Death in Profile – Guy Fraser-Sampson

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

“…the internet is a fantastic information source but reading is different. With books you learn things, random things, whatever the author might be talking to you about, and you sort of soak them up like a sponge over the years. They are stored away in some dim recess of the unconscious mind until one day some equally random stimulus sparks a connection, and you find that you’ve combined different items of memory and perception into a completely new insight.”

Perhaps crime novels can help actual detectives solve crimes. Or maybe not. A string of murders have befallen London’s Hampstead , and It looks like the work of a serial killer. Or again, maybe not. In any event, the police have had zero luck in finding a suspect and the higher-ups are losing patience .


So he veteran Detective Chief Inspector Tom Allen is taken off the case and replaced by the new Detective Superintendent in charge, Simon Collison. Collison has moved up the ranks rather quickly and doesn’t have the intuitive police experience that Allen has. But instead of enjoying his time off, Allen refuses to give up the case and sneaks around trying to find clues. There is also someone in the department leaking information to him.

Things don’t look good for Collison as he has to uncover this breach while interrogating innocent suspects. Most of all, he and enlists the efforts of a mentally unbalanced psychologist/profiler with no prior experience.

The detectives get so caught up in figuring out an accurate profile that the question arises– can a serial killer manipulate events to lead police to look at a particular profile?

Throughout Death in Profile, we go through the mindset of these detectives with numerous scenarios and a lot of dead ends. The story kept me completely engrossed, from the incidents with the profiler and his alter-ego, to a sort-of love triangle and all the characters and events in between.

However the ending was a huge letdown. It could have come from so many directions, but instead I felt that it was grabbed from the sky, a total afterthought.

That said, the journey was well worth the time spent. In fact our profiler and detectives kept referring to a particular crime novel that piqued my interest, so I just had to order the book. I enjoyed the psychologist/profiler character so much that I would love to read future novels featuring him. Will that happen? Only the author knows.

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