Blumenthal and Lavender have brought together a mass of hitherto disparate evidence, which provides a useful starting point for mental health professionals, and students of psychology and psychiatry, trying to understand the links between violence and mental disorder.
`Because of the level of public concern, assessing and managing risk have become major clinical preoccupations. This book, therefore, is dealing with a very topical issue. It contains an impressive review of the research evidence on predictors of violence and the slender relationship between violence and mental disorder. It also provides a wide-ranging discussion of problems in risk assessment and management... ...This book provides an excellent resume of the current state of research on violence and mental disorder. The fact that it is a highly topical book that deserves a wide readership illustrates how important issues about risk are becoming in psychiatry today. It is understandable that the public and politicians want to focus on risk assessment in the hope of finding simple solutions to their concerns about safety. This book shows how far research is from providing such a simple solution.'
`If there is one issue in mental health law of truly international importance at the beginning of the 21st century, it is how to identify which people with mental disorder present an undue risk of violence. Dr Stephen Blumenthal and Professor Tony Lavender have written the most comprehensive, up-to-date, readable and balanced assessment of the huge research and clinical literatures on violence risk assessment of which I am aware. They have, in the process, made a significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship of mental disorder to violence, a contribution whose relevance extends far beyond the shores of the United Kingdom.'