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Val McDermid is a hugely respected crime writer who has always been on my radar though I haven't read many of her books. I absolutely loved The Mermaids Singing, but found that other books I tried didn't really live up to the intensity of Mermaids. Actually I am sure I only tried one more of her books and found that for me, Mermaids was just special. However, this book came up in my Amazon Recommends and it looked pretty interesting. Forensic science is of course an interest for any crime fan: TV, book, comic whatever and I was interested in learning a little more but not from a science textbook. I found that this book didn't really tell me any more than I already knew about the science - with the exception of exactly how the geographic forensic science works - and I think the overabundance of shows like CSI, Criminal Minds and the like are probably the reason why. The book does attempt to separate fact from fiction though and set more realistic goals for forensic science, at least the public's perception of what can be done. The gold, though, in this book is the historical examples used to explain they key aspect of forensics being discussed in each chapter. They are absolutely fascinating and endlessly interesting. Val McDermid manages to straddle science and the layman very well, I never felt condescended to or that the science was beyond my reach. If anything it left me hungry for more - and she very helpfully provides further reading should you desire it. This is definitely not a dry book that loses your interest intermittently. I couldn't put it down most nights. And I slept pretty good too!