Ronson has a knack of writing books that are fascinating and disturbing at the same time. In this he wades into the murky depths of psychiatry and mental heath, or as it is sometime called, the madness industry.
It starts with a request to investigate a strange book that had been sent to various people that was 42 pages long, was beautifully produced and was created by a anonymous author. This starts him off on the trail of people who study the mind and its inner secrets. He travels to Broadmoor (rather him than me) and meet a guy called Tony, who faked being a psychopath, and now cannot convince the medical staff that he isn't!
Ronson also meets Bob Hare, the man who has developed a twenty point checklist to ascertain if s person is a psychopath or not. Although it is flawed in some ways, it it probably the best thing that we have to spot these types of individuals.
He meets some famous psychopaths, and David Shayler, the ex MI5 agent who seems to have gone down the conspiracy nut route, and is acting stranger and stranger.
This is not a book that will give insights into how to spot psychopaths, nor is there a huge amount of detail into the traits that these people have, but you get Ronsons unique insight into people at the fringes of society, and those that have to deal with these individuals.
There are some disturbing parts in the book with some of the descriptions of murders, and there is one part in the book that is just chilling. Really work reading, not quite as good as some of his others, for example The Men Who Stare at Goats, but a good read nonetheless.