Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime Hardcover – July 7, 2015
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Praise for Forensics:
Fascinating . . . A gripping history of the anatomy of crime. Each of the chapterswhich examine themes such as fire scene investigation, toxicology, fingerprinting, DNA and blood splatter and facial reconstructioncontains 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)
Praise for Val McDermid:
McDermid has the ruthless psychological scalpel that forms part of the equipment of all good novelists, whatever their genre. And, fortunately for us, she knows just how to use it.” Guardian (UK)
Val McDermid is one of the bright lights of the mystery field.” Washington Post
One of the most accomplished crime novelists in the UK, Val McDermid has an acute reading of the psychology that lifts her out of the genre straitjacket. She delivers pulse-raising set pieces when necessary, but truthfulness of characterization is always more important than the exigencies of plot.”Independent (UK), on The Vanishing Point
Smooth. Confident. Deeply satisfying. What else can you say about McDermid’s writing?” Entertainment Weekly (editor's choice), on The Torment of Others
McDermid is a whiz at combining narrative threads, shifting to the viewpoints of her various characters . . . and ending chapters with cliffhangers that propel you to keep reading. . . . She’s the best we’ve got.” New York Times Book Review, on Killing the Shadows
To write one brilliant book is hard. To write 25 is a miracle. That is what Val McDermid has achieved over the course of her career and it's why she is a much-loved legend in the literary world.” Sunday Express (UK)
About the Author
Val McDermid, a former journalist and Northern Bureau Chief of a national UK tabloid, is the best-selling author of "The Skeleton Road" and twenty-eight previous novels, three story collections, and the non-fiction book "A Suitable Job for a Woman," an inside look at female private investigators. She lives in Scotland.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Along the way, it is inevitable that the reader learns some odd facts:
-dead bodies absorb arsenic from surrounding soil, making the claim of arsenic poisoning suspect.
-hair grows about a centimeter month, allowing scientists to track drug consumption.
-the iphone 5S has a specialized location chip that runs off reserve power. People have reported their iphones continuing to track their movements for four days after the battery has died and the phone shut itself off.
-thanks to various insatiably curious scientists, we know the thickness of facial flesh and can reconstruct faces from skulls. We can determine the size and shape of an entire body from a bone fragment. We know what bugs consume dead human flesh, when they do it, what stage of life they were at the time, and can pinpoint the time of death by them.
-the study of blood splatter has come to the point where we can reconstruct everything about the scene from it. Tiny splatters of DNA-worthy blood are now expected and found in places no one ever looked before.
-women are 85% of forensic psychologists.
-the British police hire scientists and psychologists to solve crimes, creating profiles from the clues at the crime scene. They help narrow the list of suspects and focus searches. And add their own errors and prejudices.
Forensics would do Sherlock Holmes proud. It makes a continually changing and fascinating read. The successes, failures and abuses of the system share space with the human sloppiness and mistakes that land innocent people in prison for life – or worse. McDermid demonstrates them concretely and fairly. She obviously both loves and appreciates it all, and it shows.
I personally will look for something with more of the science in it. I wasn't expecting a book loaded with scientific information, so I wasn't disappointed. I've learned to read the reviews of other readers so that doesn't happen to me. On the whole, a good basic book on forensics to start out with.