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Psychopath: A Novel

(Frank Clevenger #4)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,414 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger returns in this arresting new thriller from bestselling author Keith Ablow. Having achieved celebrity status with his last case, Clevenger is tapped by the FBI to catch an elusive murderer known as the Highway Killer, who has left twelve bodies strewn across twelve states. But the Highway Killer isn't just a serial killer--he's a ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,414 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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There was so much potential to this book, in fact it was the first two chapters that I read for free online that convinced me to check this out at my local library. I thought finally an original, or at least new, approach to a serial killer and the inevitable trophies. But oh how was I mistaken...

The opening of the book leads the reader to believe that Jonah Wrens, the Highway Killer, is collecting an unusual type of trophy from his kills, something untraceable and what would have been
Jan 05, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: idiots and crazies.
this guy's supposed to be good? Blah. Blech. I love schlocky fiction, but this isn"t well done. Slow in parts that shoudl be fast and fast in parts that shoudl be slow. Implausible in ways that even a huge sci-fi fan like myself couldn't overlook.

Filled with psycobabble that even I could tell was poorly written.
Angie crosby
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alex, thriller
Awesome book. very well written. I felt sorry for Jonah, even as I wanted him to stop killing. I wanted him to stop and not be caught. Very good at making me feel for the killer. I loved the letters written back and forth between Jonah and Clevenger. I also liked how Clevenger was trying to do the right thing by a kid from a previous case. Good second story line. As the bodies continue to pile up the FBI calls in Clevenger to help catch a killer. The killer writes to the NY times inviting ...more
4.5 stars
This book was recommended to me as an example of an antagonist done well--in other words, a three-dimensional bad guy. And I agree, the reader really gets into the guy's head. In the novel, a psychiatrist who's a serial killer seeks the help of a well-known forensic psychiatrist, Frank Clevenger, who the FBI has hired to find him. The cat-and-mouse nature makes for a page-turning read.The fact the author is a forensic psychiatrist himself makes the characterization even more riveting. I
Newly Wardell
I dont know maybe I expect too much. It's not a bad story but about 300 pages in the unforgivable happens. I dont know why any FBI female character in these mysteries always has to go all rogue but it happens here. It's so cliche it's funny. The murderer in this case has killed at least 14 people 2 quite brutally and one of the key investigators has to prove her self worth by talking checking on a lead all by her lonesome. I call it the Clarice syndrome and Harris did it better. Nice try but ...more
May 12, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my God, so boring!
When I looked for psychological thriller, I didn't really imagine it would be too, uh, psychological. This book is about a brilliant killer and a psychologist who pretty much are hunting each other, and they challenge each other and heal each other through letters on a newspaper. A public newspaper psychological consultation, in other words. The only thing worth paying attention to is the actual murders and the search of this murderer. A lot of bull.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this one before, but it's been years. I wish Keith Ablow would have continued this series...I think it is the some of the best in phychological thrillers! This one is no exception and deals with catching the Highway Killer. Great story and the maturing of the characters is great. I think he only did one more Frank Clevenger novel after this one...more's the pity.
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books

This book was fun. I liked the idea of psychiatrist versus psychiatrist. However, psychiatrist as a psycho killer is unnerving in the most uncomfortable way. I like this book until the last 45mins. It was rushed at the end. It like Ablow got impatient with his own story and decided to move it along when he should have drawn it out a little. I wanted more of Jonah versus Fletcher. I wanted more McCormick and Fletcher, too. It was just rushed at the end. Otherwise it was
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-killers
Any of these books with the character Frank Clevenger are awesome!!! A forensic psychiatrist with great empathy, uses these skills to become close to the killer emotionally to understand their minds. With each case, comes huge personal growth for our lead character that you come to love for all his human shortcomings. Highly recommend.
Jessica Welch
Jan 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the back & forth between the two therapists. My kind of book, enough real science to make the fiction fun.
C Joy
Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're interested in psycho thrillers and mind games, this one's for you. This book just don't want to be put down, you have to read it to the end once you've started it.
I'm surprised this book got such good ratings. I found it predictable. The only question I had was, where and when.
Ken Schloman
I picked this book up in a box from a used bookstore going out of business. While the novel is labeled psychological thriller or suspense I'm not sure either label fits. The suspense and thrills are short lived. Although the blurbs on the cover try to compare with Thomas Harris's works I think it falls short. To me the novel is a psychological character study, both of the killer as well as the book's protagonist, the forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger. In this regard the novel succeeds.. This ...more
James Fitzgerald
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of the Frank Clevenger books by Keith Ablow. This one was very interesting as it played a Psychiatrist against a serial killer who is also a psychiatrist. We learn early in the book the Highway killer is Jonah Wrens, a gifted doctor who lures his victims into a false sense of security to open up and tell him their most intimate thoughts.
He works as a traveling psychiatrist who kills randomly his victims are young,old, women, men for all walks of life in different states. The FBI
Cj Byrns
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A compelling journey into a warped and crippled mind. It caught me up in the disturbing contortions of a brilliant psychiatrist who has the power to heal and the compulsive need to kill. Well done. The ending was hokey and although probably the only possible solution, I had hoped for a some different outcome.
Anna Ray
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of Patricia Cornwell I really enjoyed this book. Looking forward to actually going back and start reading this series from the beginning. I think Ablow is a talented writer and I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of serial killer stories and can handle a book with heavy intricate character descriptions.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in 2004 and for the life of me, I can only remember bits and pieces of it. In my card file, I notated that I felt it was excellent. It was about forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger. I also read Projection which featured the same psychiatrist.
Sylvia Baroody Kendrick
Eh. I was only able to get the abridged audiobook but I had the hard copy too. It was interesting to see what they cut out when abridging a book. I don't feel as though I really read it though. It was ok but I do want to try another in the series without the abridgement.
Jenny Coyne
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: frank-clevenger
3.5 stars
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to audiobook.
Nerak Kj
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book, I cried like a baby on every history. it helped to find my path and to know what i want to do
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ryan Krueger
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book held some unique approaches on a form of therapy. Another psychological thrillers that increased my interest even more in the genre.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can imagine the author going into fits of hysteric ecstasy over himself as he wrote this, a heavy handed stroke to his own ego. Cringe.
William Kozy
I was willing to cut some slack because I assumed this was Mr. Ablow's first foray into the realm of thriller writing, dipping his toes in those waters after a career as a publicly famous psychiatrist. But then I discovered, that in fact he has written several of these types of novels and that his lead character Frank Clevenger is the focus of entire series of his books. That being the case, I should think Mr. Ablow should be able to pull off a better job at this.

The book isn't particularly
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A new twist. Printed letters in the New York Times between hunter and hunted. Really like this author. Highway killer mystery.
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serial killers are nothing new in mystery fiction. Keith Ablow gives the title character of his novel a chilling spin, and lets the readers see through a window into the killer's twisted, mind. The Highway Killer (Jonah) roams from one town to another, choosing victims at random. He's attractive, intelligent, cultured, a nurturing psychologist who travels from hospital to hospital. He is overwhelmed by a dark urge to kill. . There's no way to track him and no way to tell who he will attack next. ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
The Highway Killer travels the highways of America killing when the compulsion becomes unbearable but he always gets his victims to trust him and talk to him so he can get inside their defenses before he delivers the fatal blow. He has killed 14 people, men and women, young and old with no discernible pattern.

The FBI is getting desperate so they call in forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger as consultant. Frank Clevenger has recently adopted a boy, Billy, who had been tortured by the father in
Mare Kinley
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-no
Like the stars say, "It was OK." I freely admit to my fascination with serial killers and the very fine line which separates sociopaths from "normal" people. On that level, this book was better than OK; on that level it gets the full three stars for "I liked it." However, the prose was...well...less than lyrical. Less than OK. Closer to...plodding. While I was perfectly wiling to believe the killer as a character (albeit a little flat), the crime-solvers were completely cardboard. I didn't care ...more
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insightful psychological thriller, intensely focussed on the inner world of the killer in question, as one might expect from a novel written by a forensic psychiatrist. Unlike some novels in this genre, the killer was a deep and complex character, and although the perpetrator of horrendous crimes, was one I did actually feel for in some strange and distant way.
At some points I did feel as though I were reading a psychology text-book, but as the hunt for the killer heats up towards the end, the
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Keith Russell Ablow is an American psychiatrist, New York Times best-selling author, and television personality.

Other books in the series

Frank Clevenger (6 books)
  • Denial (Frank Clevenger, #1)
  • Projection (Frank Clevenger, #2)
  • Compulsion (Frank Clevenger, #3)
  • Murder Suicide (Frank Clevenger, #5)
  • The Architect (Frank Clevenger, #6)
“...the horrific fact that our lives and those of the people we love are impermanent and exquisitely fragile, that any of us can cease to exist without warning, that loving anyone, anywhere, at any time, leaves you infinitely vulnerable at every single moment. (20)” 4 likes
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