Cover Image: Hearts of Darkness

Hearts of Darkness

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Member Reviews

This was a really fascinating memoir. A very exciting insight to working as a woman in the FBI across several units, including the behavioral science unit. The memoir can definitely get graphic as she retells some of the horrible atrocities she's seen, and potentially a little repetitive, but it was overall a great read/listen. The audiobook was very well narrated.

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This audiobook is the story of Jana Monroe and her time in the FBI BAU. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her and her stories. I learned more about some cases that I did not know about or that I only had fleeting knowledge of. I found that this book was great. It was written well and hard to stop listening to. I wanted more! I do recommend this book. It was great to listen to.

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Thank you to Netgalley for access to this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a look at the professional life of Jana Monroe, one of the first women in the FBI including five years working with seriel killers. I thought this book flew by quickly and was very interested throughout. She offers some great perspectives of being a women on the force. She also did some things that were considered "unnecessary" early on which are now standard practice. (Trying not to spoil anything). Her insight into the why of seriel killers is interesting and somewhat different from what I've read elsewhere. She definitely tells some stories of graphic violent experiences in her time with the FBI. Some are really disturbing and not just in a gory way. I also liked that she empathized with victims and tried to always keep that in mind when it could be easy to focus more on the details of the job. Probably the strongest part of the book to me is her explanation of when and why to leave the unit and move on to other positions and opportunities. The horrors of the job do get to even the most professional of people and you have to recognize when its too much before you can be damaged or numb to it all.

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The Hears of Darkness gives an inside look at the BAU and whats its like to be a women in the FBI. The book wasn't bad at all, I just found that it wasn't as engaging as I hoped it would be.

Thank You to Jana Monroe, Joe Navarro and Spotify Audiobooks, for the audio-digital ARC provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

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Just leaving this five stars bc I am unable to finish and it feels unfair to not otherwise rate. Many thanks for the audio ARC

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I enjoy the Heart of Darkness. I have always wondered what it was really like to be in the BAU. I also enjoy the point of view of what it was like being a woman in the FBI since it was such a "man's world."

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As an avid reader of John Douglas, Robert Ressler, and other true crime authors, I was extremely excited to have been selected to listen to an ARC audiobook copy of Monroe's Hearts of Darkness.

Ultimately, though, it fell a little flat for me (in comparison to other similar stories). Part of it, I think, was the narration style, which wasn't BAD, per se, but it was less than totally engaging at times. I also wondered at the accuracy of some of the information in the book.

I mean, it's a memoir, so you'd assume the facts were all in order. But in certain spots, stories the author told directly contradicted the same stories told by other, more established true crime writers.

Still, overall, this book was a solid 3- to 3.5-star read, and I'm definitely glad I got to read it. As a female myself, it was interesting to hear about some of the world's most notorious serial killers and criminals from a woman's perspective.

It wasn't my favorite true crime book I've ever read (or listened to, as the case was), but it's still a book worth reading. I'd recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the genre.

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A fascinating look at a career packed with action and human horror. Jana Monroe certainly wasn't the first woman to join the FBI, but there were times when her male colleagues treated her that way--like she was at best an alien and at worst a joke.

But she maintains good humor and a positive attitude while telling this story and displays a good deal of poise and patience despite a hectic schedule and seemingly impossible tasks.

Between Jana and her second husband, they had firsthand involvement in just about every high profile event you can think of the FBI investigating during the 90s and 2000s.

I enjoyed the narration and the book kept my attention, but this is not a tale for the faint of heart. Not that you have any business picking up a book about such things if you're squeamish or overly sensitive.

Her time in the BSU was certainly a draw for me, but it's not a huge part of the book. Don't let that put you off; there's still a lot of interesting material. I also really appreciated learning a bit about her faith journey at the very end.

Thank you to NetGalley for my audio copy.

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Jana Monroe's history with the FBI was an incredibly inspiring story. Each chapter was more riveting than the last. Any one who is a true crime fan should definitely check this book out. The narrator also made the listening experience a fabulous one! Jana may just be my new hero. I loved getting a peek into her life.

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Monroe, one of the FBI's first female agents with the Behavioral Science Unit, shares stories of her life with the FBI. Over the years, she holds a variety of positions, breaks glass ceilings for women, and meets some interesting and terrifying characters. Equal parts her personal memoir on the challenges and struggles of her positions and a field agent's perspective on some of the major investigations the FBI handled during her tenure, Monroe's book was easily readable and intriguing. If you have ever considered a career that combines law enforcement and psychological analysis, you will find this an insightful and engaging read with some exciting adventures along the way.

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Hearts of Darkness was a great behind the scenes look at a behavioral analyst in the FBI. I liked learning more about the author and how the cases have effected her. it's not for the faint of heart!

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While interesting, this was definitely a slow burn. It took quite some time to get into the real good parts, or the parts I found most intriguing, that is. I didn't quite care for the monotony of the narrator, there was little inflection if any. Understandably, this will get rave reviews for those who really enjoy hearing about what the FBI is really like, from one point of view. I did like hearing the more hardcore details of cases and what the female experience was like when mostly men ran things. As someone who is a Social Worker with a background in Behavioral Science, I think this memoir helps give a more truthful, substantial view of certain behaviors and those deemed equipped to deal with them. Especially at the beginning when talking about going into a house with children and drawing pictures until CPS arrives, it helps to shed a light on how far things have come and how much further they need to go. Overall, this was a good read, more memoir than true crime though.

I received this ARC for free and my review is voluntary.

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I requested this one because it might be an upcoming title I would like to review on my Youtube Channel. However, after reading the first several chapters I have determined that this book does not suit my tastes. So I decided to DNF this one.

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This book was well-read and it is very intriguing to hear a different voice from the FBI, a female voice. There are so many details and information- almost more of a nonfiction research book than a memoir. Definitely interesting for those who want to know more about the BAU, the history of women in the police force. It wasn’t quite for me, though I don’t fault the writing or narrator.

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Informative and entertaining in equal measure. A recommended purchase in all formats for collections where true crime and thrillers are popular.

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Jana Monroe's memoir is a deep dive into her groundbreaking career as one of the first female profilers in the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit. What sets this book apart is that it's not just about the infamous crimes she encountered, but it's a personal journey from her side of the desk. In a world where true crime is everywhere, it's refreshing to get the inside scoop from someone who lived it.

Having followed serial killer and mass murder cases for years, I thought I knew it all, but Jana's firsthand perspective adds a new layer of fascination. She delves into the psychology behind these crimes, offering insights that you won't find in the glossy world of TV crime dramas.

The book also sheds light on her interactions with Hollywood, where she mentored Jodie Foster and Demi Moore for film roles. Hearing about her experiences in that realm was a captivating bonus. What's striking is the resilience and dedication Jana and her FBI husband, Dale, displayed in their careers, despite the challenges and horrors they faced.

This isn't a book for the faint of heart. It's a raw, unfiltered look at the gruesome realities of her work, from dealing with serial killers to cases involving animal and human abuse. Hillary Huber's narration in the audiobook version handles this heavy subject matter well.

Jana Monroe's memoir is a rollercoaster of emotions, with humor mingling with the most gruesome of stories. It's a testament to the incredible strength and determination it takes to work in such a field day after day. Reading this, I couldn't help but be in awe of her and everyone else who deals with the darkest aspects of humanity. It's a must-read for any true crime enthusiast looking for a different, more personal perspective.

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HEARTS OF DARKNESS is the true story of author Jana Monroe’s time as an FBI Agent who spent half a decade as a member of the BSU (Behavioral Science Unit) before transferring to other specialties within the FBI.

I found Jana's memoir absolutely riveting. Now retired, she joined the Bureau at a time when the only other women at Quantico were secretaries. In fact, one supervisor had the nerve to tell her to go home and change her shoes because she was wearing heels. She obviously refused, and that supervisor knew from that moment on that Jana would not be pushed around.

Although this book is a memoir, it also belongs in the "True Crime" genre. As Jana details her time in various law enforcement positions, she also discusses cases, both known and unknown, that she was involved in. Obviously it is her years spent in the BSU of the FBI that readers will be most enthralled with, and Jana does not disappoint.

Profiling is a science that people have been interested in ever since television shows like "Criminal Minds" and movies such as "Silence of the Lambs" were released. In fact, Jodie Foster's role as Clarice Starling was modeled after Jana Monroe. Jana even had Jodie spend time with her at the FBI's famous training academy - Quantico.

I listened to this book as an audiobook which was narrated by Hillary Huber. Her voice, her slight accent, and her cadence are all sheer perfection. Somehow she was able to draw me in and had me thinking it was the author speaking about her own experiences. In fact, there were a few times that I went back to the description to check if Jana was narrating as well as Hillary. Because of these qualities, I have to rate Hillary's narration as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I love that Jana talks about the misogyny she has dealt with throughout her law enforcement career. She also had no qualms about exposing those officers and agents who committed crimes. She will probably experience some blowback from crossing the imaginative "thin blue line" but she is tough enough that she will be able to deal with it.

In fact, I rate the entirety of HEARTS OF DARKNESS as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I hope that Jana will consider writing an additional book that delves into the cases of the serial killers that she mentions in the book that have largely gone unnoticed by the media. The victims of these nameless killers deserve to have their stories told, and Jana is the perfect person to write about them.

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Hearts of Darkness
Serial Killers, The Behavioral Science Unit, and My Life as a Woman in the FBI
by Jana Monroe, Joe Navarro
Narrated by Hillary Huber

I received an ARC (advanced reader copy) of this audiobook through Netgalley.

This is an autobiography of Jana Monroe, the real life FBI agent that Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster) in The Silence of the Lambs was partially based on.

This book includes real life accounts of FBI’s BSU (Behavioral Science Unit) cases, as well as other cases Jana has worked on throughout her career.

Details are shared about cases (not all of these were worked on by Jana herself) Edmund Kemper, the Rogers women, the Ruby Ridge siege, the Waco siege, the Macdonald murders, Eileen Wuornos, John Lizst, Timothy McVeigh

As well as interesting accounts of time spent with Jodie Foster in preparation for her role.

This book has good tips for being safe in everyday life too.

I enjoyed this book a lot. But, it’s not for the faint of heart.

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This books was great insight on what the fbi was like, especially for a woman in a male dominated field.
Learning the behavioral patterns on repeat offenders, life long criminals, and serial killers. It gives a new insight and perspective on all those true crime shows and podcasts, an inside look on directly dealing with these people and the crimes they commit. And on the fallout on how it effects the people involved, the officers, and everyone who has to deal with these cases.
It also sheds some terrifying light on the recent police brutality and shooting of innocent people by the police. They do train for these situations and the statistics of those trainings where officers would end up shooting innocent victims and justifying it as fine was horrifying. The thought process was that those innocents were a worthy sacrifice for saving the larger population from the threat that the real perpetrator would have posed. But the "shoot first ask questions later" mentality was terrifying to read how common place that was and obviously still is for armed officers.
The author did not agree with this and writes about how they tried to have more training of these types of situations implemented to help reduce innocent casualties but was denied time and again.

A fascinating read for anyone interested in true crime, behavioral sciences, or the inner workings of a career field we don’t actually hear much about outside of Hollywood stylized and embellished versions of.

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I absolutely LOVED this book! It was interesting to hear about the progression that the author took through her career. Starting out as a police officer, and then moving into the FBI, she has been involved in some of the biggest cases in American history. Her work in the behavior science unit, and the different paths that she took throughout her career were extremely interesting.

Highly recommend this book!

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