Published: February 20th, 2020
Genre: True Crime, Autobiography
Trigger Warnings: suicide, self-harm, sexual and domestic abuse, trauma.
Welcome to the world of the forensic psychologist, where the people you meet are wildly unpredictable and often frightening.
The job: to delve into the psyche of convicted men and women to try to understand what lies behind their often brutal actions.
Follow in the footsteps of Kerry Daynes, one of the most sought-after forensic psychologists in the business and consultant on major police investigations.
Kerry’s job has taken her to the cells of maximum-security prisons, police interview rooms, the wards of secure hospitals and the witness box of the court room.
Her work has helped solve a cold case, convict the guilty and prevent a vicious attack.
Spending every moment of your life staring into the darker side of life comes with a price. Kerry’s frank memoir gives an unforgettable insight into the personal and professional dangers in store for a female psychologist working with some of the most disturbing men and women.
“The stories I’ve chosen to tell here are the ones you probably won’t read about in the papers. They focus on the everyday work of being a forensic psychologist, in all its frustrating, conflicting and just occasionally life-affirming reality.”
Kerry Daynes has been a forensic psychologist for over twenty years. In this enthralling memoir she talks about a few of the many extraordinary experiences she’s had while working alongside men and women in the criminal justice and mental health fields. She pulls back the curtain to reveal what happens when the crime, the criminal, and the consequences of their actions, disappear from the headlines and are forgotten by all but those directly involved.
Like many people, I’ve been fascinated by true crime for as long as I can remember. So when the invitation to read and review a memoir by a renowned forensic psychologist came through it wasn’t a chance I was going to miss. The synopsis ticked all the boxes for me and I expected to enjoy this book. What I wasn’t expecting was that this would be one of the best non-fiction novels I have ever read and as unputdownable as any great crime fiction novel.
Exquisitely written and peppered with dark humour, Ms Daynes provides a glimpse into the minds of those we usually try to avoid – the delinquents, villains and so-called crazy people. It is compelling, chilling and enlightening insight into what makes them tick, how they can be misunderstood, and attempts to address the eternally unanswerable question of how to effectively treat them.
Each chapter tells a different story and facet of mental health. We don’t just learn about the individuals involved but also the inner workings of the criminal justice and mental health systems. We see how things have changed, and stagnated, in the years since she started working in the field. The element I liked most was how in each chapter she also talks about how that person and experience has impacted her both personally and professionally, and offers small flashes of the fascinating and varied life she’s lived.
The Dark Side of the Mind is a compelling, entertaining, intelligent and thought-provoking novel. The spectacular writing and fresh mix of memoir, true crime and psychology make it a book that stands out from the crowd. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in psychology or true crime. Don’t miss the new interview with the author that is at the end of the new paperback version – it’s a must read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kerry Daynes is a Consultant and Forensic Psychologist, speaker and media commentator. For over twenty years her average week has involved working with everything from stressed-out parents to serial killers and she is a sought-after court-appointed expert witness. Kerry regularly appears on international television networks and in the media; she was ‘The Profiler’ over three series of Discovery’s top-rated ‘Faking It’ documentaries. Kerry is Patron of the National Centre for Domestic Violence and Talking2Minds. She is an advocate for better conversations about mental distress and alternatives to the culture of psychological ‘disorder’. Kerry lives in Cheshire with two huge dogs and yes, she is a proud natural ginger.
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