As this book shows, human lives are not detective stories and there is rarely an easy or elegant solution. There are as many kinds of murder as there are kinds of human beings, which is why no legal definition can ever be entirely satisfying. And although it is natural to imagine ourselves as potential victims, Morgan’s book ends with a more unsettling thought. Most murderers, she says, are not monsters. They are simply “ordinary people who have found themselves in extraordinary situations, with fatal results. Their reaction to these situations may have been foolish, rash or badly judged — but seldom straightforwardly wicked.” They are, in other words, people like us.