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Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime (2014)

af Val McDermid

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6122629,494 (3.84)21
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 draws 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 novels, McDermid has been solving complex crimes and confronting unimaginable evil for years. Now, she's looking at the people who do it for real. 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.… (mere)
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» Se også 21 omtaler

Engelsk (25)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (26)
Viser 1-5 af 26 (næste | vis alle)
nonfiction! fascinating, but does take a little time to sink into (i.e., not a quick read, but still an enjoyable one--in whatever way the subjects of maggots and decay and murders and other grisly crimes might be called "enjoyable"). ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
This was exactly the right book for my easily distracted brain. With each chapter covering a different aspect of forensics, from fingerprints to profiling to forensic anthropology, McDermid never dives too deeply into any one subject, but each chapter is well-organized and she includes relevant historical criminal cases to illustrate how each subject can make a difference in discovering what happened, who the victim and perpetrator are and ensure that the accused is convicted. This is a fun introduction to the various fields that comprise forensics. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | May 22, 2020 |
I found this book interesting. Might not want to have lunch during certain chapters though!

There’s a great chapter on psychological profiling. ( )
  RaggedyMandy | Apr 22, 2020 |
Modern criminal convictions are now reliant on the work of the forensic scientist. Carefully analysis of a scene can reveal secrets of what happened, sometimes from beyond the grave. A single hair, or a speck of blood on a coat can reveal so much information about the last moments of someone’s life and allow close and justice. McDermid is best know for her gritty crime fiction, but in this book she is talking with the experts and recalling the origins of all types of forensic science. There are interesting chapters on DNA and blood splatter, extracting details from the scene of a fire, the history of fingerprints and how they are still used in modern crime investigations and how anthropology and facial reconstruction can bring the people alive once again.

McDermid has blended fairly well the history of forensics and early developments along with the more exacting modern day techniques. It is a reasonably accessible book, not too challenging scientifically, with a good narrative all the way through. It is a bit gory at times, not exactly the best thing to read when eating your lunch, and there are a reasonable number of photographs and illustrations to enhance the text. The final chapter on the actual trial is quite an eye opener, as she gets the experts to describe the way that they are treated in the adversarial battleground that is the modern court room. Overall worth reading I thought. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Forensics by Val McDermid takes a look at the variety of techniques and tools (forensic science) used by criminal investigators to solve a variety of crimes. Topics surveyed in this book include: the crime scene and preserving evidence; fire scene investigation; entomology; toxicology; pathology; fingerprinting; DNA; anthropology; facial reconstruction; digital forensics; forensic psychology; and how forensics is presented in the courtroom. McDermid takes a look at how each of these techniques developed, the history behind the methods and how they are used or not used (mostly for cost reasons).

An interesting aspect that the author brings us is that there are no definitive rules or results. Every forensic conclusion can be stained with doubt and no single forensic test is the only conclusive evidence of guilt. Additional information can be also obtained from old evidence as scientific techniques progresses, specific analyses become more refined or new techniques are developed.

McDermid has a lovely, clear writing style and makes use of large variety of examples to elucidate the various topics she covers. I found this book to be somewhat interesting and to provide an introductory overview of the forensic techniques used to solve crimes. I did, however, want to read more about the actual science behind all the forensic techniques. This book is just too superficial. ( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
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Val McDermidprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Aalberts, GiesOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Barron, SarahReadermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Krijgsman, EdwinOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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For Cameron, with love

Without science, there would be no you; without you, the future would offer a much narrower prospect. Good stuff, science.
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The face of justice we know today has not always been judicious. (Preface)
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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 draws 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 novels, McDermid has been solving complex crimes and confronting unimaginable evil for years. Now, she's looking at the people who do it for real. 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.

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