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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An Amazon “Best Book of 2019” A Washington Post “10 Books To Read in July” A Los Angeles Times “Seven Highly Anticipated Books for Summer Reading” A USA Today “20 of the Season’s Hottest New Books” A New York Post “25 Best Beach Reads of 2019 You Need to Pre-Order Now” A Bustle “The Best New True Crime Books You Can Read Right Now” “Maureen Calla INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An Amazon “Best Book of 2019” A Washington Post “10 Books To Read in July” A Los Angeles Times “Seven Highly Anticipated Books for Summer Reading” A USA Today “20 of the Season’s Hottest New Books” A New York Post “25 Best Beach Reads of 2019 You Need to Pre-Order Now” A Bustle “The Best New True Crime Books You Can Read Right Now” “Maureen Callahan’s deft reporting and stylish writing have created one of the all-time-great serial-killer books: sensitive, chilling, and completely impossible to put down.” —Ada Calhoun, author of St. Marks Is Dead Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. The names of notorious serial killers are usually well-known; they echo in the news and in public consciousness. But most people have never heard of Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious and terrifying serial killers in modern history. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as "a force of pure evil," Keyes was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried "kill kits"--cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools--in remote locations across the country. Over the course of fourteen years, Keyes would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger's house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home to Alaska, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter. When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years--uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake--many of which remain unsolved to this day. American Predator is the ambitious culmination of years of interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes's life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files. Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer, and to the limitations of traditional law enforcement.


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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An Amazon “Best Book of 2019” A Washington Post “10 Books To Read in July” A Los Angeles Times “Seven Highly Anticipated Books for Summer Reading” A USA Today “20 of the Season’s Hottest New Books” A New York Post “25 Best Beach Reads of 2019 You Need to Pre-Order Now” A Bustle “The Best New True Crime Books You Can Read Right Now” “Maureen Calla INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An Amazon “Best Book of 2019” A Washington Post “10 Books To Read in July” A Los Angeles Times “Seven Highly Anticipated Books for Summer Reading” A USA Today “20 of the Season’s Hottest New Books” A New York Post “25 Best Beach Reads of 2019 You Need to Pre-Order Now” A Bustle “The Best New True Crime Books You Can Read Right Now” “Maureen Callahan’s deft reporting and stylish writing have created one of the all-time-great serial-killer books: sensitive, chilling, and completely impossible to put down.” —Ada Calhoun, author of St. Marks Is Dead Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. The names of notorious serial killers are usually well-known; they echo in the news and in public consciousness. But most people have never heard of Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious and terrifying serial killers in modern history. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as "a force of pure evil," Keyes was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried "kill kits"--cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools--in remote locations across the country. Over the course of fourteen years, Keyes would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger's house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home to Alaska, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter. When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years--uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake--many of which remain unsolved to this day. American Predator is the ambitious culmination of years of interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes's life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files. Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer, and to the limitations of traditional law enforcement.

30 review for American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan is a Viking publication. When I first noticed this book, the crime didn’t ring any bells for me. As the blurb stated most of us had never heard of Israel Keyes. As far I knew, this was a true crime story I had heard nothing about. But, after reading several positive reviews from my Goodreads peers, my curiosity was piqued, so I added it to the pile. The book opens in Alaska, with a harrowing American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan is a Viking publication. When I first noticed this book, the crime didn’t ring any bells for me. As the blurb stated most of us had never heard of Israel Keyes. As far I knew, this was a true crime story I had heard nothing about. But, after reading several positive reviews from my Goodreads peers, my curiosity was piqued, so I added it to the pile. The book opens in Alaska, with a harrowing scene, in which a teenage girl is kidnapped, her fate obviously precarious. The girl’s father immediately swings into action, collecting reward money for any information about his daughter. However, some of his actions raised a few eyebrows and he quickly became law enforcement's first person of interest. Meanwhile, Israel Keyes, was moving far, far away from Alaska. Eventually he was pulled over by the cops in Texas, leading to his arrest for murder. It would soon come to light that Israel Keyes had a long history of rape and murder-possibly dating back as far as 1996. Callahan follows the investigation from Alaska to Texas and back again. Readers get to see what challenges law enforcement faced, including jockeying for position, jurisdiction issues, and politics. Not only that, judging from the intense interrogations, the investigation was far from pretty. It was a very complex and complicated situation, to be sure. Despite that, the monster was caught- although it was mostly pure luck. The story was definitely absorbing, and Keyes’ background was truly shocking. But, as the manhunt transitioned to Texas, I was stunned to learn that Keyes had planned his crime so carefully, he had even created a cunning escape route through Texas well in advance. Not only that, one of the spots on this journey through Texas just happened to be in the town I reside in. What? For the life of me, I could not recall hearing anything about this. So, I quickly did a Google search and sure enough, back in 2012 Keyes passed through my little town. Not only that, he made a pit stop at a state park about thirty miles away, where he had nearly chosen his next victim. The woman was walking a large dog and Keyes ultimately decided that disposing of both a dead body and a large dead dog was too much of a hassle. In my defense, this did happen eight years ago, and I’ve slept since then. However, now I do vaguely remember hearing about a serial killer marking out our town on a map while planning his escape route. While we may have been spared any of Keyes’ evil doings, investigators are positive that Keyes probably did take someone while he was in Texas. I guess you never know how close to true evil we are at any given time. But- I digress- Overall, this is a spine-tingling true crime saga. Although Keyes never became a household name like other serial killers of his caliber, he was every bit as chilling and terrifying. The man was an enigma, a kind of hybrid serial killer, who failed to fit into a neat profile. He was cunning and as the title states- meticulous! Truly the stuff nightmares are made of! True Crime enthusiasts will not want to miss this one!

  2. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Important Advice: Read. This. Book. Literally my face upon completion: You want to feel this way whilst reading a true crime, don't you??? I mean, don't you!? Quite honestly, this is by far one of the most disturbing books that I have ever read. American Predator is a nonfiction account of the capture and subsequent investigation of serial killer, Israel Keyes. Fortunately for the reader, this is much more than a droll portrayal of one monster's heinous crimes. Callahan creates a compelling recounti Important Advice: Read. This. Book. Literally my face upon completion: You want to feel this way whilst reading a true crime, don't you??? I mean, don't you!? Quite honestly, this is by far one of the most disturbing books that I have ever read. American Predator is a nonfiction account of the capture and subsequent investigation of serial killer, Israel Keyes. Fortunately for the reader, this is much more than a droll portrayal of one monster's heinous crimes. Callahan creates a compelling recounting of the investigation of his case, beginning with his final kill and going backward through time. I thought this was a clever formatting choice by the author. It made the story seem more like you were part of the investigation versus starting at the beginning of his life and moving forward that way. Reading about Israel was completely disturbing for me. Here was a man, a contemporary of mine, born in the same year, and to walk through his crimes was shocking. The fact that he traveled extensively in the state where I was living at the time was the icing on the cake. His level of arrogance, yet ability to plan, and to leave no evidence was bone-chilling. He used his knowledge of surveillance and technology to constantly fly under the radar. Making this even more disturbing was the seemingly random selection of his victims. There's so much more but I don't want to give anything away. In short, read this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”Payne and Bell recognized Keyes’ threat as the mind control of an experienced criminal. Payne had learned it at Quantico and heard variations in countless confessions. ‘You’ll regret it.’ ‘I’ll hurt you.’ Neither is: ‘I’ll kill you,’ and that gives a victim hope. The best criminals always leave that window open, because it makes manipulating and controlling someone so much easier. And victims often believe, fatally, that they’ll be let go.” You are looking in the eyes of a stone cold killer. Is ”Payne and Bell recognized Keyes’ threat as the mind control of an experienced criminal. Payne had learned it at Quantico and heard variations in countless confessions. ‘You’ll regret it.’ ‘I’ll hurt you.’ Neither is: ‘I’ll kill you,’ and that gives a victim hope. The best criminals always leave that window open, because it makes manipulating and controlling someone so much easier. And victims often believe, fatally, that they’ll be let go.” You are looking in the eyes of a stone cold killer. Israel Keyes is certainly the most terrifying serial killer that you have never heard of. There are a lot of reasons why he has flown under the radar of the general public and most true crime fans. One is the FBI never extracted a full confession from him. Two, the police screw up so many things regarding Keyes while keeping him in custody and while processing his crimes that no one is crowing about the Big, Bad Monster that has been apprehended. Through incompetance, he is allowed to commit suicide before his victims can all be identified (Jeffrey Epsteinesque). ”He [Keyes] covered them; even in death, he said, his victims belonged to him.” Keyes may have never revealed all of his victims, but with adequate handling, he certainly would have most likely revealed more than what will ever be known. ”Not all psychopaths are serial killers, but all serial killers are psychopaths.” I can get lost down a long and winding rabbit hole discussing all the functioning psychopaths among us. Some of you are married to them or have been married to them. They make really successful, ruthless businessmen, lawyers, and bankers. They focus well on objectives, and morality is something they find to be a laughable concept, though on the surface they appear to be pillars of the community. Keyes is a meticulous killer and operates without detection for fourteen years. He maintains a family unit, which is unusual. He is self described as two people. One is the man everyone expects him to be, and the other takes pleasure in torturing, raping, and killing people. This story starts at the end because that is where Keyes wants to begin. He is willing to talk about the one that tripped him up and dangle the possibility of others. As the story unfolds, I keep thinking to myself that he makes some fundamental errors that are unlike him. Has he let the need, the desire to kill, build up too much that it makes him break his own rules? He certainly doesn’t strike me as the typical serial killer who is bored at not being caught and finally wants to bask in the limelight of his notoriety, like for instance the BTK Killer, Dennis Rader. Keyes even makes a point of wanting things kept out of the press for fear that his daughter will learn that her father is a monster. Keyes lives in Alaska and is always careful to drive down to the lower 48 to relieve his need to kill. The don’t-shit-where-you-live concept. He leaves kill kits buried all over the country that consist of cash, body disposal items, and weapons. I’m sure some of those are still out there, awaiting a man who will never return. Keyes’s parents are both religious nutters. He even describes them as “cult shoppers” who moved all over the country trying to find that new sect of religion that better fit their own beliefs. This criss crossing of the country may be why Keyes feels so comfortable travelling through multiple states, looking for the perfect victims. When his mother is questioned for information, she tells the authorities: “‘Well,’ Heidi said, ‘if God wants that girl to be found, she’ll be found.’” *sigh* I can feel my whole body tensing when they finally pull over Israel Keyes in Texas for a routine traffic violation, but really they have an inkling that he is a man most wanted in Alaska. The description of the scene is so nerve wracking that I am muttering to myself, “Don’t let him go. Find a way to arrest him.” They don’t want to give a judge any excuse to let this guy walk. Maureen Callahan does an excellent job of making me forget that I know what I know in the moment. I’m one of those readers, though, who can read about the assassination of Lincoln and still be rooting for someone, anyone, to step in the way of Booth’s unalterable bullet. Alas, Lincoln always dies, and I will always still feel his passing acutely. So why does Keyes do it? ”Why not?” is his answer. The frustrating part of the book and for the writer is all the unanswered questions to which we will probably never know the answers. His interrogation is handled with a high degree of ineptitude, and he frequently makes his questioners look stupid. Keyes is unique and doesn’t care about credited kills, unlike most other serial killers who brag about their deeds. This makes it much harder to deal with him or negotiate with him. He keeps control. He is the grand manipulator and constantly turns the tables on those trying to solicit any information from him. All he is concerned about is when they will execute him. When they can’t do that right, he controls that as well. This is a fascinating look into the criminal justice system and the inherent issues that need to be resolved. It is truly amazing that the most dangerous criminals with any degree of intelligence are ever caught. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    Wow, what a book to start the year off with. This was horrifying.

  5. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    Billed as the most terrifying serial killer you’ve never heard of, I first heard of Israel Keyes on the podcast Crime Junkie. The why, where, and how he was caught, and the hours of interrogation by investigators, make up the bulk of this fascinating book. Despite multiple blunders by the police, Keyes was arrested for the kidnapping of a teenage girl as the result of a fortuitous traffic stop. Unfortunately, she had been murdered and they soon discovered they had a serial murderer on their hands Billed as the most terrifying serial killer you’ve never heard of, I first heard of Israel Keyes on the podcast Crime Junkie. The why, where, and how he was caught, and the hours of interrogation by investigators, make up the bulk of this fascinating book. Despite multiple blunders by the police, Keyes was arrested for the kidnapping of a teenage girl as the result of a fortuitous traffic stop. Unfortunately, she had been murdered and they soon discovered they had a serial murderer on their hands whose victims numbered in the double digits. Details emerged that made him an aberration among serial killers. Although he’d been killing for decades, he didn’t fit the MO of a typical serial murderer, nor did he have a ‘type”. He avoided detection through meticulous planning and traveling off the grid. Meanwhile, Keyes maintained a ‘normal’ family and work life, which is the most frightening fact of all. Truly the stuff of nightmares. His personal life and background were explored for clues to his psychological make-up. Unfortunately, many of his secrets died with him and some case files are still closed to the public. But the hope is the hours of investigation and interviews will help police and profilers understand and apprehend these killers. This is narrative non-fiction at its best and was another fantastic buddy read with my friend Marialyce, which inspired a great discussion. We both highly recommend this book as one of the better books in the genre. For our duo review of this and other books please visit https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    “If he had been about five seconds slower getting out of his car and going into his apartment, he would have been The One that night.” When we talk about the most prolific and horrifying serial killers, such as Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer etc, we should be adding another name to the list - Israel Keyes. Prior to the hype around this book, and seeing that Last Podcast on the Left had covered him across a few episodes, I really had never heard of this guy before, which baffles me! Key “If he had been about five seconds slower getting out of his car and going into his apartment, he would have been The One that night.” When we talk about the most prolific and horrifying serial killers, such as Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer etc, we should be adding another name to the list - Israel Keyes. Prior to the hype around this book, and seeing that Last Podcast on the Left had covered him across a few episodes, I really had never heard of this guy before, which baffles me! Keyes was a true monster, evil incarnate. Some of the details of his crimes left me feeling sick to my stomach and incredibly uneasy before bedtime. Well-written true crime books are hard to come by, which is why I choose to mostly get my true crime fix through podcasts, but American Predator is one of the best I’ve read. It’s informative and detailed, without becoming dry and tedious. Callahan tells the story of Israel Keyes by starting at what is technically the end, by kicking it off with his arrest. And this works really well, as the narrative is told in such a manner where you learn the crimes in a similar order to law enforcement. Something I found quite alarming was the control that Keyes had over the investigation, as well as the stubbornness of prosecutor Kevin Feldis, who forced his position as interrogator when really this should have been left to those who had more experience. But hey, the criminal justice system be fucked up sometimes! All in all, a fantastic true crime novel. This junkie would recommend adding it to your TBR! 5 stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    American Predator is the story of Alaskan serial killer Israel Keyes, his crimes and how he was captured. I was chatting with a friend when the subject of what I was currently reading came up. I mentioned this book and I began thinking about why I’m always drawn to true crime – specifically serial killers/mass murderers. I certainly don’t admire them nor do I particularly care why they do what they do. Then I realized that I like to see how they inevitably slip up; what is the tiny mistake they m American Predator is the story of Alaskan serial killer Israel Keyes, his crimes and how he was captured. I was chatting with a friend when the subject of what I was currently reading came up. I mentioned this book and I began thinking about why I’m always drawn to true crime – specifically serial killers/mass murderers. I certainly don’t admire them nor do I particularly care why they do what they do. Then I realized that I like to see how they inevitably slip up; what is the tiny mistake they make that lands them in prison. American Predator is one of those books that spotlights just such a mistake. In fact, it was a whole baker’s dozen of mistakes. I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. In late 2012, writer Maureen Callahan penned an article for the NY Post about a recently deceased killer who for years, managed to fly under the radar of authorities, travelling across the United States taking the lives of complete strangers. Shortly after the story’s publication, Maureen felt there was a deeper story that needed to be told. After years of investigative research, Callahan produces a comprehensive look at Israel Keyes. The book begins with what would be the downfall of Keyes, the kidnapping of Samantha Koenig – a young woman in Anchorage, Alaska. What follows is an unbelievable series of errors on the part of Keyes that somehow goes undetected by authorities – it was almost like Keyes was hoping to be caught. Once in police custody following a traffic stop in Texas, a series of interrogations and negotiations with Keyes will uncover his web of death cast over the entirety of the United States. Pieced together through hundreds of hours of interviews with those who worked the case as well as those close to Keyes himself, author Maureen Callahan tells the story of a meticulous murderer who somehow managed to go undetected for years. As for how Keyes is portrayed, he comes off as a man doing an impression of a serial killer. I don’t mean to make light of the seriousness of his crimes, but he comes across as such a.. loser. He sits there and quotes lines from Hannibal Lecter movies, idolises Ted Bundy and rubs himself through his pants while giving cryptic clues to a team of investigators desperate to uncover his many murders. I’m not saying I’d prefer some sort of “honorable” slaughterer because such a thing doesn’t exist – it just seems fascinating to me how he managed to be so successful while coming off as such a total amateur. Subject’s character aside, I thought Callahan did a great job producing a compelling account of a modern day murderer and his ability to operate so smoothly in a post 9/11 world. American Predator is a solid read that should satisfy true crime aficionados looking for insight into a relatively unknown subject. Expected release date: July 2, 2019

  8. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    This book could really give you nightmares thinking about this man randomly traveling the US, with his buried ‘kill kits’ all over ready for him when the mood struck. Maureen Callahan does a great job introducing us to a frightening killer whose true scope will never be known. There was apparently some attempts to cover up his story by the government for a while when they caught up to him. This was during a period that they were trying to negotiate for information from him. He did give up bodies This book could really give you nightmares thinking about this man randomly traveling the US, with his buried ‘kill kits’ all over ready for him when the mood struck. Maureen Callahan does a great job introducing us to a frightening killer whose true scope will never be known. There was apparently some attempts to cover up his story by the government for a while when they caught up to him. This was during a period that they were trying to negotiate for information from him. He did give up bodies, but due to time passing, they were not recoverable. This case is really one for the books, and he was just an anomaly, and that there aren’t others like him wandering around out there. But I think that would be naive wishful thinking now. A must-read for for true crime lovers. Also can be seen on my WordPress blog: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    American Predator is by far one of the best true crime books I've read. It has a fascinating format - it starts with Israel Keyes' final victim and works backward. It sounds like this could get sloppy, but Maureen Callahan weaves it together so well. I sometimes have trouble reading true crime because of how dry it can be, but this book was addicting as hell (and not dry at all). The author tells a story, and doesn't just shout facts at you. I loved it, and I highly recommend picking up this boo American Predator is by far one of the best true crime books I've read. It has a fascinating format - it starts with Israel Keyes' final victim and works backward. It sounds like this could get sloppy, but Maureen Callahan weaves it together so well. I sometimes have trouble reading true crime because of how dry it can be, but this book was addicting as hell (and not dry at all). The author tells a story, and doesn't just shout facts at you. I loved it, and I highly recommend picking up this book if you need a new true crime book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Dawn

    This read like fiction. Which is good in terms of reading experience but really terrifying considering the subject matter.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diane in Australia

    Israel Keyes was a serial killer par excellence. He was usually the smartest person in the room ... any room, all kinds of people ... including the police, attorneys, and the FBI agents ... and he was well aware of this fact. He was very much 'at home in his own skin'. The author spent over a decade researching how the FBI finally caught him, and what transpired afterwards. She did many interviews with folks who knew Israel, and several members of various law enforcement. She had access to classi Israel Keyes was a serial killer par excellence. He was usually the smartest person in the room ... any room, all kinds of people ... including the police, attorneys, and the FBI agents ... and he was well aware of this fact. He was very much 'at home in his own skin'. The author spent over a decade researching how the FBI finally caught him, and what transpired afterwards. She did many interviews with folks who knew Israel, and several members of various law enforcement. She had access to classified FBI files. She does not drag us through a trial scenario. Yay! Most trials are reported in such a mind-numbing way they create a massive 'dead' spot in any book. Due to ineptitude, from most participants, the opportunity to discover ALL of Keyes' murders slipped through their fingers. Infuriating how stupid some people can be. If you like true crime, you'd probably like this book. A serial killer ... highly intelligent, physically powerful, emotions aptly handled, and a pure enjoyment of kidnapping, and killing ... not many like him ... thank goodness. 4 Stars = Outstanding. It definitely held my interest.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Israel Keyes is one incredibly scary guy. I remember watching a true crime documentary about the serial killer a couple of years ago, and was equally enthralled and horrified that such a man existed and the luck it took to catch him. This is a man who buried kill kits all over America, crossed multiple state lines to evade detection and was so meticulous in his execution that the FBI still don't know how many people he killed. Without his 'help' those victims that were identified likely never wo Israel Keyes is one incredibly scary guy. I remember watching a true crime documentary about the serial killer a couple of years ago, and was equally enthralled and horrified that such a man existed and the luck it took to catch him. This is a man who buried kill kits all over America, crossed multiple state lines to evade detection and was so meticulous in his execution that the FBI still don't know how many people he killed. Without his 'help' those victims that were identified likely never would have been found. Yet he's still not widely known to the outside world. Callahan presents a well documented presentation of all the facts in the Keyes case, describing his last known victim Samantha Koenig and his eventual arrest in Texas. It thoroughly covers the investigation into Samantha's murder, Keyes backstory and the many, many failings in the Anchorage police department and beyond. I think the major failing that Callahan discusses is the fact that Alaska just wasn't prepared to house a man like Keyes. Intelligent, constantly thinking, a psychopath who though himself better and above the law. He thrived on control and power and he played the FBI and judicial system for every scrap of information. He got off on seeing them struggle to untangle his past victims as well as actively reliving his crimes in his mind. He was utterly terrifying. A new breed of serial killer. Evolved. And I highly doubt he's the only one out there in a population of 7 billion. It's just that he's the only one who's been caught.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peter Monn

    One of the best true crime books I have ever read! My full review will be up on my booktube channel at http://YouTube.com/peterlikesbooks One of the best true crime books I have ever read! My full review will be up on my booktube channel at http://YouTube.com/peterlikesbooks

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    Last book of 2019 and man, it was a good one. This book is so heartbreaking and intense that I had to take multiple breaks from it. "Most of us have never heard of Israel Keyes. But he is one of the most ambitious, meticulous serial killers of modern time. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as "a force of pure evil", he was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried 'kill kits' - cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools - in remote locations ac Last book of 2019 and man, it was a good one. This book is so heartbreaking and intense that I had to take multiple breaks from it. "Most of us have never heard of Israel Keyes. But he is one of the most ambitious, meticulous serial killers of modern time. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as "a force of pure evil", he was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried 'kill kits' - cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools - in remote locations across the country, and over the course of fourteen years, would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger's house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter. When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years - uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake - many of which remain unsolved to this day."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Bea

    I don't read much true crime, but I saw this new release and decided to give it a shot. I had never heard of this serial killer before, which is frightening considering how many people he killed and the geographical range of where he did it. The book was written well and most importantly, it was written in a non-exploitative way. I'd recommend it if you're interested in true crime, but I gotta say during and after reading this I was really nervous to go out alone :/

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    A very creepy read. Further thoughts to come.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce

    When choosing a book to read, Jan and I share curiosity into the psyche of people, especially those who seem to defy what it means to be human, to be empathetic, to be a functioning member of society. For those who go against everything we think is normal human behavior, the psychopath, we look to find the motivations. Like the author, Maureen Callahan, we want to know they why, the how could this have happened, and most importantly can we ever know people we think we do? We chose American Preda When choosing a book to read, Jan and I share curiosity into the psyche of people, especially those who seem to defy what it means to be human, to be empathetic, to be a functioning member of society. For those who go against everything we think is normal human behavior, the psychopath, we look to find the motivations. Like the author, Maureen Callahan, we want to know they why, the how could this have happened, and most importantly can we ever know people we think we do? We chose American Predator as a book to share. "Open your trembling flower, or your petals I'll crush," I, for one, had never heard of Israel Keyes and yet reading this true crime book, I came away wondering why? He was able to commit crimes in a manner that was brazen and yet as he traveled seeking victims, no one seemed to connect him to any crimes. He was a long term planner, depositing things such as duct tape, guns, shovels, and rope buried in various parts of the country waiting to be dug up and used when he needed it. Keyes was a patient man and his thrill came not only in the death of his victims but also in the planning of their deaths. His victims seemed to be random, bad time bad place, and he would grab his victims in a cool calculated manner rape and kill the people at times dismembering them and walk away. Where will you go, you clever little worm, if you bleed your host dry? His success if you want to call it that was achieved through traveling and it was his trek through state after state that perhaps was the key to his depravity. There was many connections that the FBI was able to make, but unfortunately, they could never prove for Keyes played a cat and mouse game with the authorities pursuing his self worth in that he considered himself smarter than all others. "You may have been free, you loved living your lie, fate had its own scheme crushed like a bug you still die." He was ultimately caught when it was found that he killed, raped, and dismembered a girl working at a coffee stand in Alaska. He confessed readily but then lead the authorities on a chase to find other victims of this psychopath. Unfortunately, Keyes committed suicide before revealing the location and names of what is believed to be his countless other victims. Absolutely, this was a bone chilling story that makes one really realize that you really don't know who it is that stands next to you. "Land of the free, land of the lie, land of the scheme, Americanize." Thank you to Maureen Callahan, Viking Books and Edelweiss for a copy of this most frightening book. To see our duo reviews and some additional information you can go here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    This book has consistently received 4/5 star ratings and I was interested to learn about Israel Keyes, a serial killer that most people have never heard of, including me. Let me give credit to the author for her in-depth research and interviews with people who were peripherally involved with Keyes. But the book just doesn't deliver and again I am in the minority! Keyes confessed to one murder and suggested that maybe he committed two others but he held the police/FBI hostage as he refused to furt This book has consistently received 4/5 star ratings and I was interested to learn about Israel Keyes, a serial killer that most people have never heard of, including me. Let me give credit to the author for her in-depth research and interviews with people who were peripherally involved with Keyes. But the book just doesn't deliver and again I am in the minority! Keyes confessed to one murder and suggested that maybe he committed two others but he held the police/FBI hostage as he refused to further elucidate if there were other victims. He made demands in order to reveal his victims and then would drop hints but no concrete evidence or names. The officials were working from the theory that Keyes had multitudes of victims and linked his name to almost any unsolved murder they could find. Frankly, it makes law enforcement look idiotic and Keyes as a smug manipulator. I kept waiting for something to happen but it wasn't to be. And then to top it off, (view spoiler)[ Keyes commits suicide (hide spoiler)] and so ends the tale. I was disappointed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jaimie

    Wow. Just wow. As a self-professed serial killer junkie (yes, I know that makes me sound unstable), I was blown away to discover a serial killer who was active and caught during my adulthood who I had never heard of. I am absolutely gobsmacked. Israel Keyes was a textbook psychopath raised by "cult-chasers" and spent many of his formative years in a white supremacist cult and living off the grid (often in a tent or shack with no electricity or running water.) As an adult Israel traveled incessan Wow. Just wow. As a self-professed serial killer junkie (yes, I know that makes me sound unstable), I was blown away to discover a serial killer who was active and caught during my adulthood who I had never heard of. I am absolutely gobsmacked. Israel Keyes was a textbook psychopath raised by "cult-chasers" and spent many of his formative years in a white supremacist cult and living off the grid (often in a tent or shack with no electricity or running water.) As an adult Israel traveled incessantly and erratically, all over the country and internationally as well. He raped and robbed and kidnapped and murdered. He lied and lied and lied. He was, frankly, an utter monster. American Predator begins with the abduction of teenager Samantha Koenig in Anchorage, Alaska which results in Keyes' arrest. Authorities think they have a kidnapper and committer of credit card fraud, but soon realize they've apprehended a wildly active, unpredictable serial killer BY COMPLETE ACCIDENT. Perhaps the scariest element of this story is the utter uselessness of the Anchorage PD, DA, and other law enforcement working on Keyes' case. Their ineptitude boggles the mind. Despite the horror of this story, the book itself is gripping and I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended for all true crime fans. 4.5 stars

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    True crime has been a guilty pleasure of mine for at least 30 years…I remember working in a public library and happily discovering the 364.1523 shelves (where even today I still browse, although TBH public library budgets often prevent a lot of trashy ephemeral reading material from making it to the shelves). These days, true crime has become a pop culture THING, and there’s no shortage of readily available books, movies, and podcasts dedicated to what used to be very much a niche market. I was True crime has been a guilty pleasure of mine for at least 30 years…I remember working in a public library and happily discovering the 364.1523 shelves (where even today I still browse, although TBH public library budgets often prevent a lot of trashy ephemeral reading material from making it to the shelves). These days, true crime has become a pop culture THING, and there’s no shortage of readily available books, movies, and podcasts dedicated to what used to be very much a niche market. I was very happy to receive an ARC of American Predator by Maureen Callahan from Penguin Group/Viking and NetGalley in exchange for this honest review. The blurb for this book says most of us “…have never heard of Israel Keyes. But he is one of the most ambitious, meticulous serial killers of modern time.” Possibly coincidence, but I felt like I was WAY more familiar with the crimes this unspeakably evil man committed than I might like, because very recently I had listened to two podcasts covering Keyes and his exploits: Generation Why and Crime Junkie. (I totally recommend Crime Junkie. Host Ashley Flowers does actual research, has an excellent presentation style, and adds relevant material including photos on her website). – and, knowing this book was likely to invade my dreams (which it did), I dove right in. (BTW, I don’t reveal spoilers for fiction – but true crime info is already out there, so there may be some facts revealed here. ) Keyes lived (and died) in Alaska, where the book’s opening disappearance of teenage barista Samantha Koenig from her night shift work at a coffee kiosk sets off a hunt for her abductor that results in Keyes’ capture in Texas. Callahan writes well, and I loved her description of the Alaskan setting: “Never does this place feel so literally on the edge of the Earth, seesawing between the temporal world and some black chasm of the unknown phenomena, as the six months it sinks into near-total darkness. The isolation alone means anything goes. It is a rough place to be a woman.” The book has extensive detail about the investigation and interrogation of Keyes, and reveals the incredibly serendipitous nature of his arrest. What set him apart from many criminals was his incredible planning, including scouting out locations for future crimes and burying a “kit” including things like weapons, duct tape, cable ties, gloves, etc. which he could return (sometimes years later) and dig up to have ready to go. This allowed him to fly in to a town previously scouted, commit his crimes and vanish without a trace. Although there were a few awkward sentences (“Keyes was wrong to think a burner phone can’t be tracked but right about that.” – About WHAT?), the writing is good. This isn’t some quickie exploitative TC book, dashed off to cash in on a currently popular topic. Ms. Callahan’s years of experience as a writer and editor for the New York Post with a focus on popular culture is perhaps part of why she can cover a grisly topic and present it in a way that will likely appeal to a general audience. The story is unsettling, partly because there were so many ways the agencies fighting over who got credit and who got to take the lead on investigating/prosecuting totally screwed things up. It’s kind of a miracle he was in jail, and that he confessed to several crimes…but it seems there were countless other incidents he was involved in, and we will never know the extent of his crimes. It’s also unsettling to think he lived with his daughter and girlfriend, committed grisly murder literally in his own backyard, and his friends, family and neighbors had NO CLUE that he was basically two people. His MO included the burial of his “kill kits” noted above (cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools) in remote locations across the country. Seriously, how creepy is it that over the span of fourteen years, he would repeatedly fly to a random city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use those kits? He would break into the house of a complete stranger, sometimes abducting victims in broad daylight, kill and dispose of them in a few hours, then calmly return home and resume his “other persona” as a reliable construction worker who was lovingly devoted to his young daughter. (As Ashley Flowers’ co-host Brit would say, “Full. Body. Chills.” To this day, so much of his activity remains a total mystery. Pretty much all we know of his exploits is what he chose to reveal during his interrogation, and that only happened due to a fluke traffic stop in Texas. It’s also odd that “…forty-five thousand pages of case files remain unreleased by the Department of Justice,” and that the circumstances of his death are so clouded in mystery (where did he get razor blades, and why did the guards not notice the blood flowing out of his cell the night he died?). For true crime fans in general and anyone interested in Israel Keyes in particular, five stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    4.5 stars "As our society grows more mobile, and as the availability of weapons of mass destruction increases, the ability of the antisocial personality to realize his rapacious and murderous fantasies grows apace." -- former FBI agent / profiler Robert K. Ressler (who is said to have coined the term 'serial killer') Ms. Callahan's American Predator focuses on a methodical criminal who does not have the name recognition of Ted Bundy (*not that these monsters deserve any sort of notoriety*) but who 4.5 stars "As our society grows more mobile, and as the availability of weapons of mass destruction increases, the ability of the antisocial personality to realize his rapacious and murderous fantasies grows apace." -- former FBI agent / profiler Robert K. Ressler (who is said to have coined the term 'serial killer') Ms. Callahan's American Predator focuses on a methodical criminal who does not have the name recognition of Ted Bundy (*not that these monsters deserve any sort of notoriety*) but who may have been just as prolific in his offenses. Even more troubling is that Bundy was apparently some sort of inspiration to this title character, with both of them engaging in nationwide crime sprees. Israel Keyes first hit law enforcement's radar when he was apprehended in Texas as a suspect in the forced abduction of eighteen year-old Samantha Koenig of Anchorage, Alaska. During subsequent interviews and interrogations - in which Keyes admitted to robbing, murdering and dismembering Koenig - it was found that the quiet Keyes (an Army veteran, single father, and respected handyman-for-hire with no criminal record from Alaska) was likely responsible for an undetermined number of unsolved bank robberies, arsons, kidnappings and/or murders across the continental U.S., as well as possibly Mexico and Canada, since his unusual and troubled teenage years in rural Washington state. A lot of the information on Keyes' activities was disgusting and very disturbing. Also, I think that American Predator demonstrates just how difficult this sort of investigation can be in the U.S. with the mix of municipal, state, and federal police agencies involved over scores of jurisdictions and locations, not to mention the political aspect (e.g. the federal prosecutor who supposedly forced his involvement in speaking to Keyes prior to the court stage, disrupting some of the investigation). Some of the participating detectives and agents are presented as diligent, hard-working folks who are trying to do an extremely troublesome job in the face of all sorts of problems and complications.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 3 STARS I first heard about this case on 48 Hours or Dateline and it blew me away. Just when you think you have seen it all with serial killers, then there comes the arrest of Israel Keyes. No law enforcement agency was aware of this serial killer. Meaning that they had not connected Keyes' victims to one predator. There was no looking for him. Often his murders weren't even discovered. We know of three murdered victims, and one only because Keyes confessed. Keyes made a mistake in kidnap RATING: 3 STARS I first heard about this case on 48 Hours or Dateline and it blew me away. Just when you think you have seen it all with serial killers, then there comes the arrest of Israel Keyes. No law enforcement agency was aware of this serial killer. Meaning that they had not connected Keyes' victims to one predator. There was no looking for him. Often his murders weren't even discovered. We know of three murdered victims, and one only because Keyes confessed. Keyes made a mistake in kidnapping, asking for ransom and then murdering Samatha Koeing. Once he was arrested, and his house searched, Keyes decided to confess. He was smart in that he confessed to what the police could easily pin on him, evidence wise. He was a rare serial killer in that he didn't need to be in the spotlight and take credit for his victims. He didn't taunt the police or read out to the press. He killed because he liked it and felt he needed to. He was cold, but also very meticulous. Had he not made errors with Koeing, he might still be out there stalking anyone in America. And, the worst part is the bodies would never be found. Keyes would die by his own hand and take all his secrets with him. The F.B.I. continues to sift through to discover any evidence that could lead to them to the victims. It's not just pinning or finding the number of victims, but bringing the victims home to loved ones and giving everyone peace. A few months ago I listened to the true crime podcast "True Crime Bullshit" which is entirely on Israel Keyes. It looks at Keyes but all the possible victims as well. They play tapes of the interrogations/confessions between Keyes and various law enforcement agencies. I enjoyed the well-researched and produced podcast, but it also let me a bit rattle and terrified. I was excited to see a book on this case so I put a hold at the library (and was first in line). The first two chapters were great and then, for me, I found myself not getting into the writing. This has nothing to do with Callahan's writing, but my own expectations. True Crime Bullshit just had so much information that this book felt like a brief summary to the case. It was hard to get a sense of Keyes, and his swarmy smugness and cold dead fell flat. If you are into true crime, and don't know this case, start with this book. If you have heard of this case and know a fair amount, I would skip it and listen to the podcast. My Novelesque Blog

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    I think Ellen has hit the nail on the head with this book - if I hadn't known anything about these cases going in, this would have been a much better book. It's not bad, thus the three stars, but it is confined mostly to a background on Israel Keyes, and information gleaned from interviews with him. There's also the aspect of showing how the investigation and subsequent handling of interrogation went wrong, and boy did it - it's frustrating to read as someone with no law enforcement background at I think Ellen has hit the nail on the head with this book - if I hadn't known anything about these cases going in, this would have been a much better book. It's not bad, thus the three stars, but it is confined mostly to a background on Israel Keyes, and information gleaned from interviews with him. There's also the aspect of showing how the investigation and subsequent handling of interrogation went wrong, and boy did it - it's frustrating to read as someone with no law enforcement background at all, so I can only imagine what it was like to be there. With more depth, and more access to information about this case, this could have been a much more successful book - a lot of the records on this killer are sealed still, and a note in the book touches on the struggle to get access to what they did get. Her willingness to confront the flaws in the process was actually one of the best parts of the book, and she managed it without belabouring the point. At the end of the day though, being confined to a history and information from the interviews kept this book shorter, shallower, and too abruptly ended to be as insightful as it set out to be.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tooter

    4 Stars

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    This is probably one of the most chilling true crime novels I’ve read, if not THE most chilling. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so disturbed while I was reading a book. This story is just beyond terrifying and the scope of Keyes crimes is just unbelievable and I get the chills just thinking about it. And the control he had over the investigators and the case is just mind boggling and makes this story that much more terrifying. Callahan does a fabulous job of putting the story on paper, she r This is probably one of the most chilling true crime novels I’ve read, if not THE most chilling. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so disturbed while I was reading a book. This story is just beyond terrifying and the scope of Keyes crimes is just unbelievable and I get the chills just thinking about it. And the control he had over the investigators and the case is just mind boggling and makes this story that much more terrifying. Callahan does a fabulous job of putting the story on paper, she really makes you feel like you’re sitting in the interrogation room with Keyes and the effect is just chilling.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    Well, I sure feel like the odd duck out. Unfinished at 60%. I will admit that I think the audiobook was the wrong way to go for this. The narrator's delivery was flat and unengaging. I also wasn't enamored with the writing style. It felt somewhat tedious. I think the other hurdle that kept me from enjoying this was my prior knowledge.* This isn't always the case - for example, I was very familiar with Todd Kohlhepp before reading about him in The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of S Well, I sure feel like the odd duck out. Unfinished at 60%. I will admit that I think the audiobook was the wrong way to go for this. The narrator's delivery was flat and unengaging. I also wasn't enamored with the writing style. It felt somewhat tedious. I think the other hurdle that kept me from enjoying this was my prior knowledge.* This isn't always the case - for example, I was very familiar with Todd Kohlhepp before reading about him in The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI's Original Mindhunter, and I LOVED every second of that book. But American Predator just left me with a constant nagging note of 'I know this already.' And if it can't present any new information, OR present previously known facts in an interesting delivery or context, then I'm just going to end up bored. *prior knowledge comes from a great episode of Crime Junkie, which I highly recommend I know loads of people love this, so there's a good chance I'll be in the minority on this one. I definitely think those who haven't heard of Israel Keyes will have an advantage going in. It's a fascinating case! I sure wish I loved it too, but I do not have the time or the patience to keep going with a book that feels like a chore to read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    American Predator by Maureen Callahan details the investigation and capture regarding serial killer Israel Keyes. Keyes was a one-man criminal enterprise who committed burglaries, arsons, sexual assaults, thefts and murders all across the USA until his capture in 2012. The book starts out slow, but quickly picks up speed and hits all the right notes of above average/high tier true-crime books. As with many tales detailing complex and broad criminal investigations, Callahan aptly describes the su American Predator by Maureen Callahan details the investigation and capture regarding serial killer Israel Keyes. Keyes was a one-man criminal enterprise who committed burglaries, arsons, sexual assaults, thefts and murders all across the USA until his capture in 2012. The book starts out slow, but quickly picks up speed and hits all the right notes of above average/high tier true-crime books. As with many tales detailing complex and broad criminal investigations, Callahan aptly describes the successes and failures of the pursuit of Keyes. One disturbing aspect of an offender such as Keyes is how the mobility of an offender greatly adds to the difficulty of capture. American Predator is highly recommended for those that enjoy true-crime books and police procedurals.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Frenette

    American Predator by Maureen Callaghan This was a biography, true crime story about the serial killer Israel Keyes from Alaska. So this was the first time I read a true crime story and I made sure to pick one that was highly recommended. I guess they are just not my cup of tea. I'm mean it was an interesting story but I found myself bored and couldn't wait for it to be over. It just dragged on and on. With that being said I'm giving this one 3/5 because it was well written. ⭐⭐⭐ release date Jul American Predator by Maureen Callaghan This was a biography, true crime story about the serial killer Israel Keyes from Alaska. So this was the first time I read a true crime story and I made sure to pick one that was highly recommended. I guess they are just not my cup of tea. I'm mean it was an interesting story but I found myself bored and couldn't wait for it to be over. It just dragged on and on. With that being said I'm giving this one 3/5 because it was well written. ⭐⭐⭐ release date July 2, 2019.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen Wright

    This book does nothing but show how a serial killer is glorified in what he did, by highlighting his crimes and letting us know how his sick mind worked. The book is confusing from the start as it begins at the end. Then the author digs up old transcripts with the killer's own words and demonstrates how he manipulated law enforcement over and over again. It also shines a light on the ineptness of the FBI and law enforcement in handling cases like these because some of the individuals want the gl This book does nothing but show how a serial killer is glorified in what he did, by highlighting his crimes and letting us know how his sick mind worked. The book is confusing from the start as it begins at the end. Then the author digs up old transcripts with the killer's own words and demonstrates how he manipulated law enforcement over and over again. It also shines a light on the ineptness of the FBI and law enforcement in handling cases like these because some of the individuals want the glory for handling the case and perhaps being the one to solve it. The more I read, the angrier I became at myself that I was reading about this worthless human being whose sorry life is documented and showcased in a book. He got just what he wanted -- attention and his 15 minutes of fame. This book was solidly annoying. My cousin was killed by serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, who is suspected of at least 13 killings. Maybe this has jaded my ability to be objective in my assessment. He was another creep who got away with murder and wasn't charged for most of the heartache he created as he terrorized the nation.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marianna Neal

    4.5 out of 5 Me during the first 3rd of this book: hmmm, I feel like "American Predator" is a bit of an extreme title for this, especially when it's just one case Me during the rest of this book: WHO IS THIS GUY WHAT THE HELL

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