True crime is my guilty pleasure. I'll listen to any podcast about criminals and missing persons, and I'll take a Netflix documentary over the Real Housewives any day. When Maureen Callahan's American Predator caught my eye at the bookstore, I knew I would enjoy the book. I didn't expect to google "panic buttons" after devouring 279 pages in one sitting.
Booktenders, this book is CREEPY. Callahan did a remarkable job with this narrative non-fiction - the book is written in such a way that you feel like she's reading the story to you out loud. She tells a powerful story and shares information about the investigations, the interrogations, and how the FBI and local police partnered together. So much of the book is frightening, but the most unsettling part of the book is serial killer Israel Keyes. His crimes were horrific, and he got away with them because he blended in with the rest of us. We had no idea he traveled all over the US and buried kill kits so that he would have access to his tools anytime the mood struck him. He got away with bank robberies, assaults of all kinds, torture, kidnappings, murder and dismemberment...all in broad daylight. All over the United States. For years.
Israel Keyes is a book without a dust jacket. He looks perfectly normal, and you'd never know what type of story is hiding behind the cover. I finished the book horrified at what he was capable of and what he got away with, and feeling like a panic button would be a great investment for my home.
Read this when you're looking for the the literary version of a real life Criminal Minds episode. Best paired with an americano, and best enjoyed with the doors and windows safely secured!