Deploying the fruits of years of research — as well as a wealth of observations and interviews — [Kevin] Dutton makes the argument that psychopaths are rich in many personality traits key to survival. Their flatlined emotion and lack of compassion, he proposes, is akin to that of a Buddhist monk, who has studied the art of controlling one’s response in stressful situations. On practically every page, Dutton gives us an example of what we can learn from the psychopathic brain. What if “that kid with a knife in the shadows at the back of the movie theater might well, in the years to come, be wielding a rather different knife at the back of a rather different kind of theater?” Here he means the operating theater. He even interviews a brain surgeon (the names have been changed) who tells him “I have no compassion for those that I operate on…. When you’re cutting loose and cheating death high above the snowline of the brain, feelings aren’t fit for purpose.”