Dangerous Ground: My Friendship with a Serial Killer by M. William Phelps
Published: July 25/17, Kensington Publishing Corporation
Aside from being a well know true crime writer, M. William Phelps has appeared on several Investigation Discovery TV series such as Deadly Women, Wicked Attraction and his on show that he hosted, Dark Minds. It is in this series that Phelps introduces us to his friend “Raven” – a serial killer he calls into the prison for advice and insight on some of the criminal minds that and discussed on the show. What we knew of Raven was vague – only that he was a serial killer. Dangerous Ground is all about Phelp’s relationship with “Raven,” how it came to be, and who he really is.
Not only does Phelp’s reveal “Raven’s” identity, but also what he had to go through for the following five years trying to get something meaningful or at least makes sense out of this guy, or even better – usable information. This definitely highlights how difficult that relationship must have been at times. Reading this book will allow readers to peek inside the chaotic mind of a serial killer. Phelp’s is also writing about “Raven” to try to make the serial killer come clean and confess about any skeletons still left in the closet – one being a Jane Doe case in Florida he’d been holding out on. This is an extremely manipulative serial killer, to say the least.
I wouldn’t call this book emotional, but brutal. Along with talking about “Raven,” Phelp’s shares with us the tragic story of how his sister-in-law was murdered and the effects it has had on the entire family over the years. It’s heavy in crime and gore details, and there are some parts where I found myself questioning Phelp’s character altogether. Honestly, I really don’t know what to think of this guy.
Yes, there is criticism of Phelps “friendship” with a serial killer that ends in profit, and there’s even a section of the book where I felt that Phelps was mainly listing off things to blame for turning people into serial killers. Even watching one of his Dark Minds episodes made me question his character and moral. I can only really offer this book to true crime lovers and those who have read past works of M. William Phelps and enjoyed his work.
Kirsten Lowe studies at Athabasca University.