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The Resource Forensics : what bugs, burns, prints, DNA, and more tell us about crime, Val McDermid

Forensics : what bugs, burns, prints, DNA, and more tell us about crime, Val McDermid

Label
Forensics : what bugs, burns, prints, DNA, and more tell us about crime
Title
Forensics
Title remainder
what bugs, burns, prints, DNA, and more tell us about crime
Statement of responsibility
Val McDermid
Title variation
What bugs, burns, prints, DNA, and more tell us about crime
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
The dead can tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died, and, of course, who killed them. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help serve justice using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene, or the faintest of human traces. This book draws on crime novelist McDermid's own interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientists. Along the way, McDermid discovers how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine one's 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 were able to uncover the victims of a genocide. It's a journey that will take McDermid to war zones, fire scenes, and autopsy suites, and bring her into contact with both extraordinary bravery and wickedness, as she traces the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day
Writing style
Award
Anthony Award for Best Critical/Nonfiction, 2016
Review
  • In this gruesomely fascinating book, former journalist and renowned suspense novelist McDermid (The Skeleton Road ) explains the science behind solving crimes. Based on interviews with crime scene investigators, such as a man who gathers maggots off dead bodies and a woman who analyzes blood spatter, McDermid recounts vivid case histories of violent crimes and details how they were solved using pathology, toxicology, anthropology, fingerprinting, facial reconstruction, and other forensic disciplines. Chapters on DNA technology and digital forensics highlight recent mind-stretching advancements in forensics, while other chapters discredit the theories set forth in the popular CSI television shows. The book is a mix of science and true crime accounts. The majority of the Scottish author’s sources are from the U.K., as are the case histories—including the infamous Stardust disco fire in England’s Derbyshire and the case of Colin Pitchfork, the first person in the U.K. to be convicted of double murder on the basis of DNA evidence. Fans of McDermid’s fiction will gain a greater understanding of where her ideas come from. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Company (U.K.). (July) --Staff (Reviewed May 11, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 19, p)
  • Using historical examples, author McDermid (Killing the Shadows ) brings to life the various subspecialties within forensic science to show how, and how well, the theories work in practice. The distinct treatment—one chapter on entomology, the next on pathology, and so on—and the juxtaposition within the chapters of histories and case studies produces the experience of reading an introductory forensic science textbook, minus all the colorful photos and elucidative marginalia. While this might leave the academic reader feeling shortchanged, the average reader will be more than satisfied with a no-frills primer. Additionally, McDermid's experience as a crime writer and former journalist allows her to present the facts of the individual illustrative cases in compelling ways. Currency of the material is ensured through the use of recent court cases and consultation with practicing forensic scientists. VERDICT This title will primarily be relevant to readers with a general interest in forensic science/criminalistics, casual academics, true crime aficionados, and fans of McDermid's other works.— Ricardo Laskaris, York Univ. Lib., Toronto --Ricardo Laskaris (Reviewed June 15, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 11, p102)
  • From a bestselling mystery author, a curiosity-fueled look at the realities behind crime science. Scotland-based McDermid (The Skeleton Road, 2014, etc.) has published 29 novels, but she approaches the grisly realities of crime scenes and corpses with a neophyte's sense of wonder. In the preface, she notes that "crime fiction proper only began with an evidence-based legal system [that] those pioneering scientists and detectives bequeathed us." True to this notion of a historical debt, the author discusses forensic science's development by identifying the first cases solved by insect analysis, ballistics, and other once-radical tactics. She focuses on topics ranging from toxicology and blood spatter to innovations in DNA replication and forensic anthropology. For each, she provides an approachable scientific overview and a narrative of significant cases, interspersed with commentary from top forensic investigators (one of whom tartly observes about her peers' formidable senses of certainty, "they are not being trained to think that an opinion is an opinion"). McDermid is clearly fascinated by odd, obscure historical details—e.g., the French once called arsenic "inheritance powder"; fingerprinting was used in India and Argentina before it was trusted in England or America. The author establishes that public interest in forensics is nothing new; since the early 20th century, these new types of scientists were made into celebrities by "scores of journalists, hungry for a †̃scientist foils serial killer' headline." McDermid emphasizes the meticulousness of these professionals and claims that they learn from flawed cases, which become notorious among them, and for good reason: "If it suits the [defense] lawyer's narrative, they will undermine first a scientist's testimony and then their good name." The author concludes by arguing that accelerating innovations in forensic science make the apprehension of violent felons ever likelier, noting how DNA technology has solved numerous cold cases, and forensic anthropology has proved equally useful for investigating child pornographers and mass graves in Kosovo. A satisfying insider's excursion into the scientific realities behind CSI-style pop culture.(Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10428999
Cataloging source
BTCTA
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
McDermid, Val
Dewey number
363.25
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • portraits
  • plates
Index
index present
LC call number
HV8073
LC item number
.M3327 2015
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Forensic sciences
  • Forensic sciences
  • Criminal investigation
  • Criminal investigation
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
what bugs, burns, prints, DNA and more tell us about crime
Label
Forensics : what bugs, burns, prints, DNA, and more tell us about crime, Val McDermid
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
  • Date of publication from publisher's Web site
  • "First published by Profile Books in partnership with Wellcome Collection in the UK in 2014"--Title page verso
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-298) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The crime scene -- Fire scene investigation -- Entomology -- Pathology -- Toxicology -- Fingerprinting -- Blood spatter and DNA -- Anthropology -- Facial reconstruction -- Digital forensics -- Forensic psychology -- The courtroom
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
ix, 310 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780802123916
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations (some color), portraits
Stock number
1388894
System control number
  • 891609329
  • (OCoLC)891609329
Label
Forensics : what bugs, burns, prints, DNA, and more tell us about crime, Val McDermid
Publication
Copyright
Note
  • Date of publication from publisher's Web site
  • "First published by Profile Books in partnership with Wellcome Collection in the UK in 2014"--Title page verso
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-298) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The crime scene -- Fire scene investigation -- Entomology -- Pathology -- Toxicology -- Fingerprinting -- Blood spatter and DNA -- Anthropology -- Facial reconstruction -- Digital forensics -- Forensic psychology -- The courtroom
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
ix, 310 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780802123916
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations (some color), portraits
Stock number
1388894
System control number
  • 891609329
  • (OCoLC)891609329

Library Locations

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      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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