Praise

“Engrossing and carefully researched.” (more)
-The New Yorker


“Absorbing …Starr’s thought-provoking journey, through the strange underbelly of a vividly rendered France, lingers in the reader’s memory.” (more)
-The New York Times Sunday Book Review (Editor’s Choice)


“Gripping, almost novelistic…The Killer of Little Shepherds is like an episode of CSI: 19th-Century France.” (more)
Entertainment Weekly


 “A true-crime blockbuster with a historical edge…Starr has created a book with every bit as much tension as a thriller, as much detail as a meticulous police procedural, and a court-room drama that’s up there with the best.” (more)
-The Independent (London)


“Riveting…” (more)
-Nature


“Fascinating…compelling…written with the dramatic tension of a good novel and the impeccable detail of a well-researched history.” (more)
-Science News


“An exemplar of historical true-crime nonfiction.”
The Providence Journal


“Starr manages his material superbly and turns this study of the birth of forensic science into a gripping, sometimes horrific, sometimes funny page-turner.”
-The Telegraph (London)


“A must-read for anyone who likes tales about intelligent investigators matching wits against wily offenders… Starr gives both men so much life and dimension that readers will feel as if they’re right there in the courtroom, awaiting the outcome.” (more)
Katherine Ramsland, The Writer’s Forensic Blog


“An intriguing read…” 
-The Bookseller (UK)


“Starr’s description of the legal, medical and even philosophical questions around Vacher’s responsibility are strikingly current.” (more)
-The Seattle Times


“Fascinating…the perfect true-crime book to curl up with on an autumn night…”
Richmond Times-Dispatch


“The grandaddy of all true crime stories…Graceful and accessible…”
-Louisville Courier-Journal


“Starr, a veteran science writer, intertwines the stories of Vacher and of the men who would prove to be his downfall, in a gripping account of a crucial stage in the creation of the modern criminal justice system.” (more)
MacLean’s


“Gripping…”
The Chronicle of Higher Education


“Eloquent…Starr creates tension worthy of a thriller.”
—Starred review, Publishers Weekly


“Starr’s heavy immersion into forensics and investigative procedure makes interesting reading . . . [A] well-documented mix of forensic science, narrative nonfiction, and criminal psychology.”
—Kirkus


“A book so painstakingly researched should not be so smoothly readable, but the craftsmanship is just part of the ride . . . the details are mesmerizing… Compelling and readable.”
-Douglas Lord, Library Journal


“Riveting, yet cerebral . . . Besides focusing on Joseph Vacher, also known as the Killer of Little Shepherds, Starr explains and expands on the fascinating achievements of those studying the criminal world.”
San Francisco Book Review


“Lively . . . With drama and stunning detail, Starr documents one of the earliest examples of criminal profiling, Vacher’s murders, his arrest, and the twists and turns of the trial that followed. The Killer of Little Shepherds is an important contribution to the history of criminal justice. It is crisply written, meticulously researched, and rich in historical detail.”
Tucson Citizen


“Deft…admirable…riveting . . . The Killer of Little Shepherds is deeply rooted in historical sources and subtle context, but Starr also has a journalist’s flair for the colorful detail.”
-John Williams, The Second Pass


“Expert…You’ll be richly rewarded…”
-The Crime Segments 
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“Elegant and chilling…Part detective story, part psychological study, The Killer of Little Shepherds is a gripping and richly layered book.” (more)
-Ellen O’Connell, Zocalo Public Square