Book Review: The Psychopath Whisperer – Kent A. Kiehl

The Psychopath Whisperer coverTitle: The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience
Author: Kent A. Kiehl, PhD
ISBN: 9780770435844
Pages: 304
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: Crown
Genre: Nonfiction, Science
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5


One of the leading experts on psychopaths, Kent Kiehl takes the reader on a comprehensive study of psychopaths. He discusses his personal experiences with psychopaths as well as a more academic approach, discussing the Psychopath Checklist and the science behind psychopathy.

Snapshot Review:

A clearly written book with excellent balance between personal narrative and science, The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience is well worth the read for anyone interested in the science of psychopaths.

Full Review:

Psychopath is a term we throw around pretty freely these days, but what is a psychopath really? What makes a person a psychopath? Are they born that way or is it a learned behavior? Kent A. Kiehl has been studying psychopaths over the course of his 20-year career, and he distills his knowledge and experience into this fascinating and very readable book.

The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without a Conscience takes multiple approaches to discuss psychopathy within its pages. We are treated to a personal narrative from Kiehl’s work as he details the course of his career, discussing the many different experiences he’s had studying psychopaths, mostly in prisons, and what he’s learned from these encounters, interviews, and brain scans. This is fascinating, as we receive Kiehl’s commentary and really come to understand psychopathy (at least, as much as a layperson reading about them can). This practical discussion is unique and part of what makes the book so readable.

Kiehl also delves into the science in The Psychopath Whisperer. This is a book aimed at non-scientists, so the science isn’t overwhelming, but it’s detailed and thoroughly discussed. What’s more, Kiehl offers a “case study” that runs through the book about two very different kids, interspersed over the chapters. The reader watches them grow up and must guess which is a psychopath. Or are they both psychopaths? It’s hard to tell. This exercise serves multiple purposes, and it draws the reader in completely.

If you’re interested in the science of the mind (or are just an avid crime fiction reader), then The Psychopath Whisperer is absolutely a book you should pick up. Kiehl writes a fascinating book; it’s precisely written and easy to read, ensuring that readers will be drawn in from the first page as the delve into the dark world of psychopathy.

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  1. Megan @ The Whynott Blog says:

    Wow! This sounds pretty neat. I love psychology and consider myself something of an amateur psychoanalyst. This book sound really fascinating!

  2. Dr. Kiehl- I have been an avid crime fiction reader my entire adult life (Love Harry Hole!)Sat down in a waiting room, picked up a copy of, if I remember correctly, Science magazine and saw a mention of this book though I do believe they listed it as “Psycopath Listener.” Googled it, found correct title and purchased it through Amazon. The workings of the psychopathic brain have always fascinated me but your book was the first one I had found that I could follow!!!! Have actually recommended it to two coworkers who have very bravely admitted the same fascination. Career nurses tend to have the ability to grasp how a mind could go so off the rail and still have great compassion for the patient and their victims. Thank you for such a fabulous read. Meg Jones,R.N.

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