A gritty, gut-wrenching trip into the world of sexual crimes in the company of an FBI profiler who has made its study his life's work. In 1984, when crime writer Michaud (The Only Living Witness, 1983; ""If You Love Me You Will Do My Will,"" 1990) met Hazelwood, a colleague of John Douglas and Robert Ressler at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, he began what he calls a ""frequently harrowing fourteen-year exploration across the shadowy nether edge of human behavior."" Readers are likely to find the journey harrowing, too. Michaud combines his sketch of Hazelwood's career with recountings of a host of hideous crimes that came to Hazelwood's attention. Hazelwood, who conducted a series of research projects on serial rapists to learn what traits they have in common, whether they vary their modus operandi and rituals, and whether they escalate their violence, divides them into categories of increasing violence: power reassurance, power assertive, anger retaliatory, and anger excitation. Individual chapters describe sexual predators in these categories. Other chapters consider investigations into bizarre accidental deaths and suicides, fetishism, and even pseudovictims, such as Tawana Brawley. After following Hazelwood through a variety of cases, in the closing chapter, readers are invited to try their own hand at analyzing a vicious rape/murder. Women who want to cut their risk of becoming a rape victim can learn much about the different motives and behaviors of sexual predators from this unflinching report. Not recommended for reading at bedtime or when one is alone in the house.