Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us about Crime
The dead talkto the right listener. They can tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died, and, of course, who killed them. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help serve justice using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene, or the faintest of human traces. "Forensics" draws on interviews with some of these top-level professionals, ground-breaking research, and McDermid s own original interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientists.
Along the way, McDermid discovers how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine one s time of death; how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer; and how a team of young Argentine scientists led by a maverick American anthropologist were able to uncover the victims of a genocide. It s a journey that will take McDermid to war zones, fire scenes, and autopsy suites, and bring her into contact with both extraordinary bravery and wickedness, as she traces the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.
Praise for "Forensics" "Fascinating . . . A gripping history of the anatomy of crime. Each of the chapters--which examine themes such as fire scene investigation, toxicology, fingerprinting, DNA and blood splatter and facial reconstruction--contains a wealth of surprising information . . . If McDermid is ever stuck for inspiration for her novels she could do worse than turn to her own book of the dead for inspiration."--"The Independent" (UK) "In charting the 'astonishing leaps' that forensic science has made over the past two centuries, McDermid provides a grimly absorbing account of crime and its detection."--"The Observer" (UK) "McDermid examines the creativity of forensic experts through the analytic techniques they apply to real-life crime . . . McDermid has not lost her early journalistic genius for telling a good story plainly and with passion."--"Times Saturday Review" (UK) "Our fascination with crime has spawned libraries of books and years of TV programming. Val McDermid is a major player in the genre . . . She has now written a guide to criminal forensics that is every bit as compelling as the best of the fiction . . . She combines science with the macabre, from the Great Fire of London to some of the most sensational trials of recent times."--"The Irish Times" "McDermid would make a good doctor, managing to be clinically precise but engaging at the same time . . . Drawing on interrogative skills learned from her first career as a journalist, the result is a highly readable, eye-opening account of the way in which criminals have slowly had their wings clipped and their getaways thwarted over the past hundred and more years."--"The Herald" (Scotland)
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