For fans of Mindhunter, Criminal Minds, and My Favorite Murder, a riveting memoir of a trailblazing woman’s life hunting down serial killers as one of the first female profilers of the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit and the real-life model for Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs.
“Jana Monroe is the single most influential woman to ever serve in the FBI.” —Joe Navarro, bestselling author of What Every BODY Is Saying
Jana Monroe was no ordinary cop. One of the first analysts—and, at the time, the only female agent—in the world-renowned FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit at Quantico, she consulted on more than 850 homicide cases, including infamous serial killers Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Edmund Kemper, and Aileen Wuornos. Monroe was also the model for Clarice Starling in the movie version of The Silence of the Lambs; she even helped train Jodie Foster for her Oscar-winning role. Monroe’s later years found her dealing with the aftermath of Columbine, heading up the FBI’s post-9/11 investigation in Las Vegas, and much more.
In Hearts of Darkness, Monroe steps out from the shadows to tell the story of her astonishing life in shaping law enforcement and intelligence analysis. Monroe explores the cases that have stayed with her, breaking down victimology, offering new insight into the minds of serial killers, and discussing the psychological toll of the job and the obstacles she faced as a woman in the male-dominated Bureau. This is a gripping, sometimes gruesome, and always remarkable memoir of an unparalleled life and career spent chasing the monsters among us.
About the Author
Jana Monroe had a distinguished 22-year career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where she held a variety of field investigative and operational roles across the United States, including more than five years as a criminal profiler at Quantico, Virginia. She served as special agent in charge in Phoenix, Arizona, and Los Angeles, California, two of the largest FBI field offices in the United States, and was the first assistant director of the FBI Cyber Division. After retiring from the Bureau, Monroe entered the private sector. She lives in Arlington, Texas.
“The real-life model for Clarice Starling reflects on her career in the FBI . . . the author is an affable narrator, and her career accomplishments need no embellishment. Fans of true crime will find much to enjoy in this absorbing memoir of criminology.”
“[A] fascinating debut . . . The stories Monroe shares of her 22 years in the FBI are thrilling, frightening, and occasionally amusing . . . in sharp, no-nonsense prose . . . Readers interested in criminology will devour this.”
— Publishers Weekly
“This is a fascinating memoir from a woman who reached the upper ranks of the FBI . . . Monroe is a natural, engaging storyteller whose touches of humility and wry humor temper the horrors she details. Readers will be astonished by the experiences she relates . . .Those with a strong interest in investigative methodology and FBI history will race through Monroe’s striking narrative.”
“A gripping and readable memoir that’s an essential read for audiences who want to understand the history of the FBI and the BSU. True-crime fans will enjoy Monroe’s tales about some of the most memorable cases she worked.”
— Library Journal
"Jana Monroe is the single most influential woman to ever serve in the FBI. . . . This book is about great, sometimes horrifying cases and the scary people who walk among us, but it’s also the memoir of a great woman, a great human, and a great friend who has helped to define what is possible in law enforcement but few will ever achieve."
— Joe Navarro, bestselling author of What Every BODY Is Saying
“Jana Monroe was an outstanding FBI Agent and leader who made important and long-term valuable contributions to the Bureau. As Director, I was very grateful for Jana’s and her family’s leadership while serving at FBI headquarters.”
— Louis J. Freeh, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York Times bestselling author of My FBI
“A shot of pure adrenaline for true crime fans, this vivid, fast-paced memoir charts the barrier-breaking career of its remarkable author: a real-life Clarice Starling whose work as the only female member of the FBI’s fabled Behavioral Science Unit demonstrated that a woman could be just a coolly competent and tough-minded as any man.”
— Harold Schechter, author of The Serial Killer Files
“Former FBI profiler Jana Monroe's fascinating book is in part the story of some of history's most troubling serial killers. But it’s also the story of a smart, capable woman building a career in the male-dominated field of law enforcement. The result is an addictively readable, insightful, and occasionally inspiring book.”
— Deborah Blum, bestselling author of The Poisoner's Handbook
“Getting a phone call from a serial killer is the kind of thing most people would find unsettling. For Jana Monroe, it was just another day at work.”
— New York Post