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

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  8,201 ratings  ·  1,141 reviews
A gripping tour de force of investigative journalism that takes us deep into the investigation behind one of the most frightening and enigmatic serial killers in modern American history, and into the ranks of a singular American police force: the Alaska PD.

Most of us have never heard of Israel Keyes. But he is one of the most ambitious, meticulous serial killers of modern
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Viking (first published 2019)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  8,201 ratings  ·  1,141 reviews

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Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Important Advice From Meg:


Literally my face upon completion:

You want to feel this way whilst reading a true crime, don't you??? Quite honestly, this was by far the most disturbing book that I read in October.

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
Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
”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.”

 photo Israel Keyes_zps4zuz0dme.jpg
You are looking in the eyes of a stone cold killer.

Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a book to start the year off with. This was horrifying.
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it

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
Johann (jobis89)
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“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!
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
Diane in Australia
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction-crime
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
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Kayla Dawn
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
This read like fiction. Which is good in terms of reading experience but really terrifying considering the subject matter.
Peter Monn
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best true crime books I have ever read! My full review will be up on my booktube channel at
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 :/
Mariah Roze
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mariah Roze by: Matt
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
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Aug 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
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
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Kris - My Novelesque Life

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
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Tracy Frenette
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: botm
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
Vicki Willis
A terrifying look at a serial killer from Alaska. I had never heard of Israel Keyes before reading this book. His ability to move around the country makes you feel so uneasy.
I would only recommend this in book form. I listened to it in audio form and the narrator was one of the worst I have ever heard.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a most difficult read. For me, the first 50 to 70 pages was so dense with titles and layers of policing and Anchorage Alaska "knowns" that I found myself rereading. At times, entire sections of at least 2 pages. Many moving parts, and in a place where nearly all are at times "independent", wily, and unstructured enough to only tell the parts of the story or the eye witness notice that they WANT to tell. Not what they "need" to tell in order to do their jobs, and quickly enough to get a ...more
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
Marianna Neal
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Sarah Ames-Foley
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sarah by: Ren
This review can also be found on my blog.

Wow, this one was definitely a doozy. I picked up American Predator for week one of the #FridayFrightAThon 2019, hosted by Melanie, Amy, Jen, and Chelsea. It hadn’t really been on my radar before that, but I thought it sounded intriguing and decided to participate. And oh boy, intriguing doesn’t even begin to cover it!

The book starts with a deep dive into the disappearance of Samantha Koenig, who had gone missing in Anchorage, Alaska. Detailing the
Cassie-Traveling Sister-
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
True crime is a topic that has always interested me. What goes on in someone’s mind that causes them to perform such brutal crimes? American Predator was exactly the book for me and I found myself wondering how is it that I have never heard of the serial killer Israel Keyes? Israel Keyes a seemingly normal guy living in anchorage Alaska who was a construction worker and no one suspected him being pure evil! How did this man get away with murder well let me explain! This man would fly to a city ...more
Karen Wright
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
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
Andy Klein
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, non-fiction
At times interesting and often disturbing, the book, in the end, was a disappointment. It had very little to do with the hunt for Keyes, and had much more to do with snippets of interviews of the man when in custody. I also found the hit job on the AUSA Kevin Feldis to be uncalled for. It’s obvious that he did not consent to he interviewed, so the author painted him in a terrible light based on interviews she did with the lead investigators who were miffed that he involved himself in the ...more
Shannon Kirk
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just go get this book and read it. I have read a lot of true crime novels and I honestly can say, this one is the most meticulously constructed and gripping. Read in one day and skipped meals, that gripping. That well done. Last year I raved and raved about John Carreyrou’s amazing Bad Blood. And this year I am going to rave and rave and rave about American Predator. Just read it. Trust me.
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“I've got lots more stories to tell.” 0 likes
“What Keyes was describing was the textbook progression, from childhood, of a sadist and a psychopath. Torturing and killing small animals, pets especially, is experimentation in controlling and killing another living thing for pure pleasure. It is practice, the last step before graduating to humans. Even as an adult,” 0 likes
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