Internationally bestselling crime writer Val McDermid picks up the scalpel to uncover the secrets of forensic science, from the crime scene to the courtroom
What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime
978-0-8021-2515-6 • $16.00 • Paperback • May 2016
Val McDermid is one of the finest crime writers we have, whose novels have captivated millions of readers worldwide with their riveting narratives of complex crimes and unimaginable evil. In the course of researching her bestselling novels, McDermid has become familiar with every branch of forensics, and now she uncovers the history of this science, real world murders, and the people who must solve them.
The dead talkto the right listener. They 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. Forensics goes behind the scenes with some of these top-level professionals and their groundbreaking research, drawing on Val McDermid’s own original 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.