*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author and Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Welcome to the world of the forensic psychologist, where the people you meet are wildly unpredictable and often frightening.
The job: to delve into the psyche of convicted men and women to try to understand what lies behind their often brutal actions.
Follow in the footsteps of Kerry Daynes, one of the most sought-after forensic psychologists in the business and consultant on major police investigations.
Kerry’s job has taken her to the cells of maximum-security prisons, police interview rooms, the wards of secure hospitals and the witness box of the court room.
Her work has helped solve a cold case, convict the guilty and prevent a vicious attack.
Spending every moment of your life staring into the darker side of life comes with a price. Kerry’s frank memoir gives an unforgettable insight into the personal and professional dangers in store for a female psychologist working with some of the most disturbing men and women.
This is the first non-fiction book that I’ve just sped through in one sitting!
Kerry Daynes presents anecdotes from her years as a forensic psychologist, working in prisons, hospitals and sheltered homes, and helping both victims and perpetrators of crimes.
The style of writing is straightforward, clear and easy-to-read, and the tone of the book is warm and darkly humorous, but with the professional polish that can only come from years of experience on the frontline.
For the purposes of our entertainment and edification, Daynes has specifically chosen the cases that impacted her the most – emotionally and/or professionally. Some cases she presents here prompted a change in her career path, whilst others prompted a change in attitude or mindset, leading her to approach her work in a different way. These are significant, and often disturbing, stories… not tales of bicycle thefts and parking ticket fraud!
It should therefore go without saying that some readers may find some of the content sensitive. Daynes has definitely faced some of the darker aspects of the human psyche over her career: child abuse, sexual abuse, sadistic violence, murder. Throughout it all, she has clearly retained her sense of humour, her empathy for the suffering, and her faith in the better side of humanity, but I found myself wondering how at times.
This is a fascinating journey on the dark side for those interested in the human mind and what makes it tick (and occasionally tock, or even twoing). I was utterly transfixed from beginning to end, and put it down with both a deeper insight into how the system treats those in mental pain and an immense gratitude that there are people like Kerry Daynes out there trying to change things for the better.
The question I am asked perhaps more than any other, whether it’s by a taxi driver with whom I’m passing the time of day or a judge who wants my professional opinion, is: What the hell is wrong with these people? The words may be more or less formal, but everyone really wants to know the same thing. What is so wrong with someone that he or she commits a serious crime? Because once we know what’s wrong with someone, we can fix them, right? Or confine them, out of harm’s way. It took me a long time – too long – to realize that we’re all asking the wrong question.
– Kerry Daynes, The Dark Side of the Mind
The Dark Side of the Mind is available on Amazon right now!
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews!