A Hunger to Kill: A Serial Killer, a Determined Detective, and the Quest for a Confession That Changed a Small Town Forever (Hardcover)

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A Hunger to Kill: A Serial Killer, a Determined Detective, and the Quest for a Confession That Changed a Small Town Forever By Kim Mager, Lisa Pulitzer Cover Image

A Hunger to Kill: A Serial Killer, a Determined Detective, and the Quest for a Confession That Changed a Small Town Forever (Hardcover)


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In this fascinating & profoundly chilling account, Detective Kim Mager, a real-life version of Clarice Starling, reveals how she closed in on—and broke—one of Ohio’s most infamous serial killers.

On September 13, 2016, in the small town of Ashland, Ohio, emergency dispatchers received a 911 call from a terrified woman who claimed to be kidnapped. The man holding her hostage was Shawn Grate, a serial killer whom the press later dubbed “The Ladykiller.” A key to his conviction and death sentence were Grate’s extensive recorded confessions—all extracted by one woman: Detective Kim Mager.

As an experienced specialist in sex offenses, Detective Mager was one of the officers assigned to Grate’s case upon his arrest. Grate immediately latched onto her, repeatedly demanding to speak to her and presumably convinced that he could somehow exercise his power over her in much the same way that he’d overpowered and controlled his female victims.

He was wrong.

Over a period of eight days, Mager conducted one interview after another, risking her life by sitting alone in the interview room with a malevolent predator. Using brilliant psychological strategy in a lethal game of wits, Mager successfully elicited his damning confessions to five murders, kidnapping, and multiple sexual assaults of women across Ohio.

Deeply personal and shocking, A Hunger to Kill takes readers behind the scenes of one of the most appalling criminal cases in American history from the woman who stopped his murderous rampage in collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Lisa Pulitzer.

Detective KIM MAGER is a 30-year law enforcement officer who retired from the Ashland City Police in 2022. Mager works for a prosecutor's office and still holds a law enforcement commission. Mager specializes in sex offenses, violent crime, and child abuse and has investigated over 2,000 cases. She has a BA from Ashland University and graduated Top Gun of her Police Academy. Mager is married to husband, Dan, and they have three children, Corbin, Macy, and Reed.

LISA PULITZER is a former correspondent for the New York Times. She is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction titles, including New York Times bestseller Stolen Innocence (with Elissa Wall) and Portrait of a Monster: Joran van der Sloot, a Murder in Peru, and the Natalee Holloway Mystery (with Cole Thompson.)
Product Details ISBN: 9781250274885
ISBN-10: 1250274885
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English

"Like a master chess player, Detective Kim Mager used a combination of keen psychological insight, gut instinct, and real courage to bring a ruthless serial killer to justice. A Hunger to Kill is the story of her ferocious determination to prevent more innocent victims from falling prey to a monster." —John Douglas, Former Chief of the FBI’s National Center of the Analysis of Violent Crime and New York Times bestselling author of Mindhunter

Just wow! Mager’s retelling of her quest for justice in a little-known serial murder case puts true crime readers just where they want to be – deep inside a story that’s wholly her own to tell. Propulsive and insightful." —Gregg Olsen, New York Times bestselling author of If You Tell

"An unforgettable portrait of a highly-skilled, heroic woman in law enforcement and the astute investigative techniques she employed to help bring justice to victims of some truly horrific crimes. A Hunger to Kill sheds light on the painstaking, brutal work of investigating serial murder and sexual violence, and Mager and Pulitzer write with unflinching detail...a harrowing, important read." —Carolyn Murnick, author of The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder

“This book has all the hallmarks of a prime-time police procedural and Mager is a real-life Olivia Benson... Moving and methodical, this book belongs in the true crime canon." —Booklist, starred review