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24 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book for the curious
This is a great book for people that are interested in the everyday application vs. the technical details of forensic science.
Each chapter tells the story of a forensic case. Mr. Miller provides the background of all characters involved so you can get a feel for the circumstances surrounding the death. He also gives you a lot of good, basic information about the...
Published on July 26, 2000 by Tonya Vlasik

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Crime fiction - not fact
I started getting suspicious when all the deserving bad guys seemed to get killed or commit suicide in the first several stories. Then I got to the one about the hollywood actor who starred in a TV family comedy that ran 10 years from 1974. Cute, except no such TV show exists, nor does the named actor. When this many facts have been changed there no longer is any basis...
Published on August 21, 2003 by Greyhaunt


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Crime fiction - not fact, August 21, 2003
This review is from: What the Corpse Revealed (Mass Market Paperback)
I started getting suspicious when all the deserving bad guys seemed to get killed or commit suicide in the first several stories. Then I got to the one about the hollywood actor who starred in a TV family comedy that ran 10 years from 1974. Cute, except no such TV show exists, nor does the named actor. When this many facts have been changed there no longer is any basis in reality.
As another reader mentioned, the case involving the hungarian ex-policeman who claims he's being threatened with death when a pig's head is found with a message in his mouth is VERY loosely based on a case in England. In the real case there was no crippled child to add pathos to the "story", nor was there a similarly crippled forensic scientist who miraculously solved the case.
Fictional cases, fictional experts, fictional criminals - Why is this book listed in True Crime?
I've been completely cheated by buying this book and if I could I'd demand my money back from the publisher! When I want to buy non-fiction I want non-fiction, not this tripe.
Buyer beware and skip this book, there are better works on forensics that give more accurate details on procedure and demonstrate real cases.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Farfetched, October 18, 2004
This review is from: What the Corpse Revealed (Mass Market Paperback)
While reading this book I found the details of some cases to be unbelievable. Also, the "photographs" of the murderers and detectives all looked fuzzy and more like drawings. I've read a lot of true crime and never heard of catching a murderer because he breathed his asthma medication on the murder victim's hair. Or because they chemically deduced which cologne he wore. And who leaves their backdoor open when they know a violent Doberman Pinscher has been getting through their backyard fence? Sure, just let that dog on in. And whose place of employment has a record of all employee's blood "groups" (not their TYPES, just their GROUPS), when the employee doesn't even know HIMSELF what group he is?

Then I read the introduction, which I always skip, and found out this book is FICTION, not true crime as the cover announced and in which section it was in in the book store.

As FICTION, it's okay, (I prefer Agatha Christie), but I don't believe the forensic work in this book is even based on any fact. So read it for entertainment, but don't be so gullible as to believe any of it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS FICTION!, February 19, 2004
By 
B. Allen "Ballen" (FLORIDA, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What the Corpse Revealed (Mass Market Paperback)
This book was recommended to me as a book related forensic pathology/forensic anthropology, my favorite reading areas. When I settled down to read it, the "Note to the Reader" was the first clue I had that the book was ficitious: "This book not intended to portray, and should not be read as portraying, actual persons, living or dead. Yet, on its cover it says "True Crime", what I took to be a tacky way of saying "Non-Fiction".
Whatever. - bONNY
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pulp fiction?, April 24, 2002
This review is from: What the Corpse Revealed (Mass Market Paperback)
The jacket of What the Corpse Revealed proclaims Henry Miller as "the author of many nonfiction books and several successful novels." This book had me wondering which category he was aiming for: nonfiction book or True Detective Stories magazine.
The cover, complete with glowing reviews from Publishers Weekly, lead me to believe this was a serious book on the ever-increasing role of forensic science in modern criminology. The preface, however, tells another story. Here Miller reveals that "the names of the characters, places, and certain incidents and photographs... have been changed and/or fictionalized." This information is repeated in a note to the reader immediately following the preface, making his claim of the forensic details being genuine hard to take seriously. The alphabetical index in the back lends an air of legitimacy to the book, though referencing material that may or may not be "changed and/or fictionalized" seems pointless.
While entertaining, this collection of 16 stories read like a cheap detective novel. The stories themselves are indeed fascinating, but I found them impossible to read without wondering just how much truth, if any, they contained. The details of the forensic procedures used to solve these "cases" may be technically accurate, but they were lost in the film noire, dime-store style of storytelling. The stories are all fairly predictable, thanks to an abundance of stereotyped villains, persistent gumshoes and thick-headed cops.
What the Corpse Revealed was informative in one respect; I now know where the expression "you can't judge a book by its cover" came from. I'll be more careful next time I go book shopping.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fiction spiced up with a little fact, July 6, 2003
By 
Bernard Morey (Bulleen, Vic. Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What the Corpse Revealed (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is a potboiler and largely a work of fiction. It is recommended only to someone who likes real life spiced up with extras to add "verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative". Separate cases which on their own are nothing remarkable are cobbled together to form a rather more interesting super-case. It doesn't work.
Two examples. One story is how a maid murdered her employers by shooting them with bullets made from frozen pig flesh. She then locked them in the murder room by using a pair of surgical forceps to operate to key from the `wrong' side of the door, thereby baffling the plods assigned to the case. Not the super-sleuth, of course. The latter incident is so totally implausible that it is clear it is a fictional touch. There is a photo of the pair of forceps, but not of the lock. It would be impossible to get a pair of forces of this size into a keyhole, let alone grip the circular end key with sufficient force to overcome the friction of the bolt and turn it - and then keyhole would have to be at least 10mm in diameter for the forceps to have room to turn. Even seen on a keyhole that wide? Yes - but on a medieval castle, not a recent passage lock. Further, warded mortice locks have not been used in passage doors for over a hundred years. This part was clearly added into spice up the story, but the result is to make the whole story seem implausible.
A second story concerns a Hungarian farmer who blew up his wife with a pipe bomb, then murdereds the lawyer with whose wife he is having an affair. The case is investigated by a brilliant but crippled forensic scientist. All very well, except this identical case has been featured on the Discovery Channel in the series The New Detectives. Only there it was set where it actually occurred - in rural England. Real names were used, the victim was a next door neighbour, and the forensic detectives were common-or-garden suits not a fictional cripple with a heroic personal history.
By the time I had finished that chapter the whole book was looking rather doubtful and I just skimmed through the rest. By the way, the mysterious ingredient that the book doesn't name for fear of inflaming proto-arsonists (in the last chapter about the nurse-arsonist) is potassium permanganate. The coyness is unnecessary as this is the method used by forest wardens to start fuel load reduction burns from the air.
This book does have a use. It is ideal for a long aircraft journey. You can toss it in the charity bin at your destination without a pang of regret that you are disposing of a book worth keeping and treasuring.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book for the curious, July 26, 2000
This is a great book for people that are interested in the everyday application vs. the technical details of forensic science.
Each chapter tells the story of a forensic case. Mr. Miller provides the background of all characters involved so you can get a feel for the circumstances surrounding the death. He also gives you a lot of good, basic information about the way the body responds when death has occured in different ways, as well as how the scientists use various methods to discover what really happened and who is at fault for the death.
This book is great- it is easy to read and is very explanatory as far as the details of this work goes- enough for any reader to understand. It is organized into chapters with each chapter a different case. It really reads like 16 mini-Agatha Christie short shories. Each will confound and astound. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fiction vs. Nonfiction, June 25, 2007
This review is from: What the Corpse Revealed (Mass Market Paperback)
I was going to write a review stating how fascinating I found this book, then I read the other reviews that revealed this "corpse" of a book to be pure fiction. What I enjoyed about this book most, as a longtime fan of forensics and true crime, was that it was full of cases I'd never heard of before, and didn't know how they would be resolved, so it kept me reading. Now I realize why so many of the cases took place in Hungary, Spain, or Argentina--to deceive the reader. This also explains why there is absolutely no record of "Mia Clark" the pyromaniac that supposedly killed upwards of 60 elderly people in California and Colorado.

Now the entire book seems like a cheap trick. Fooled me once Hugh Miller. Won't fool me twice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great - if you haven't read it already..., November 8, 1999
By A Customer
Careful, Hugh Miller fans. This is actually the same book as "Forensic Fingerprints". Interesting stories, but really not interesting enough to purchase twice...
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Begins with Murder and ends with Suicide, February 5, 2001
This review is from: What the Corpse Revealed (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm not certain what 'acknowledged' means, as in the phrase, "He has written extensively for television and is an acknowledged expert on forensic medicine." However, that is how the book jacket on "What the Corpse Revealed" describes its author, Hugh Miller. Whether he's a physician or not, Miller tells a heck of a good story. Each one of his sixteen stories was solved through forensic detection, and the author has chosen incidents that are well off the radar of most true crime writers. Many of the murderers are women, and the final murderess in "What the Corpse Revealed" chooses a very unique method of killing herself while in prison. In fact, it's a very unique book through and through -- those British really know how to tell a 'good' murder story. Try this book, and then read "Forty Years of Murder" by Keith Simpson, if you won't take my word for it.
If you like true-crime stories with a scientific framework, or if you are a fan of well-told, suspenseful detective tales, "What the Corpse Revealed" will keep you reading well into night. My only advice: keep lots of lights on!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for "quick" reads., July 31, 2000
By 
J. M. Yarbrough (Hesperia, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This book is great if you only have enough time to read during your lunch hour or in bed at the end of the day. The average reading time (more or less) for each chapter was from 15 to 30 minutes, which was perfect for me since I was able to read about the crimes from start to end and mull over how the evidence came together.
The book explains to the readers what certain terms such as sadism and machoism refer to without going into details or overexplaining things. Forensic findings are illustrated and easy to comprehend. In cases where findings are not always agreed upon by all forensic experts, it is so noted as in the case of "drowing" - whether or not a person died as a result of drowing by the presence of certain things in the bloodstream.
I enjoyed each chapter and I'm amazed at the extent of work they go through to uncover the crime and find the offender. It's a good read for story-telling purposes. Out of the sixteen cases, you're bound to learn something new unless you already work in forensics!
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What the Corpse Revealed
What the Corpse Revealed by Hugh Miller (Mass Market Paperback - December 15, 2000)
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