The dead talk. To the right listener, they tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died - and who killed them. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help justice to be done using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene or the faintest of human traces. Forensics uncovers the secrets of forensic medicine, drawing on interviews with top-level professionals, ground-breaking research and Val McDermid's own experience to lay bare the secrets of this fascinating science. And, along the way, she wonders at how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine time of death, how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer and how a team of young Argentine scientists led by a maverick American anthropologist uncovered the victims of a genocide. In her crime novels, Val McDermid has been solving complex crimes and confronting unimaginable evil for years. Now, she's looking at the people who do it for real, and real crime scenes. It's a journey that will take her to war zones, fire scenes and autopsy suites, and bring her into contact with extraordinary bravery and wickedness, as she traces the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day. Published in partnership with the Wellcome Collection. WELLCOME COLLECTION is the free museum and library for the incurably curious. It explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. It is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas thrive.
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 * The sheer brio of McDermid's writing produces that increasingly rare thing, a genuine page-turner that doesn't insult its readers' intelligence. * Independent * 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 * McDermid has not lost her early journalistic genius for telling a good story plainly -- Ian Finlayson * Times * ... the science of forensics has come a long way, as Val McDermid relates in this fascinating study. McDermid, best known for her gritty psychological thrillers, has interviewed a wide range (a morgue? a graveyard?) of forensic scientists and has revisited some of the most gruesome true life mysteries to piece together a gripping history of the anatomy of crime. Each of the chapters - which examine themes such as fire scene investigation, toxicology, fingerprinting, DNA and blood splatter and facial reconstruction - contains a wealth of surprising information -- Andrew Wilson * Independent * ... she dissects the history of forensics through gripping stories of real-life crime. * New Statesman * Fascinating history of forensic science .... McDermid provides a grimly absorbing account of crime and it's detection -- Ian Thompson * Observer * Every bit as compelling as the best of the fictional genre. * Irish Times *
About Val McDermid
VAL McDERMID has published twenty-eight crime novels, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, been translated into sixteen languages and won multiple awards. Her series featuring criminal profiler Dr Tony Hill was the basis for the TV series The Wire in the Blood for ITV. WELLCOME COLLECTION is a free visitor destination that explores the connections between medicine, life and art. In 2012, its critically acclaimed programme of events and exhibitions welcomed over 490,000 visitors.
Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid
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