Sunday, 5 February 2017

Book Review - Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid

Forensics: The Anatomy of CrimeForensics: The Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid

I really enjoyed this book. Even though it's non-fiction, Val McDermid still weaves a compelling story of forensic science from its birth all the way to modern techniques and their both successful and over zealous use in today's courts.

Val takes us through the development of a selection of forensic techniques, including blood splatter, finger prints, DNA and more. Each technique is tested and presented with its pros and cons, and there are some interesting discussions about efficacy and also the public's perception of these different techniques. The book also investigates the role of 'the expert' and how a forensic scientist's approach to testifying can change the fate of a trial.

I think that the fact these forensics are discussed, warts and all, is what makes this book different from other books I've read on CSI. It brings them into reality, away from the glamour of TV police procedurals and into the real problems that face forensic scientists, and also their real passion for their subjects.

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