Child abusers

A lesson in understanding serial killers and child molesters

True crime is having a moment: every day there’s a new documentary, book, podcast, or blockbuster film announced, detailing the grisliest, most depraved actions imaginable. Once only the domain of fanatics, true crime is now mainstream. At its best, it’s fascinating, shining a light on human behaviour, but at its worst, it can be voyeuristic and dehumanising. So I approached The Devil You Know, Dr Gwen Adshead’s memoir of forensic psychotherapy charting her encounters with serial killers, murderers and paedophiles with a little trepidation. The book is divided into 11 chapters, each telling the story of an (anonymised) patient of Adshead. They come from her time spent working in prisons,