The Line

What does it take to make good people do bad things? Unlock the door to the criminal mind in The Line, the outstanding debut from Ireland’s leading criminal psychologist.

Here Dr Ian Gargan unravels the motives of some of the nation’s most violent and prodigious offenders, mapping the fine line between right and wrong – the set of life circumstances that could make any of us cross the line into criminality and violence, highlighting that there aren’t many differences between us and them.

Based around real-life interviews he has conducted with criminals, which offer them an opportunity to confront and explain their actions while incarcerated, Gargan attempts to give a human voice to those incapable of speaking for themselves and to account for the tangled threads of circumstance and mental dysfunction that can propel once ‘normal-living’ people to the brink of horrifying acts … and beyond.

Using insights garnered from interviewing and treating people, both within prison and out in the community, Gargan examines the spectrum of human behaviour that includes criminality, extreme beliefs and our own day-to-day intriguing thoughts.

The Line is a moving meditation on a life spent at the violent limits of human experience and a mirror held to the dark heart of human nature.

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Publication Date

October 2016




Paperback, 304 pages

Country of Origin



Gill Books


234 x 153 mm


By Ian Gargan

Availability Status


Dr Ian Gargan, BSc, MSc, MB BCh BAO, MBA, Reg Psychol AFPsSI (PsSI), CPsychol FBPsS (BPS), is the Clinical Director of Imagine Health, a Dublin-based medical and psychology clinic. Ian received his BSc in Applied Psychology from the National University of Ireland, Cork, in 1996 and his MSc in Forensic Psychology from the University of Leicester in 1997. He went on to study medicine at Trinity College Dublin, obtaining his medical degree in 2004. Following the receipt of an MBA from UCD’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Ian established Imagine Health in 2009 and practises in Ireland, the UK and USA as a Medical Director and Forensic Psychologist, in addition to teaching as an Honorary Professor for the University of Nottingham. He lives in Dalkey, Co. Dublin, loves to cook Indian food and cycle with his gang of close friends, the aptly titled 1-Direction. He has two children.

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