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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: American Predator by Maureen Callahan @vikingbooks @jessmapreviews #maureencallahan #americanpredator #truecrime

American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century
by Maureen Callahan

Thanks so much to Viking for these copies.  Jessica and I LOVE true crime and in my case, I can't believe I hadn't heard of this guy!

Publisher: Viking
Publish Date: July 2, 2019
304 Pages
Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime

A gripping tour de force of investigative journalism that takes us deep into the investigation behind one of the most frightening and enigmatic serial killers in modern American history, and into the ranks of a singular American police force: the Alaska PD

Most of us have never heard of Israel Keyes. But he is one of the most ambitious, meticulous serial killers of modern time. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as "a force of pure evil," he was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried "kill kits"--cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools--in remote locations across the country and over the course of fourteen years, would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger's house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter.

When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years--uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake--many of which remain unsolved to this day.

American Predator is the ambitious culmination of years of on-the-ground interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes's life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files. Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer, and the limitations of traditional law enforcement, in one of America's most isolated environments--Alaska--when faced with a killer who defies all expectation and categorization.

My Review:

I used to scour the internet to read about all the killers out there.  Kids, women, partners, serial... it didn't matter - if it was true crime, I was reading about it.  I can't imagine the hours I put into all of this.  FASCINATING.  There's no looking past the fact that these people are diabolical and mostly geniuses.  Put into this, the wrong law enforcement person put in charge of interviewing them and all kinds of things can go haywire.  As manipulative as these killers are, they surely know their way around their words and feeding off the body language and words of the people surrounding them.

How did I never hear of Israel Keyes?!  I'm baffled that I hadn't heard of him until now.  Reading about what he did to his victims was crazy.  Pure, absolute bat shit.  This book definitely doesn't read as "dry" as some true crime books can.  Although it did lull in some areas for me, the story behind Keyes and his random victims was still as utterly fascinating as others I have read... if not more.  I even looked up pictures on the internet and WOAH.  You guys - if you get the chance, and true crime speaks to you, then definitely make sure to do this before, during or after this read. Or all three!

A definite must read for true crime lovers.


Jessica's Review:

So I want to keep this short and sweet. With true crime it can always be hit or miss for some readers. There are some that read like fiction in their flow and others that feel like more of a history textbook in that its nothing but dry facts. AMERICAN PREDATOR by Maureen Callahan was a surprisingly fast read!

I’ll admit, I didn’t know too much about Israel Keyes before picking this up. So I was anxious to start it and learn more about his crimes and how they eventually caught him. I liked the way that Callahan approached this one. She told the story backwards – we start with Keyes’ final victim and we work our way back through his reign of terror. This as pieced together from hours of FBI interrogations and facts from throughout the case as it was built. I would highly recommend this one to any true crime fans out there and to those that haven’t heard of Israel Keyes. You’ll definitely learn a lot!

5 stars

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