Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime, by Val McDermid

I’ve loved Val McDermid’s crime fiction for years, but I have to be in the right mood to read non-fiction. The stars finally aligned this month, and I devoured this delightful offering over the course of a couple of weeks.

McDermid does an excellent job of enlightening the reader on a myriad of forensic techniques. The content is never dry, and is packed full of both modern and historical examples to show how the theory works in practice. It wasn’t necessarily something I could read for long chunks at a time, but each time I came away feeling that I’d both learned something, and in the most morbid of senses, also been entertained.

McDermid has a knack of knowing just how to speak to her reader. We plunge as far back at 7000 BC, but there are also nods to popular culture – CSI, Gil Grissom, even a Harry Potter reference. The depth of her research can only impact positively on her fiction, and as ever, I remain in happy anticipation of whatever McDermid produces next.

[Read from 8-20 November 2-16]

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