book cover of By Reason of Insanity

By Reason of Insanity

(1979)
A novel by

 
 
Back in the '70s, when the term "serial killer" wasn't yet popular, Shane Stevens wrote this long, exquisitely detailed novel about a psychopathic murderer. Thomas Bishop escapes from an insane asylum at age 25 and begins what he fully intends to be a historic career as a multiple murderer. He is meticulous, intelligent, conscious of what he is doing, and utterly amoral. And we are inside his head, every step of the way--a welcome approach compared to contemporary works that focus on a detective or reporter protagonist. The New York Times called it "violent realism . . . extremely effective."At the center of this gripping epic novel of mass murder, pursuit, and psychological terror is Thomas Bishop, a psychotic young killer who believes he is the son of Caryl Chessman, who was executed for rape in California amid intense controversy. Subjected to unmerciful physical and mental torture from an early age, Bishop kills his mother at the age of 10 and is placed in an institution for the criminally insane. He grows to manhood knowing the outside world only through a television screen. At 25, he succeeds in a brilliant escape and change of identity and begins to move across the country, murdering women in particularly gruesome ways. Pursued by reporters, police, and the mob, Bishop manages to elude them all, and the search for him becomes the greatest manhunt in U.S. history. Stevens takes the reader on a harrowing descent into the mind of a mass murderer in this eerily realistic serial-killer novel. The chilling denouement will hold readers spellbound until the shattering, unforgettable conclusion.


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Praise for this book

"One of the finest novels ever written about perfect evil... I recommend it unreservedly." - Stephen King


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Used availability for Shane Stevens's By Reason of Insanity

Hardback Editions

January 1988 : UK Hardback

Title: By Reason Of Insanity
Author(s): Shane Stevens
ISBN: 0-7515-9829-1 / 978-0-7515-9829-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sphere
Availability: Amazon UK   


June 1979 : UK Hardback
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Title: By Reason of Insanity
Author(s): Shane Stevens
ISBN: 0-297-77671-1 / 978-0-297-77671-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1979 : USA Hardback
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Title: By Reason Insanity
Author(s): Shane stevens
ISBN: 0-671-24058-7 / 978-0-671-24058-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

May 2007 : USA Paperback
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Title: By Reason of Insanity (Rediscovered Classics)
Author(s): Shane Stevens
ISBN: 1-55652-662-8 / 978-1-55652-662-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


September 1997 : USA Paperback
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Title: By Reason of Insanity
Author(s): Shane Stevens
ISBN: 0-7867-0463-2 / 978-0-7867-0463-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 1990 : USA Paperback
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Title: By Reason of Insanity
Author(s): Shane Stevens
ISBN: 0-88184-609-0 / 978-0-88184-609-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1980 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: By Reason of Insanity -Op/67
Author(s): Shane Stevens
ISBN: 0-440-10977-9 / 978-0-440-10977-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1988 : UK Paperback
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Title: By Reason Of Insanity
Author(s): Shane Stevens
ISBN: 0-7221-8163-9 / 978-0-7221-8163-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sphere
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


1733 : USA Paperback
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Title: By Reason of Insanity
Author(s): Shane Stevens
ISBN: 0-440-11028-9 / 978-0-440-11028-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

November 2014 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: By Reason of Insanity
Author(s): Shane Stevens
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA