Incendiary: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber, and the Invention of Criminal Profiling

Michael Cannell. Minotaur, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-04894-3
In this fascinating true crime account, Cannell (The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit) recounts the 16-year hunt for a man known as F.P. who sent off almost three dozen bombs in New York City public spaces in the 1940s and ’50s. F.P. was ultimately brought to justice by the NYPD with the help of James Brussel, a psychiatrist, who provided deductions about him that would have made even Sherlock Holmes proud. Cannell is at his best in making the impact of F.P.’s crimes palpable: he conveys in detail the dangers faced by the members of the NYPD Bomb Squad, whose ultra-hazardous work and irregular hours were not rewarded with a higher salary, and also aptly captures the state of terror created by explosions in random places such as movie theaters and train station restrooms. But his choice to include frequent depictions of the thoughts of the terrorist, which he concedes are speculations, is an unwise one, as it casts doubts on the reliability of sections providing Brussel’s inner narration. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/2017
Release date: 04/25/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-8595-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4272-8596-6
Ebook - 978-1-250-04893-6
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-250-18236-4
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4272-9180-6
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