“Great reading abounds in this addictive collection of tales of the disreputable. From serial killers to snake oil salesmen, con artists to counterfeiters, author Martin tells very good tales of people being very, very bad.”

Louisville Courier-Journal

“This fascinating little book is filled with well-researched and very well-written accounts of twenty-eight exceptionally nasty people…. Not all in this book are soaked in blood. Some are thieves of epic proportions, others con-men, spies, hedonists, and some simply fools…. Author Paul Martin doesn’t know the meaning of the word boring.” Five Stars.

San Francisco Book Review

“This collection of exceptionally well-crafted historical portraits deals, in descending order, with monsters, the merely evil, and the unscrupulous…. Apart from his literate writing, Martin also has the knack for passing harsh judgments when they are deserved and also withholding them when they are not. A model of how to write short popular history.”


“This wildly entertaining celebration of villains, scoundrels and rogues throughout history presents 30 colorful biographies of America’s most outrageous characters, including Ed Gein, who was Alfred Hitchcock’s inspiration for Psycho, [along with] the worst female serial killer ever.”

Baker & Taylor Forecast

“Martin delivers the reverse of his Secret Heroes, highlighting Americans who have negatively impacted society in a variety of stomach-churning ways…. They make a pretty reprehensible bunch, but Martin puts their crimes in context while keeping the book entertaining and informative.” Starred Review.

Publishers Weekly