From Publishers Weekly
Founded in 1991 as a nonprofit forensic investigative team, NecroSearch International specializes in homicide cases shelved because of "corpus indelecti" that is, a body cannot be produced as evidence that a murder has taken place. Coming from a wide range of backgrounds geophysicists to "cadaver dog" specialists to chemists and rank-and-file cops the members of NecroSearch combine their skills to produce the most proficient (and most exciting) detective work since Sherlock Holmes. They take the coldest cases and comb for hidden graves on rural hillsides, in suburban backyards and at the bottom of mud-choked riverbeds, searching for remains that have been buried anywhere from two to 20 years. (Or 70, as in the notorious Romanov family case.) Having sharpened his true crime teeth on Monster, Jackson competes here with two other books on forensic science to appear this season: Michael Baden and Marion Roach's Dead Reckoning and Corpse by Jessica Snyder Sachs. But while those books concentrate on the establishment of forensic methods as formidable weapons in the fight for criminal justice, this book combines the burden of scientific proof with rousing tales of police work out in the field or the quarry, the Rocky Mountains or someone's backyard. The book covers the group's quirky beginnings and digs into its most important cases suspensefully; Jackson's sharp eye misses nothing in the painstakingly rendered details. A must-have for true crime fans, it should also be of great interest to anyone fascinated with the practical applications of science. 32 pages of photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
True-crime author Jackson (Monster) has created a fascinating account of a group of extraordinary people who volunteer their time and expertise to locate hidden murder victims for the police and prosecutors. Before the advent of NecroSearch International, police had few choices in searching for buried evidence. Using a backhoe for clues buried in the ground often destroyed the data, while searching in water was difficult and risky. Often, police would be within a few inches of evidence and not realize it. G. Clark Davenport, a geophysicist who had expertise in using equipment the police were not familiar with, knew there had to be a better way. At the same time, two law enforcement officials were coming to the conclusion that experts in different fields could help the police solve crimes. Davenport and the two officials met, and "the evolutionary tree of forensic science grew a new branch." From this meeting, NecroSearch International was eventually born. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Karen Evans, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.