Book Rating (29)
Narrator Rating (12)

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us about Crime

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Sarah Barron

11 Hours 22 Minutes

HighBridge Company

July 2015

Audio Book Summary

Val McDermid is one of the finest crime writers we have, whose novels have captivated millions of listeners worldwide with their riveting narratives of characters who solve complex crimes and confront unimaginable evil. In the course of researching her bestselling novels, McDermid has become familiar with ever branch of forensics, and now she uncovers the history of this science, real-world murders, and the people who must solve them.

The dead talk-to the right listener. They can tell us 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 human traces. Forensics draws on interviews with some of these top-level professionals, groundbreaking research, and Val McDermid's own original interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientist.

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 for its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.

A former journalist and Northern Bureau Chief of a national UK tabloid, Val McDermid is the bestselling author of The Skeleton Road and twenty-eight previous novels, three story collections, and the nonfiction book A Suitable Job for a Woman, an inside look at female private investigators. She lives in Scotland. 

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  • Mikaela Wang

    I'm finding the narrators accent highly distracting and I cannot concentrate on a topic that I love.

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  • Beba S

    I have to agree the accent may be fine for someone used to hearing it but I can not concentrate on the content it is very distracting ol

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  • Anonymous

    I am a forensic pathologist and I love reading about the history of forensic science. Working in the American system it was also really interesting to hear a primarily European perspective. I loved this book and the reader was good even though she did a terrible American accent :)

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  • Jami R.

    Great book.

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  • DrZaco

    A fan of scientific methods as applied to CSI, I found this a great listen. The Scottish accent adds atmosphere of the locale; I had no problem with understanding. I love when Sarah tries to use an American accent.

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  • Mark Olson

    The book was very informative, but the Narrator's accent was a little bit distracting.

    Book Rating