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Non-Fiction Fridays- The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker

ISBN- 9780440508830.

Publisher- Dell

Hoo boy.  This book is definitely not light reading but it is important reading.  The book was recommended to me by a local Private Investigator while I was taking her class.  It is an intense read that even I, who speed reads almost everything, have to digest in small chunks.

From the Publisher: True fear is a gift. Unwarranted fear is a curse. Learn how to tell the difference. A date won’t take “no” for an answer. The new nanny gives a mother an uneasy feeling. A stranger in a deserted parking lot offers unsolicited help. The threat of violence surrounds us every day. But we can protect ourselves, by learning to trust-and act on-our gut instincts. In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the nation’s leading expert on violent behavior, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger-before it’s too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including-how to act when approached by a stranger-when you should fear someone close to you-what to do if you are being stalked-how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls-the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life.

The Book:

The book is laid out very efficiently, each chapter starts with a story.  These are sad stories, stories about pain, and fear, and death.  These stories are not easy reading.  Then De Becker breaks down what happened.  Where the person went wrong, and then what they did right.  The rest of the chapter is explaining why.

Gavin De Becker is the best in the world at what he does, and what he does is risk assessment.  He helps protect movie stars and battered wives, he helps rape victims, stalking victims, he even assesses serial killers.  What qualifies him to give you this advice is that risk assessment is his life’s work.  It began as a way to deal with his dangerously unstable mother and abusive upbringing, and then it spun outward when he realized he could use that knowledge to help others. The book is basically distilling down his philosophy into something everyone can take home and benefit from.  Basically… trust your instincts.  Your brain is smarter than you know, when you get a gut feeling about something it’s not because of some miraculous connection to another plane, its because your brain noticed something and while it can’t tell you precisely what it was, it recognized it should be afraid.  Trust it.

The Judgement:

5 out of 5 stars

This book is a long hard read.  It is sad, it is frightening, it is all true.  However it is an extraordinarily important book to read.  A book that may save your life one day.  Trust me, everyone should read this book, but especially women.  The world is a dangerous place, and this book might help you make yourself a little bit safer.

Published inBook ReviewsNon-Fiction

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