An engrossing book came out this week. It's the only one I chose to blurb this year: The Brain Defense, by Kevin Davis. I tend to hate subtitles, but this one deftly crystallizes what it's about: Murder in Manhattan and The Dawn of Neuroscience in America's Courtrooms.
I think this image also conveys the essence of it—at least the starting point:
My take on the book is pretty well summed up in the blurb I wrote for the back cover:
The Brain Defense is a stirring ride into a fascinating new field. Can a tumor or traumatic brain injury explain rape or murder? Can they diminish culpability? If your instinct screams no, read page one. The first staggering case will challenge your assumptions; the book that follows may alter them permanently. The vividness and urgency of Kevin Davis’s storytelling, along with his artful touch, draw you in from the first line, and never let you go.
You can read a lot more about it at Davis' Brain Defense site. He has added a lot more interesting pictures there as well.
Update: Great review in the Wall Street Journal. This book has been received really well.