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The best criminology books for beginners will help you understand the thought processes and mindsets of various criminals. We have good criminology books full of insights, theories and concepts.

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Crime & Criminology

The best criminology books for beginners will help you understand the thought processes and mindsets of various criminals. We have good criminology books full of insights, theories and concepts.

  • BUMTW

    An American Marriage (Paperback)

    Tayari Jones

    Praised by Barack Obama, longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2019 and winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones finds an African-American couple learning that the American Dream can often be a nightmare...

    Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are all set to be a power couple. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined...

    Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together...

    A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control.
    • £6.99
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  • BXZDL

    The Prison Doctor (Paperback)

    Dr Amanda Brown

    Horrifying, heartbreaking and eye-opening, these are the stories, the patients and the cases that have characterised a career spent behind bars. Savage beatings, dirty protests, drug addiction, depression and prisoners desperate to turn their lives around, Dr Amanda Brown has seen it all. The no-holds-barred memoirs of a GP who went from working at a quiet suburban practice to treating the country's most dangerous criminals - first in young offenders' institutions, then at the notorious Wormwood Scrubs and finally at Europe's largest women-only prison in Europe, Bronzefield. A doctor devoted to caring for those most of us would rather forget.
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  • BUQHM

    Bad Blood (Paperback)

    John Carreyrou

    Winner of the Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award 2018, Bad Blood is a riveting tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold premises of Silicon Valley.

    In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at around $4.7 billion. But there was just one problem: the technology didn't work.

    Soon to be adapted into a film, Bad Blood is the full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
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  • BXWRK

    34 Years in Hell (Paperback)

    Jamie Morgan Kane

    In July 1983 James Morgan Kane returned home in the evening to find a corpse in his living room. Fearing that he would be blamed, and sensing that his wife was somehow involved, he wanted to do all he could to protect his young family. Jamie worked through the night to dispose of the body, all the while disbelieving the situation he found himself in. But his luck ran out days later, as he was arrested and sentenced to thirteen years in prison. Jamie entered the American prison system and was to stay there for 34 years with stints in San Quentin, Folsom State Prison and the notorious Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) in California. He would rub shoulders with some of the world's most infamous serial killers such as Charles Manson, Edmund Kemper, Charles Tex Watson and Herbie Mullin, as well as gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican cartels. This book tells of his time locked up with no hope of release, living the brutality of the tough and unforgiving American penitentiary system, and finding his new purpose in life. As well as tales of his many run-ins with some of the world's most dangerous inmates. For the first time ever, he tells his story. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, no matter how incredible it may sound.
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  • BPLAY

    Talking with Female Serial Killers (Paperback)

    Christopher Berry-Dee

    Criminologist Christopher Berry-Dee, who has previously written about Aileen Wuornos and Joanne Dennehy, looks at a number of female serial killers in this eye-opening and hard-hitting book.

    From child killer Beverley Allitt to Myra Hindley and Rose West, he looks at what drove these women to kill and why many of them had so little remorse for what they'd done.

    Berry-Dee also looks at killers who were victims themselves and how these experiences led them to making horrific decisions.
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  • ANAFP

    The Psychopath Whisperer (Paperback)

    Kent Kiehl

    Are psychopaths 'evil' and untreatable, or do they suffer from a form of mental illness comparable to schizophrenia? Do they have free will? Do we? In this at once terrifying and exhilarating account, neuroscientist Kent Kiehl guides us through the dark world of a psychopath's mind, a disconnected place where emotion is dead and guilt is absent. Drawing on groundbreaking research, including personality surveys and brain imaging scans of thousands of criminals, Kiehl pinpoints the biological machinery of psychopathy and offers a radical new perspective on identifying and treating the psychopaths in our midst.
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  • BZGYT

    Holding On (Paperback)

    Tasseli McKay

    Holding On reveals the results of an unprecedented ten-year study of justice-involved families, rendering visible the lives of a group of American families whose experiences are too often lost in large-scale demographic research. Using new data from the Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting, and Partnering-a groundbreaking study of almost two thousand families, incorporating a series of couples-based surveys and qualitative interviews over the course of three years-Holding On sheds rich new light on the parenting and intimate relationships of justice-involved men, challenging long-standing boundaries between research on incarceration and on the well-being of low-income families. Boldly proposing that the failure to recognize the centrality of incarcerated men's roles as fathers and partners has helped to justify a system that removes them from their families and hides that system's costs to parents, partners, and children, Holding On considers how research that breaks the false dichotomy between offender and parent, inmate and partner, and victim and perpetrator might help to inform a next generation of public policies that truly support vulnerable families.
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  • BYMKX

    Syndicate Women (Paperback)

    Chris M. Smith

    In Syndicate Women, sociologist Chris M. Smith uncovers a unique historical puzzle: women composed a substantial part of Chicago organized crime in the early 1900s, but during Prohibition (1920-1933), when criminal opportunities increased and crime was most profitable, women were largely excluded. During the Prohibition era, the markets for organized crime became less territorial and less specialized, and criminal organizations were restructured to require relationships with crime bosses. These processes began with, and reproduced, gender inequality. The book places organized crime within a gender-based theoretical framework while assessing patterns of relationships that have implications for non-criminal and more general societal issues around gender. As a work of criminology that draws on both historical methods and contemporary social network analysis, Syndicate Women centers the women who have been erased from analyses of gender and crime and breathes new life into our understanding of the gender gap.
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  • BYLQK

    Dopeworld (Hardback)

    Niko Vorobyov

    Welcome to Dopeworld. Ecstasy in London, crack in Los Angeles, LSD in Tokyo, heroin in Sofia, cocaine in Medellin, bounty hunting in Manilla, opium in Tehran. Get ready for your next fix. __________ Dopeworld is a bold and intoxicating journey into the world of drugs. From the cocaine farms in South America to the streets of Manila, we trace the emergence of psychoactive substances and our intimate relationship with them. With unparalleled access to drug lords, cartel leaders, street dealers and government officials, Niko Vorobyov attempts to shine a light on the dark underbelly drug world. At once a bold piece of reportage and a hugely entertaining and perverse travelogue, Dopeworld reveals how drug use is at the heart of our history, our lives, and our world. __________ With echoes of Gomorrah and Fear and Loathing in Last Vegas, Dopeworld is a brilliant and enlightening journey across the world, examining every angle of the drug war.
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  • BYIMW

    Young Offender (Paperback)

    Michael Maisey

    The day he entered the notorious Feltham Young Offenders Institute, Michael Maisey was excited. He was going to be a legend to all his mates. The sixteen year old was in for attempted murder. He was innocent of this particular crime but amongst the violent and dangerous young men on his wing he was about to learn exactly how far he'd go to survive. In Young Offender we see what turned a good kid into a wanted criminal. Abused by his uncle, bullied at school, at the age of 12 he found the safety he craved in the ranks of a local gang in West London. He graduated from shoplifting to armed robbery and for five years Michael was in and out of Feltham, on a downward spiral of crime and drug and alcohol addiction. At rock bottom, he began attending AA meetings. But the road to recovery would mean changing himself in the deepest possible ways. Could Michael finally learn what it meant to be a good man? Honest and inspiring, this is a powerful story of redemption. Today Michael is a successful businessman and a loving father who spends time helping others find their way.
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  • BYIBV

    Lying for Money (Paperback)

    Dan Davies

    Financial crime seems horribly complicated but there are only so many ways you can con someone out of what's theirs. In fact, there are four. A veteran regulatory economist and market analyst, Dan Davies has years of experience picking the bones out of some of the most famous frauds of the modern age. Now he reveals the big picture that emerges from their labyrinths of deceit. Along the way you'll find out how to fake a gold mine with a wedding ring, a file and a shotgun. You'll see how close Charles Ponzi, the king of pyramid schemes, came to acquiring his own private navy. You'll learn how fraud has shaped the entire development of the modern world economy. And you'll discover whether you have what it takes to be a white-collar criminal mastermind, if that's what you want. (Which you don't. You really, really don't.)
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  • BYGWD

    A Woman Like Her (Hardback)

    Sanam Maher

    A beautiful woman in winged eyeliner and a low-cut top lies on a bed urging her favourite cricketer to win the next match. In another post, she pouts at the camera from a hot tub. She posts a selfie with a cleric, wearing his cap at a jaunty angle. Her posts are viewed millions of times and the comments beneath them are full of hate. As her notoriety grows, the comments made about her on national talk shows are just as vitriolic. They call her Pakistan's Kim Kardashian, they say she'll do anything for attention. When she's murdered, they're transfixed by the footage of her body. Drawing on interviews and in-depth research, Sanam Maher pieces together Qandeel's life from the village where she grew up in the backwaters of rural Pakistan, to her stint in a women's shelter after escaping her marriage, to her incarnation as a social media sensation and the Muslim world's most unlikely feminist icon.
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  • BXYVV

    Mad Frank's Diary (Paperback)

    Frankie Fraser

    `They say I've killed 40 people and who am I to disagree? I've always liked even numbers.' Branded the dentist for using pliers to extract the teeth of those who owed money to his boss Charlie Richardson, Frankie Fraser was labelled the most dangerous man in Britain by two Home Secretaries. He is famous for his crimes, many of which have entered gangster folklore. In these diaries, however, originally published when he was 78, Mad Frank delved into areas he had never chosen, or dared, to talk about before. His day-by-day entries record unsolved murders, shoot-outs, crooked coppers, bribery, extortion, wrongful convictions, and even sex in prison. And by contrast, he also opens up with personal memories of growing up in poverty, in London's East End, and the reality of having to steal food to feed the family. Frankie Frasier died in 2014, and this rare True Crime classic is first-hand history at its most compelling.
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  • BXXYD

    Called to Forgive (Paperback)

    Anthony B. Thompson

    While the murder of his wife devastated Anthony Thompson, he and three other relatives of victims chose to privately and publicly forgive the shooter. Years later, the church and community still struggle to understand the family members' deliberate choice to forgive the racist murderer. But as Charlestonians have witnessed these incredible acts of forgiveness, something significant has happened to the community--black and white leaders and residents have united, coming together peaceably and even showing acts of selfless love. This book is the account of Anthony's wife's murder, the grief he experienced, and how and why he made the radical choice to forgive the killer. But beyond that, Anthony goes on to teach what forgiveness can and should look like in each of our lives--both personally, in our communities, and even in our nation. After much pain, reflection, and study, Thompson shares how true biblical love and mercy differ from the way these ideas are reflected in our culture. Be inspired by this remarkable story and discover how the difficult decision to forgive can become the key to radical change.
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  • BXVSK

    Becoming a Private Investigator (Hardback)

    Howie Kahn

    A fascinating guide to a career as a private investigator written by award-winning journalist Howie Kahn and based on the real-life experiences of an expert in the field-essential reading for someone considering a path to this profession. Becoming a Private Investigator puts a seemingly out-of-reach profession within the your grasp. Weaving practical how-to advice with inspiring case studies, Kahn provides actionable steps anyone can take to pursue a career as a P.I. as he shadows two experienced American P.I.s, Sheila Wysocki and Mark Gillespie, both of whom are investigating a series of deaths about which many questions remain. What skills must they master to find out the truth? What risks must they take to succeed? In a narrative full of shocking details, Becoming a Private Investigator sheds light on the professionals who fight for justice and change the lives of others forever.
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  • BXVLF

    Congratulations You Have Just Met the ICF (Paperback)

    Cass Pennant

    The InterCity Firm... hard, terrifyingly vicious, brilliantly organised, tremendously feared and highly fashionable. They were the most notorious firm of Seventies and Eighties football hooligans this country has ever seen. In this new edition, all the faces of the West Ham firm reveal their memories and thoughts about the violence, the battles, the campaigns, the run-ins with the authorities, and all that came with it. Bestselling author Cass Pennant was one of the best-known figures of the I.C.F. He has used his unique position as a West Ham insider to bring together these first-hand accounts of the men who were at the eye of the storm, both on and off the terraces. These tales from the terraces range from the inflamed East End rivalry with Millwall, to the shed-end battles with Chelsea, from aggravation at Anfield's Kop to the disaster in Heysel. Congratulations, you are just about to meet the I.C.F...
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  • BXVFX

    Prison: A Survival Guide (Paperback)

    Carl Cattermole

    The cult guide to UK prisons by Carl Cattermole - now fully updated and featuring contributions from female and LGBTQI prisoners, as well as from family on the outside. Contains: Blood - but not as much as you might imagine Sweat - and the prisons no longer provide soap Tears - because prison has created a mental health crisis Humanity - and how to stop the institution destroying it Featuring contributors Sarah Jake Baker, Jon Gulliver, Darcey Hartley, Julia Howard, Elliot Murawski and Lisa Selby. `Essential reading' Will Self `We're in the justice dark ages and Cattermole's great book switches on the lights' Dr Theo Kindynis, Lecturer in Criminology Goldsmiths, University of London `It has the potential to change a lot of people's lives for the better' Daniel Godden, Partner at Berkeley Square Solicitors'
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  • BXVAV

    The Evolution of the Juvenile Court (Paperback)

    Barry C. Feld

    A major statement on the juvenile justice system by one of America's leading experts The juvenile court lies at the intersection of youth policy and crime policy. Its institutional practices reflect our changing ideas about children and crime control. The Evolution of the Juvenile Court provides a sweeping overview of the American juvenile justice system's development and change over the past century. Noted law professor and criminologist Barry C. Feld places special emphasis on changes over the last 25 years-the ascendance of get tough crime policies and the more recent Supreme Court recognition that "children are different." Feld's comprehensive historical analyses trace juvenile courts' evolution though four periods-the original Progressive Era, the Due Process Revolution in the 1960s, the Get Tough Era of the 1980s and 1990s, and today's Kids Are Different era. In each period, changes in the economy, cities, families, race and ethnicity, and politics have shaped juvenile courts' policies and practices. Changes in juvenile courts' ends and means-substance and procedure-reflect shifting notions of children's culpability and competence. The Evolution of the Juvenile Court examines how conservative politicians used coded racial appeals to advocate get tough policies that equated children with adults and more recent Supreme Court decisions that draw on developmental psychology and neuroscience research to bolster its conclusions about youths' reduced criminal responsibility and diminished competence. Feld draws on lessons from the past to envision a new, developmentally appropriate justice system for children. Ultimately, providing justice for children requires structural changes to reduce social and economic inequality-concentrated poverty in segregated urban areas-that disproportionately expose children of color to juvenile courts' punitive policies. Historical, prescriptive, and analytical, The Evolution of the Juvenile Court evaluates the author's past recommendations to abolish juvenile courts in light of this new evidence, and concludes that separate, but reformed, juvenile courts are necessary to protect children who commit crimes and facilitate their successful transition to adulthood.
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  • BXLMU

    The Mechanism (Paperback)

    Vladimir Netto

    INTRODUCTION BY MISHA GLENNY, author of McMafia A gripping narrative of power, corruption and greed, The Mechanism is the true story of how a simple investigation into money laundering uncovered the biggest corruption scandal in human history. When a small team of investigators discovered that a black market currency dealer was operating out of a Brazilian petrol station, they could never have imagined that their work would destroy the government and lead to the impeachment of two presidents. As the trail leads further and further into the centre of power, the search for the truth and pursuit of justice become ever more crucial. Taut and riveting, with more plot twists than the most compelling political thriller, The Mechanism is an essential work of non-fiction that exposes the rottenness caused when politicians and big businesses believe they are above the law.
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  • BXKVY

    Jailbirds (Hardback)

    Mim Skinner

    'I've never read a book like Jailbirds before - which shows quite how much we need it. It is very funny and very important and reminds us that women in jail are still women worth listening to. I'm only grateful - for them, and for us -that Mim was listening.' PANDORA SYKES 'Mim's warmth and understanding make for a humane, sometimes humorous, and always perceptive account of prison life. This book is a fine achievement.' KEN LOACH Darkly funny, heartbreakingly poignant and stark in its revelations about the UK's attitude towards people on the fringes of society and women in general, JAILBIRDS is this year's book you need to read. *** "Did you know . . . . . . that 48 per cent of the women in prison have committed an offence in order to support the drug use of someone else? . . . that 46 per cent of women in prison report having attempted suicide once in their lifetime? . . . or that over half of the women in prison have been victims of more serious crimes than the ones they've been convicted of? But this isn't a book about statistics. It's a book about the individual stories of women caught up in our creaking and under-resourced prison system. Women who commit crimes in order get a roof over their head, who star in prison pantomimes and who deal drugs with Apprentice-style entrepreneurship. It's about those who won their battles with addiction or mental health, and those that didn't. About those who will never come back to prison, and those for whom it's the only safe space they've ever known. Headlines and news reports of prison leave us with a boiled-down narrative of goodies and baddies - violent offenders, neglectful mothers and incurable psychopaths if you read one paper, or cruel officers, the evil establishment and sexist judges if you read another. But, very rarely, just humans. When I started working in prisons, part of me expected to find this pantomime cast of characters. Instead I met wonderful, funny, brave and resilient people with complicated stories - on both sides of the bars. Come inside with me and meet them."
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  • BXINY

    The 19th Century Underworld (Paperback)

    Stephen Carver

    **Underworld** n. 1\. the part of society comprising those who live by organised crime and immorality. 2\. the mythical abode of the dead under the earth. Take a walk on the dark side of the street in this unique exploration of the fears and desires at the heart of the British Empire, from the Regency dandy's playground to the grim and gothic labyrinths of the Victorian city. Enter a world of gin spinners, sneaksmen and Covent Garden nuns, where bare-knuckled boxers slog it out for dozens of rounds, children are worth more dead than alive, and the Thames holds more bodies than the Ganges. This is the Modern Babylon, a place of brutal poverty, violent crime, strong drink, pornography and prostitution; of low neighbourhoods and crooked houses with windows out like broken teeth, wraithlike urchins with haunted eyes, desperate, ruthless and vicious men, and the broken remnants of once fine girls: a grey, bleak, infernal place, where gaslights fail to pierce the pestilential fog, and coppers travel in pairs, if they venture there at all. Combining the accessibility of a popular history with original research, this book brings the denizens of this vanished world once more to life, along with the voices of those who sought to exploit, imprison or save them, or to simply report back from this alien landscape that both fascinated and appalled: the politicians, the reformers, the journalists and, above all, the storytellers, from literary novelists to purveyors of penny dreadfuls. Welcome to the 19th century underworld
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  • BXINN

    The Mayfair Mafia (Paperback)

    Dick Kirby

    It is a little known fact that one immigrant Italian family ran London's thriving vice trade unchecked from the mid-1930s for some twenty years. The five Messina brothers imported prostitutes from the Continent on an industrial scale, acquiring the women British citizenship by phoney marriages. Demanding 80% of earnings, the Messina family became fabulously wealthy, purchasing expensive properties, cars and influence. As this revealing and absorbing account describes, the brothers ruled with a ruthless combination of charm, blackmail and all too credible threats of disfigurement and death. It took a sensational Sunday newspaper expos to get the authorities to act. A series of dramatic arrests and trials followed and one by one the brothers were imprisoned and deported for crimes including immoral earnings, attempted bribery and firearms offences. Such was their fortune that numerous potential beneficiaries came forward, most recently in 2012. The author, a much published former Metropolitan police officer, has researched the remarkable criminal careers of the five Messina's and the result is a riveting and shocking read.
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  • BWUIV

    Interrupted Life (Paperback)

    Rickie Solinger

    Interrupted Life is a gripping collection of writings by and about imprisoned women in the United States, a country that jails a larger percentage of its population than any other nation in the world. This eye-opening work brings together scores of voices from both inside and outside the prison system including incarcerated and previously incarcerated women, their advocates and allies, abolitionists, academics, and other analysts. In vivid, often highly personal essays, poems, stories, reports, and manifestos, they offer an unprecedented view of the realities of women's experiences as they try to sustain relations with children and family on the outside, struggle for healthcare, fight to define and achieve basic rights, deal with irrational sentencing systems, remake life after prison; and more. Together, these powerful writings are an intense and visceral examination of life behind bars for women, and, taken together, they underscore the failures of imagination and policy that have too often underwritten our current prison system.
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  • BWTEM

    Maras (Paperback)

    Thomas C. Bruneau

    Sensational headlines have publicized the drug trafficking, brutal violence, and other organized crime elements associated with Central America's mara gangs, but there have been few clear-eyed analyses of the history, hierarchies, and future of the mara phenomenon. The first book to look specifically at the Central American gang problem by drawing on the perspectives of researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds, Maras: Gang Violence and Security in Central America provides much-needed insight. These essays trace the development of the gangs, from Mara Salvatrucha to the 18th Street Gang, in Los Angeles and their spread to El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua as the result of members' deportation to Central America; there, they account for high homicide rates and threaten the democratic stability of the region. With expertise in areas ranging from political science to law enforcement and human rights, the contributors also explore the spread of mara violence in the United States. Their findings comprise a complete documentation that spans sexualized violence, case studies of individual gangs, economic factors, varied responses to gang violence, the use of intelligence gathering, the limits of state power, and the role of policy makers. Raising crucial questions for a wide readership, these essays are sure to spark productive international dialogues.
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