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The Anatomy of Motive

The FBI's Legendary Mindhunter Explores the Key to Understanding and Catching Violent Criminals
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this eagerly anticipated book from the internationally best-selling authors of Mindhunter, Journey into Darkness, and Obsession, legendary crime fighter John Douglas explores the root of all crime: motive. Every crime is a mystery story with a motive at its heart. Understand the motive, and you can solve the mystery.

The Anatomy of Motive offers a dramatic, insightful look at the development and evolution of the criminal mind. The famed former chief of the FBI's Investigative Support Unit, Douglas was the pioneer of modern behavioral profiling of serial criminals. Working again with acclaimed novelist, journalist, and filmmaker Mark Olshaker, and using cases from his own fabled career as examples, Douglas takes us further than ever before into the dark corners of the minds of arsonists, hijackers, bombers, poisoners, serial and spree killers, and mass murderers.

©1999 Mindhunters, Inc. (P)2017 Tantor

What the critics say

"An informative, provocative page-turner.... Douglas is a good teller of gruesome tales." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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criminal behaviour.

why people do what they do. a must read if you have strange relatives or co workers. seeing is not always believing. people will stage scenes or project an image in order to escape from justice.

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Fairly standard stuff from Douglas

I really enjoy John's work, but if you've read one it's like you've read them all. There's a lot of overlap in this book and his many others, material feels a bit recycled. But a few new interesting points. If you liked his other books you'll like this one, just don't expect too many surprises.

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  • Thad Ames
  • 2017-11-07

Smuckers jelly narration. Still good.

I do see a lot of neg. reviews due to voice. If you can get past that, give this book a listen. Without going into the details this book has a lot of good info, stories and lessons. Stories are gruesome and detailed and make you think about the human race but they are good.
Rating 3 stars due to smuckers jelly voice narration. Overall very entertaining.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel Hollingshead
  • 2019-05-29

Nothing new here.

If you have read Mind Hunter, save your time and money by taking a pass on this one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • TheZenUnderground
  • 2017-04-22

I liked it

Good, but I wish he had gone in to the psychology behind some of the more intense stuff..

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Audio Diva
  • 2017-03-19

John Douglas the formost authority on Profileing.

LOVE everything John Douglas has written and this book is just as educational and exciting.
I've always wanted to be a profiler, but did not have the college, nor timing.
His books are like taking a course from him.
I've listened to all his books, more than once.
If you are interested in Profileing, True Crime, or non- fiction, this book will not disappoint.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben L.
  • 2019-07-28

Anatomy of an excellent book

After reading Mindhunter, also by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, I didn’t think any book could top that but this one did nearly did! I say this because, not only did John Douglas add more of his personal stories/experiences, he also described the personalities and motivations for all kinds of criminal offenders and why they committed these acts. From product tampering to assassins, each form of violence is broken down and assessed individually which makes the material easier to understand. At least in my time reading this book. Even though I prefer Mindhunter over The Anatomy of Motive, I still highly recommend this book to anybody who has a career in this field or just an interest in law enforcement or the FBI 🙂

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim
  • 2019-02-18

Information gathering & statistical probabilities

The book explains how to make educated inferences based on crime scene evidence. The technique combines psychology statistics and criminal justice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • James D Hamilton
  • 2019-08-25

Exceptional!

This book is wonderful... but violent and some subject matter that you may not want to have playing with the kids in the car... very enlightening and a fascinating look into the mind of a... criminal?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • samuel ward
  • 2019-02-06

just when you think you cant learn more!!

john douglas never fails to impress. although i am a huge fan of john douglas' work, i have read most of his work and didnt imagine there was much more he could expound on. i was certainly mistaken. Douglas dives even deeper into the reasoning and progression of the criminal mind in all of its forms. only wish is that it was longer!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Domenic A Ciraulo MD
  • 2018-07-15

Good read

A great book for the amateur sleuth or wannabe mystery writer. Down to earth, limited jargon, and aimed at readers who want to understand criminal behavior.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lindsay Brys
  • 2018-02-19

Great Narration!

Always enjoy Joe Barrett’s narration. Enjoy the psychological profiling techniques of Douglas and the writing is educational and interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful