Any book with Charles Manson on the cover has to be good, right? Each of "the most brutal and sadistic individuals the world has ever known" gets two or three short pages recounting his or her misdeeds. All the obvious killers and despots are included -- Gacy, Bundy, Starkweather, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot -- but Powell also includes a good number of people I had never heard of (nor had my wife, and she's like the Jeopardy! champion of serial killer knowledge). The only glaring omission to me is Charles Whitman, but I've had a soft spot for the guy in the tower ever since I first heard Kinky Friedman's song. This book is dark reading for sure, and I don't recommend it right before bedtime (actually, my wife had me start reading How Not to Act Old because she didn't want me to read this one to her after dark).