Feature

Criminal Minds Book Review

By Aamna Raja

Volume 3 Issue 1

November 7, 2022

Criminal Minds Book Review

Have you ever heard one of those podcasts made by millennial goth women about true crime and thought to yourself, “This story is intensely disturbing, I wonder what could make a person want to do these things”? That is exactly the question that intrigued Stanton E Samenow (Ph.D.) motivating him to write Inside the Criminal Mind, a book that consists of interviews and studies with offenders. Samenow explores criminal psychology and motivators that encourage everyday people to become straight out evil. 

If you are interested in psychology and social science, this book is for you. Reading it as a psychology lover, I found it to be very entertaining and interesting. I would finish a chapter and have to stop myself from reading the whole book in one day because I needed to know what Samenow would discover in his findings next. In particular, I really enjoyed the chapter “Parents don’t turn children into criminals; the child rejects the parent.” In this section of the book, Samenow inspects many criminals’ defense to their actions; that they grew up in a bad home. Samenow finds that this argument is usually untrue and is used by offenders as a tactic to gain the sympathy of those who are judging them on trial. Personally, I think I see myself as a pretty empathetic person, and reading this chapter changed my view on criminals as a whole. It taught me that we should continue to question people who commit crimes instead of falling for their sob stories and hold everyone accountable no matter what they say. 

This book is also very relatable universally. At the end of the day, everybody is only human, and sometimes it seems really much easier to do harm than good. Although it may come as a surprise to some people, you can easily relate to the criminals in the book and their motivations. If you place yourself in their true positions, you’ll come to find that the criminals who aren’t mentally unstable were placed in bad situations, and they had no easier choice than to do what they decided to do.  

Overall, I would rate this book a 9/10. Nothing is perfect (like the book taught me) but this did come pretty close. It’s entertaining, fascinating, and exciting if you enjoy psychology. However, if you don’t like psychology, you may be less interested in it, so I’d rate it a 6/10 for you. I hope I’ve convinced you to read this book!