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Incendiary Audiobook

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

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2017 - Michael Cannell's latest book transports listeners to 1950s New York, when a serial bomber was terrorizing the city. The race to bring the aptly named "Mad Bomber" to justice ultimately leads to the development of criminal profiling, a fascinating subset of psychology. This highly accessible investigative work uniquely combines the perspectives of a handful of important players in order to create a suspenseful and engaging storyline. Narrator Peter Berkrot makes this captivating tale that much more captivating with his "facts first" tone of voice. Incendiary is perfect for fans of true crime - or really anyone who finds themselves watching CSI marathons for hours straight. A fair warning from personal experience - try not to listen to this when you're in a crowded, public place. You may find yourself suspiciously eyeing everyone. —Laura, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Long before the specter of terrorism haunted the public imagination, a serial bomber stalked the streets of 1950s New York. The race to catch him would give birth to a new science called criminal profiling.

Grand Central, Penn Station, Radio City Music Hall - for almost two decades, no place was safe from the man who signed his anonymous letters "FP" and left his lethal devices in phone booths, storage lockers, even tucked into the plush seats of movie theaters. His victims were left cruelly maimed. Tabloids called him "the greatest individual menace New York City ever faced."

In desperation, Police Captain Howard Finney sought the help of a little known psychiatrist, Dr. James Brussel, whose expertise was the criminal mind. Examining crime scene evidence and the strange wording in the bomber's letters, he compiled a portrait of the suspect down to the cut of his jacket. But how to put a name to the description?

Seymour Berkson - a handsome New York socialite, protégé of William Randolph Hearst, and publisher of the tabloid The Journal-American - joined in pursuit of the Mad Bomber. The three men hatched a brilliant scheme to catch him at his own game. Together they would capture a monster and change the face of American law enforcement.

This program includes a prologue read by the author.

©2017 Michael Cannell (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

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    in1ear (John Row) Aurora, Colorado 04-27-17
    in1ear (John Row) Aurora, Colorado 04-27-17 Member Since 2017

    Male, mid 60's, over 1,200 helpful votes on Amazon, over 370 helpful votes on Audible, own 600 + Audible books and over 10,200 Kindle books

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    Where does Incendiary rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I had pre ordered this several weeks before its release. I wasn't disappointed! The story develops quickly after some historic background. I've been enthralled with Criminal Profiling going back to Silence of the Lambs, books by John Douglas and Robert Ressler and even its use after the fact in setting a psychological print. Cases like Columbine, for example.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Incendiary?

    The highlight moment came after the background chapters as still "unsub" status George Metesky's spree progressed and law enforcement began to develop his profile. Public fear and the bombings effects.


    What about Peter Berkrot’s performance did you like?

    Peter Berkrot's narrative was perfect. Pleasant voice, easily understood, good pace. I was able to get into the story without being distracted. And without mouth noises that seem to show up more in audio books. Which indicates good engineering, I think.

    A strong True Crime effort, with good production values and good narration!


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    That Metesky went on for 16 years before caught. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber had as long of a criminal career. Domestic bombing is difficult to solve. Even today.


    Any additional comments?

    Combines True Crime, in the context of social history and development of a major field of law enforcement. Add good research, writing and excellent narration and quality production. Incendiary has it covered!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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