Though O'Toole's background as an FBI agent and profiler gives her plenty of insights and concrete examples with which to fill this well-organized and thorough book, readers may shy away from its hard-line approach to safety. Much as we'd prefer to believe the opposite, O'Toole argues that our instincts and intuition let us down all the time, with people often describing unfortunate events only to add—"I never saw that one coming." To prove her theory that instincts are dangerous, O'Toole offers tests throughout so that readers can assess their responses and reaction to risk. She also references cases she worked during her years with the FBI, and cites anecdotes about well-known criminals, including serial killer Ted Bundy, and white-collar criminals Bernie Madoff and Rob Blagojevich. O'Toole even shares secret profiler tricks—readers can learn what an Armani suit, a neat and tidy living room, or a book collection might reveal about them. (Oct.)
"Mary Ellen O'Toole is my hero! In Dangerous Instincts she offers sound advice and fascinating examples gleaned from her long career in the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. This book will save many lives-including, quite possibly, your own. Whether the knowledge you find herein saves you from a con man, a rapist, a thief, a killer, or just a miserable marriage, this is a classic, valuable book. I recommend it highly to all my family, friends, and readers." Ann Rule, author of THE STRANGER BESIDE ME
"A masterful and compelling primer on survival in a world in which people are not always what we think them to be. Dr. O'Toole's deep understanding of the nature and implications of psychopathy. . . is particularly impressive, and shared by only a few other criminal investigators. This is an important and well-written book on topics of concern to everyone. A great read, highly recommended."
Robert Hare, Ph.D., author of WITHOUT CONSCIENCE
"In this absorbing read, [O'Toole] discusses why people trusted Bernie Madoff and Ted Bundy and dissects online dating responses and typical blind spots. The author helps readers analyze their decision-making patterns and provides a guide for helping them to assess and mitigate risk. O'Toole's book will provide insight to everyone, but it's particularly helpful for women living alone, parents concerned about their children's safety, or employers worried about perplexing employee behavior."
O'Toole, a recently retired FBI behavior analyst, is more than qualified to help people develop simple analytical tools that will help them better detect danger and recognize risky situations. In this absorbing read, she discusses why people trusted Bernie Madoff and Ted Bundy and dissects online dating responses and typical blind spots. The author helps readers analyze their decision-making patterns and provides a guide for helping them to assess and mitigate risk. O'Toole's book will provide insight to everyone, but it's particularly helpful for women living alone, parents concerned about their children's safety, or employers worried about perplexing employee behavior.
A retired FBI profiler teaches you how to steer clear of psychopaths, con artists and other assorted evildoers.
O'Toole's crime-fighting expertise has helped crack some of the most heinous murder and abduction cases in U.S. history. But the author is the first to admit she couldn't correctly peg a real-life serial killer just by looking at him. To do that, she has always employed a clear, cerebral-based methodology, ruthlessly jettisoning anything even remotely resembling a "sixth sense." Her first order of business is demonstrating (through blood-curdling case references) just how faulty our everyday assessments of people generally are, which will leave many readers relieved that the odds of actually encountering a serial killer are similar to being struck by lighting. However, writes the author, there are still plenty of other villains out there intent on doing harm. Crooks, connivers and crackpots of all stripes know how to put targeted victims at ease with the right words, disarming them with charm and never hinting at their true colors until it's too late. The author's learned counsel has been proven right consistently, but her mode of instruction is often tedious; readers will hardly enjoy constantly being told that they'll learn this or that vital piece of information in a subsequent chapter. Regardless of the stilted prose, O'Toole's profiling system should prepare readers to uncover the disturbing behavior and attitudes of all the people in their lives.
Beneficial though chilling course in personal safety.