What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime

Book - 2015
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Draws on interviews with some of the top-level professionals, ground-breaking research, and McDermid's own original interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientists.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780802123916
Characteristics: ix, 310 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm


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Jan 08, 2019

Witty book on forensic tools with real life cases as examples & cautionary tales on using & abusing them. Author sighed on CSI effect & what budgetary limitations UK police had.

Nov 09, 2018

If you were ever wanting to know the history about forensics then this is the book for you. This book tell about all different types of forensics and the first time they were used. It also tells how they came about, and how the changed over the years. I would read this book again. If you are looking to learn more about the history of forensics then this is the book for you!

Aug 22, 2018

I love science! Though I found this book hard to read (because i'm basically reading a textbook voluntarily), I learned some pretty amazing stuff. I should definitely give it another try, because I feel as though I glossed over some parts, but it really was a great book if you are interested in learning about DNA. The author gives you real life scenarios to teach you about the techniques they use. Cool stuff! :-)

rb3221 Apr 02, 2017

"Murder is not a repeatable experiment. Every one is unique." McDermit provides a huge amount of information in an enjoyable and fascinating read with case histories and interviews from many experts. The budding or seasoned reader of crime novels will learn lots of insights into how crimes are solved on topics such as fire scene investigations, entomology, toxicology, blood splatter, fingerprinting and even forensic psychology.
The author clearly shows how each of these scientific techniques help detectives in the non-fiction world solve crimes which thus allows the reader to better understand the solving of crimes in the world of fiction. In other words 'the dead talk'.

Jan 18, 2017

This book is excellently written. A great balance between the history of each discipline, practical application, and how it continues to evolve. She addresses arson investigation to entomology, autopsies to DNA analysis, even the reliability of the sciences in the courtroom. Val McDermid both introduces forensics to the curious first-time reader and further intrigues someone with more than a passing interest. What's more, it's about the people who study each field and the people they honor in each investigation. This is most certainly not a dry, technical read. McDermid uses the human component she's developed as a crime writer to engage the reader and makes us care about the victims as well.

Oct 20, 2015

I'm impressed with how well this was written. Lots of information about the history of various forensic methods, how the information gleaned has been used in court cases, and where things stand today. This could have been dry, but the way McDermid has sprinkled it very liberally with details about true life cases makes it very compelling. You'll come away from reading this with a more knowledgeable background to enhance your enjoyment of crime novels.

Aug 26, 2015

EXCELLENT book!!! Really well written and informative

thebeadedlady Aug 05, 2015

Interesting, but felt a little brief. McDermid examines major disciplines involved in solving crimes, such as pathology, toxicology and fingerprinting, but she really only touches the surface. She uses real-life examples to illustrate different methods, but some of her summaries are a too brief, and didn’t hang together very well. I often felt like there was information missing, and sometimes couldn’t see how the example given was relevant to the technique under discussion. Overall, the book needed more editing.


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