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The Devil You Know: Encounters in Forensic Psychiatry Paperback – 30 Jun. 2022

4.6 out of 5 stars 805 ratings

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From the Publisher

Product description


This is a mythbuster of a book - crammed with compelling, constructive, candid and compassionate insights into the criminal mind. -- Val McDermid

On killing and other crimes - a forensic, gripping, extraordinary and ultimately enlightening insider's account of how and why it happens. -- Philippe Sands

An extraordinary book. Shocking, sad and absolutely fascinating. -- Sebastian Faulks

A fascinating, erudite and beautifully written deep-dive into the nature of evil. The Devil You Know makes the case for radical empathy and reminds us that all human beings are capable of darkness, and of light. -- Christie Watson

Finding light in the deepest darkness, this book makes an invaluable and urgent case for improved mental health care and could forever change the way we think about violence and those who perpetrate it. -- David Lammy

Challenging but really important. -- Alastair Campbell

A remarkable book; powerful, illuminating, humane, and suffused with extraordinary compassion. -- Gavin Francis

From one of the most distinguished and brilliant minds in psychiatry, The Devil You Know is an illuminating page-turner. I kept reading not out of a morbid or macabre fascination in these stories of extreme cruelty, but to understand the darker side of what it means to be human. Meticulous, elegant, provoking, this book is a profound act of social service. -- Marina Cantacuzino ― author and founder of THE FORGIVENESS PROJECT

Clear-eyed and compassionate . . . a captivating journey through the corridors of Broadmoor hospital and beyond, into the prison system, the community and the consultation room . . . it is [Adshead's] constant and reassuring voice, a voice not hesitant to admit to its own occasional missteps and misjudgments, that makes the book so valuable and absorbing . . . Adshead's words are effortlessly readable and deeply moving . . . the most overwhelming feeling I had on finishing this book was of hope, not only for the patients but for the readers. Over the last 12 months we have all seen too much and therefore, perhaps, become blinded. This insightful, compassionate and fascinating book will help us to move away from our blindness and misconceptions and shine a light on the stories beyond the headlines - stories that desperately need to be heard. -- Joanna Cannon ― Guardian

Literature lovers like me are fond of saying that reading promotes empathy; it feels true, though you might struggle to prove it. However,
The Devil You Know by the forensic psychiatrist Gwen Adshead with Eileen Horne has permanently recalibrated my empathy dial. As she helps offenders understand and take responsibility for their actions in the wake of terrible crimes, Adshead quietly, humanely shows us that people remain people, despite their actions. -- Melissa Harrison ― New Statesman (Books of the Year)

Given the nature of the crimes, Adshead's compassion is almost as shocking as the offences themselves. But it gives her distance and extraordinary insight - not least into the nature of therapy, and of punishment. -- James McConnachie ― The Times (Books of the Year)

An extraordinary tour through the psyches of the criminally disturbed, every bit as discomfiting as it is fascinating . . . It is the humanity in the stories that makes [this] book so extraordinary. -- Rosie Kinchen ― Sunday Times

Laudably sagacious and temperate . . . brilliant . . . The book is a powerful myth buster. Name a stereotype about violent offenders and Adshead upends it. -- Rosamund Urwin ― Sunday Times

Adshead's warm intelligence, curiosity and nuanced understanding of her work inspire trust in what turns out to be an unmissable book . . . it is precisely her gift for empathy that offsets the desolation of much of what she describes . . . The Devil You Know is not a book of excuses. It persuades us that it is only through understanding why horrific crimes happen that mental health services and the judicial system can have any chance of being improved. This revelatory book encourages us to see that it is our responsibility to consider the worst of humanity - and of ourselves. And while we are at it, it urges us to hang on to Adshead's most powerful imperative: "the duty of hope". -- Kate Kellaway ― Observer (Book of the Week)

Adshead's new book -
The Devil You Know: Stories of Human Cruelty and Compassion, a memoir comprised of chilling case notes - leaves the reader with a nuanced, subtle understanding of "evil" . . . Adshead has a literary soul . . . This affinity for language explains Adshead's gift as a psychiatrist. -- Neil Mackay ― The Herald

Book Description

A fascinating window into criminal minds, suffused with compassion.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Faber & Faber; Main edition (30 Jun. 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0571357628
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0571357628
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Customer reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 805 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
805 global ratings

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