American Predator: Book summary and reviews of American Predator by Maureen Callahan

American Predator

The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century

by Maureen Callahan

American Predator by Maureen Callahan X
American Predator by Maureen Callahan
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2019
    304 pages
    Genre: True Crime

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Book Summary

Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer, and to the limitations of traditional law enforcement.

Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. The names of notorious serial killers are usually well-known; they echo in the news and in public consciousness. But most people have never heard of Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious and terrifying serial killers in modern history. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as "a force of pure evil," Keyes 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. Over the course of fourteen years, Keyes 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 to Alaska, 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 interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes's life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Through Callahan's access to many of the key players in law enforcement, she has produced the definitive account of a terrifying psychopath." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Keyes is terrifying, and his crimes horrific, but Callahan's focus on the FBI's attempts to learn about his other crimes makes for a truly edge-of-your-seat page-turner even without the 'hunt.'" - Booklist (starred review)

"[Callahan] offers fascinating context about law enforcement investigative techniques and revelations about how a murderer can strike again and again without being detected for more than a decade." - Kirkus Reviews

"American Predator is the scariest book I've ever read. No exaggeration—the book you hold is bone-chilling...This is the work of a journalist in her prime, telling you the story the FBI doesn't want you to hear and delivering an unforgettable tale of evil that will haunt you. Mark my words: This modern true crime classic will stand with the likes of Jeff Guinn's Manson, Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me, and Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark." - Susannah Cahalan, New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire

"Wow! American Predator is excellent and it is terrifying. Maureen Callahan's deft reporting and stylish writing have created one of the all-time-great serial-killer books: sensitive, chilling, and completely impossible to put down." - Ada Calhoun, author of St. Marks Is Dead

"I started American Predator late at night and grew terrified just a few pages in—yet I could not put it down. Through deep interviews with FBI special agents and newly uncovered documents, Maureen Callahan crafts a chilling and unforgettable portrait of a singularly cunning killer and the diverse members of law enforcement he strove to outwit. Read it as soon as possible—in daylight." - Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy and Sin in the Second City

"Prepare to lose sleep. Prepare to skip meals. Maureen Callahan delivers a masterful telling of the monster who threatened a nation. Spellbinding and unforgettable." - Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of Spearhead

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Author Information

Maureen Callahan

Maureen Callahan is an award-winning investigative journalist, author, columnist, and commentator. She has covered everything from pop culture to politics. Her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, New York, Spin, and the New York Post, where she is critic at large. She lives in New York.

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