28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Generally very useful,
This review is from: Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries (Howdunit Writing) (Paperback)
Like most of the "Howdunit" series, this is a useful volume that every aspiring mystery writer should own. It's full of helpful, often detailed descriptions of various types of wounds and injuries, how they're treated, and, if they're not immediately fatal, whether they could lead to death or long-term disability. The chapter on torso injuries was especially good: it's not intuitively obvious to a non-medical person (like me) what the consequences of a particular type of wound or blow would be, and this made it much clearer. I liked the author's use of quotations from mystery and adventure writers to illustrate his points. And, although the tone is fairly dry, I found this volume easier going than others in the series, mostly because he used comparisons effectively and included easy-to-understand graphics.
1. The book is very uneven. Some chapters are detailed and comprehensive, while I found others sketchy: for example, the description of types of gunshot wounds was a good general overview, but it didn't give enough specific information to answer the question I had. A chapter-by-chapter list of references, or suggestions for further reading, would have been useful too.
2. The author occasionally veers off into "Here's a nifty idea for your mystery novel." Some of them ARE indeed nifty ideas, but I'd never use them, because I'm sure the first person to read this book already has! I think the book would have been more useful to more writers if he'd just stuck to providing the facts.