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For May 2022, Oxygen Book Club a featured a book by one of the most famous criminal profilers in the United States: Paul Holes. In Holes' book, "Unmasked: My Life Solving America's Cold Cases," readers learn more about his career working on infamous criminal cases like the search for the Golden State Killer and the Laci Peterson murder case. But the memoir is about more than just Holes' contributions to these investigations. It also focuses on his own personal journey and the way his line of work has changed him.
Once you've finished reading the book yourself, consider examining these discussion questions with your friends:
1. Before you read this book, had you heard of Paul Holes? Or were you just interested in crime investigators? What exactly motivated you to read it?
2. While Holes has worked on many famous cases, some of the ones he discusses in the book are lesser-known. Had you heard of them all before?
3. What was the case that stuck with you the most while reading the book? Why do you think that is?
4. The book isn't just about cold cases — it's also a dive into Holes as a person. What were you most interested to learn about him? Was there any information presented in the book about him that surprised you?
5. Holes speaks often about the way his professional life has impacted his professional life. Do you think that's an impossible-to-avoid hazard of the job? Or were there things he could have done differently to prevent some of the familial issues that occurred?
6. Holes explains exactly how he landed in this line of work. Is being a criminologist a kind of job that would interest you? Did reading the book change your mind on the field?
7. The hunt for the Golden State Killer is featured in the book. Holes describes how he was eventually caught — what factors allowed him to operate unknown for decades?
8. Holes dives deep into the scientific aspects of each case, like the way DNA helps solve crimes. What do you think of the ethical discussions around the way DNA has been sourced to solve criminal investigations?
9. Did you think the book dived into each case enough, or were you left wanting more information?
10. Would you recommend this book to a true crime fan? Why or why not?
And if you have more thoughts let us know! Use the hashtag #oxygenbookclub to keep the discussion going on social media.
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