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The Mind of a Murderer: A glimpse into the darkest corners of the human psyche, from a leading forensic psychiatrist

Richard Taylor

4 Reviews

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True crime

A gripping and eye-opening insight into life as a forensic psychiatrist, from one of the most experienced doctors in the field

'An intricate and brilliantly written psychiatric perspective on the most perplexing of crimes' Kerry Daynes, author of The Dark Side of the Mind

'Beautifully written and very dark' Nimco Ali OBE

'Whodunnit' doesn't matter so much, not to a forensic psychiatrist. We're more interested in the 'why'.

In his twenty-six years in the field, Richard Taylor has worked on well over a hundred murder cases, with victims and perpetrators from all walks of life. In this fascinating memoir, Taylor draws on some of the most tragic, horrific and illuminating of these cases - as well as dark secrets from his own family's past - to explore some of the questions he grapples with every day:

Why do people kill?
Does committing a monstrous act make someone a monster?
Could any of us, in the wrong circumstances, become a killer?

As Taylor helps us understand what lies inside the minds of those charged with murder - both prisoners he has assessed and patients he has treated - he presents us with the most important challenge of all: how can we even begin to comprehend the darkest of human deeds, and why it is so vital that we try?

The Mind of a Murderer is a fascinating exploration into the psyche of killers, as well as a unique insight into the life and mind of the doctor who treats them. For fans of Unnatural Causes, The Examined Life and All That Remains.

MORE PRAISE FOR THE MIND OF A MURDERER:

'A fascinating insight into what drives criminality - and a punchy polemic against mental-health service cuts' Jake Kerridge, Sunday Telegraph

'A dark, fascinating and often surprising glimpse into the minds of those who kill, from a forensic psychiatrist who's seen it all' Rob Williams, writer of BBC's The Victim

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Praise for The Mind of a Murderer: A glimpse into the darkest corners of the human psyche, from a leading forensic psychiatrist

  • An absorbing mix of high-profile case histories and a glimpse into the personal and professional pressures of a career spent at the sharp end of psychiatry. Dr Richard Taylor's knowledge and experience is undeniable. An intricate and brilliantly written psychiatric perspective on the most perplexing of crimes

  • Heartbreaking, horrifying, but a brilliant and insightful book. Beautifully written and very dark

  • A dark, fascinating and often surprising glimpse into the minds of those who kill, from a forensic psychiatrist who's seen it all

  • A fascinating insight into what drives criminality - and a punchy polemic against mental-health service cuts - Sunday Telegraph

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Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor was born in Singapore and grew up in the south of England. He trained as a doctor at University College London, and was inspired to move into psychiatry, and then forensic psychiatry, by some of the stabbing victims he treated in A&E as a junior doctor; long after the life-threatening injuries had been dealt with, he would find himself wondering about the narrative behind the crime - who attacked whom, and why?

He completed post-graduate training at the Bethlem and Maudsley hospitals and then took up a post as Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist. Since then he has gained extensive experience working on cases involving all types of crime including rape, arson, serious violence, murder and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. He has dealt with murder cases of all types over his nearly three-decade psychiatry career, both as an expert witness and as a treating forensic psychiatrist.

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