The Devil You Know: Stories of Human Cruelty and Compassion

Scribner. Jul. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781982134792. $28. CRIME
Forensic psychiatrist and psychotherapist Adshead has spent her career in the UK treating people charged with violent offenses; here, she and Horne (Zola and the Victorians) share 11 stories from Adshead’s time at Broadmoor Hospital, in Berkshire. To preserve patient anonymity, each story is a composite of several individuals, from “Kezia,” a woman who killed her care worker while under the delusion that he was possessed by a demon, to “Ian,” a man who sexually assaulted his sons and eventually died by suicide. Each case is described with care and understanding, allowing the reader to get a sense of the human behind the crime.
VERDICT A compassionate yet unflinching look into the psychology of people who perpetrate violent crimes, and the care afforded them in the UK, this book would be of interest to true crime fans and especially valuable to those studying psychology, medicine, or law.
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