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I’m working my way through my 20 Books of Summer; currently I’m on book number 10 (way behind schedule), so thought I should start catching up on reviews, beginning with the two non-fiction reads I picked up.

All That Remains by Sue Black

Sue Black confronts death every day. As Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology, she focuses on mortal remains in her lab, at burial sites, at scenes of violence, murder and criminal dismemberment, and when investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident or natural disaster.

I really like Professor Dame Sue Black (to give her her full title), having watched her TV series a few years ago (History Cold Case if you are interested and can find it), and I was very keen to buy her book and read it immediately. Of course she is very matter of fact in describing her career and experiences and her general views on death but she is also immensely compassionate; some of the most moving parts of the book are where she talks about the cadaver that she and her lab partner worked on for a year when they were learning anatomy; an elderly man who had left his body to science for this very purpose.

I saw a little video of her talking about the book, and she refers to herself as a Martini Girl (any time, any place, anywhere – hands up all those from the 1970s!) as her expertise means she is often called in to help in times of disaster. She talks in great detail about her time in Kosovo, gruelling and not for the faint-hearted.

It’s a very positive book, encouraging us to accept death as an inevitable part of life. She is a treasure!

Black Dahlia, Red Rose by Piu Eatwell

In this ground-breaking book, Piu Eatwell reveals compelling forensic and eye-witness evidence for the first time, which finally points to the identity of the murderer.

Or does it? I’ve read (mostly fictional to be fair) accounts of the Black Dahlia case before so was intrigued to see to get my hands on this one. I am happy to admit my interest in true crime, and this is up there with Jack the Ripper as unsolved and open to many, many theories, some of them sensational and implausible.

At the time of the murder the relationship between the press and the police was almost incestuous, and corruption in the force was rife. The focus was very much on the gruesome and scandalous elements of the case and many of the pieces were very judgemental about the lifestyle of the victim, Elizabeth Short.

Più Eatwell has worked through the documents and has come up with a plausible solution to the crime which seems to fit the facts as she presents them, but as with all of these books there is always an element of doubt – unless you are an expert in the detail yourself (and I am definitely not) it’s hard to say if anything has been left out, but taken at face value this seems very convincing. Of course her conclusion has not gone unchallenged, especially by those with their own agendas, and it’s hard to see what, if anything, will happen next.

 

 

 

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Bride of the Book God

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Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

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