Mention the word psychopath and it would be completely normal to conjure up images of Hannibal Lecter and imagine that the traits only apply to mass murderers.

In this book, the author, Kevin Dutton, explores the physiology of the brain and identifies the common traits that characterise psychopathic behaviour.

Throughout the book he unravels some of the medical research and scientific explanation of just what makes psychopaths ruthless, astonishingly calm under pressure, and pragmatically decisive.

He also illuminates how remarkably well psychopaths empathise with their surroundings, audience, and victims. They can charm and seduce with consummate ease. They can sense and expose weakness with unnerving accuracy.

In some professions, these traits are crucial – think bomb disposal, brain surgeon, air traffic controller, hostage negotiator – but in most walks of life and especially in business, you just need to know when to turn up and tune in the appropriate “skill set” that can make all the difference between the outcome you are seeking and missing out.

At one stage, the author posits the question “Can you be trained to be a psychopath?” Read on and discover the chilling truth for yourself – just let me know when you have found out.