The Killer Across the Table by John E. Douglas & Mark Olshaker

The Details

Publisher: Dey Street Books
Published: May 7th, 2019
Genres: Non-Fiction, true crime,
My Rating: 5 Stars


Goodreads Blurb

Twenty years after his famous memoir, the man who literally wrote the book on FBI criminal profiling opens his case files once again. In this riveting work of true crime, he spotlights four of the most diabolical criminals he’s confronted, interviewed and learned from. Going deep into each man’s life and crimes, he outlines the factors that led them to murder and how he used his interrogation skills to expose their means, motives, and true evil. Like the hit Netflix show, The Killer Across the Table is centered around Douglas’ unique interrogation and profiling process. With his longtime collaborator Mark Olshaker, Douglas recounts the chilling encounters with these four killers as he experienced them—revealing for the first time his profile methods in detail. 

Going step by step through his interviews, Douglas explains how he connects each killer’s crimes to the specific conversation and contrasts these encounters with those of other deadly criminals to show what he learns from each one. In the process, he returns to other famous cases, killers and interviews that have shaped his career, describing how the knowledge he gained from those exchanges helped prepare him for these.

A glimpse into the mind of a man who has pierced the heart of human darkness, The Killer Across the Table unlocks the ultimate mystery of depravity and the techniques and approaches that have countered evil in the name of justice.

My Review

I love a good crime book.

I haven’t read MindHunter, I have it on my TBR list, but I have listened to several podcasts where John Douglas is a guest and discusses this time at the FBI creating the Behavioral Sciences division and perfecting criminal profiling. He had also been a feature in a lot of really famous crimes and featured in documentaries. So I was pretty excited about actually reading one of his books.

I listened to the audiobook, which in this time of quarantine, was a bit harder because I usually listen to an audiobook on my commute and the drive from my bedroom to the kitchen table isn’t long enough to listen to a whole chapter of a book. However, I did greatly enjoy the narration which was done by Jonathan Groff which sounds weird at first, but he plays the character based on John Douglas on the Netflix show Mindhunter.

This book is graphic, so if you’re not into graphic descriptions of death and violence, you won’t like this. Two of the four murderers featured killed children, so be aware of that if you decide to read this book. It has the typical violence of the Netflix series Mindhunter. I am aware that no everyone is into that kind of thing, but I greatly enjoyed listening to this book and learning about what breaks down to character studies of murderers. I don’t know why I’m like this, but I like consuming media about terrible crimes.

I think if you’re into reading true crime books, you don’t need my recommendation to read a book by John Douglas. I really enjoyed the storytelling and narrative of this story. Douglas weaves the stories we (true crime weirdos) know well and how those criminals relate to criminals featured in each of the four sections of the book.

If you use true crime to escape the weird world we’re living in, check out this The Killer Across the Table.

Until next time Internet,



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