DNF @ 27%

Death in Profile - Guy Fraser-Sampson

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


    I honestly tried to finish this book, but the farther I read, the higher I could feel my blood pressure shooting. I generally expect detectives in a mystery novel, unless it's meant to be a comedy, to be somewhat intelligent. They don't have to be Sherlock level brilliant, but at the bare minimum they should be able to competently conduct an investigation. The detectives failed to meet this bare minimum for the first 27% of the book. While investigating a serial killer who rapes his victims, they should not be asking questions like, 'why would he wear a condom'. And while the suggestion that he might not want to catch an STD is an acceptable answer to this question, it should in no way be the first thought that pops into the investigating detectives heads. Seriously, they are stumped by this. Here's a hint, it's two words, twenty letters long and the three letter abbreviation begins with D and ends in A.


     I was already shaking my head over the stupidity of the investigating officers when one of the detectives, Karen, suggests to her superior they use her boyfriend to profile the serial killer. Ignoring the potential conflict of interest of using her boyfriend in an ongoing investigation, her superior asks Karen to tell him a little about her boyfriend, so he can put in an official request. Karen, responds as follows:


"He's a very intelligent man ... perhaps the most intelligent person I've ever met."


This means absolutely nothing after seeing the geniuses she works with.


"He was one of my tutors when I did my criminology diploma, actually. We started going out not long after we met, about six months into the course ... We had to keep it quiet until I left."


So there are two issues at play here. One, that information in no way shows that her boyfriend is in anyway qualified to profile a criminal. Two, her boyfriend has no sense of boundaries; he dated a girl he was tutoring. Her superior, instead of pointing out that none of this qualifies him to actually do any profiling, goes along as if this is all useful information. Eventually they do get to his actual qualifications, but her superior seems more concerned with how they met and is convinced that this totally useless information is just what he needs to get his superiors to bring him on board.


     The detectives further cement their incompetence by ruling out the latest victims husband because they're "looking for a serial killer, not a domestic dispute that's got out of hand." Apparently married people can't be serial killers or use a serial killer to cover up the murder of their wife? They then proceed to let the taxi driver, who was the last known person to see the victim alive, go after "they were able to agree on a location somewhere on Wood Green High Street at some time around midnight." It's always a good idea to lead witnesses in answering questions, it gives the defense attorney something to use for the mistrial. It's only after the taxi driver has left the building, that they realize he is a possible suspect. Of course, they waited just long enough for the taxi driver to steam clean his cab so, "If it's no good to you. I can get back in it and start earning some money..." I gave up at this point. I think everybody in this story is suffering some form of brain damage. I gave this book one star.