being in the public interest' or 'just business, nothing personal'. If Brady is trying (and I suspect he is, to an extent) to present some sort of class overtones to his self-justifications (ie- the rich screw over the poor so therefore the poor have a right to lash back through crime), this direction is bound to fail miserably. Brady and Hindley murdered working class children and teenagers.
The remaining chapters are supposedly dedicated to psychological profiles of key UK and US serial killers. I found it personally ironic that, at the start of the book, Brady attacks those crime writers and media hacks who have covered this subject for 'sensationalising' the crimes and criminals they purport to despise, as his own accounts seemed to gravitate this way as well. Starting off well with some interesting observations on John Wayne Gacy, Peter Sutcliffe and Graham Young, Brady soon descends into the kind of sensational story-telling he claims to loathe. I got quite bored by the time I'd finished the chapter on Richard Ramirez, and began to skim through the rest of the killers, wondering when Brady would hit me with something I hadn't read before in myriad forms.
Ultimately, Brady's argument that serial killers refuse to be grey blobs on the canvas of life, and that their 'will to power' is comparable to wild streaks of colour, a celebration of life through art, is bankrupt. Plenty of people reject humdrum lives and do their own thing, without the need to enslave or control others. Nor do their lives necessarily end up being wasted in a solitary cell. Brady is incapable of grasping the fact that he has fulfilled a social role just as much as the 9-5 bank clerk and the ruthless media hack, proudly displaying his 'outsider' uniform as if it meant he had escaped the 'common herd' for good. Instead, it becomes clear that despite his grandiose declarations, Brady himself has been played by the very game he intended to rig for his own pleasure.