Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CBR4 #23: What the Corpse Revealed by Hugh Miller

As you well know, I've read several of these medical examiner books, and frankly, I was least impressed with this one. It's not that it was bad, necessarily. There were several cases laid out wherein forensics were used to find out what had happened to the victims. The writing was clear and relatively easy to read. The main issue was that all the stories were second-hand--the author, unlike the authors of the previous works I've read on this subject, was not personally involved as a forensic professional, but is just documenting the cases of others.

While I don't like TOO much personal stuff intruding into the case histories (see this season of Bones for an example of a perfectly-balanced procedural tipped over into "crappy family drama") there is something to be said for seeing a glimpse of the forensic pathologist behind the mask. The kind of people who seem to get into this profession are often interesting characters, and have a lot to add to any story that may involve them. It seems a shame to go too far the other way, leaving out the personal touch almost entirely.

As I said, this isn't a bad book for the genre, but it doesn't have any additional spark or personality to lift it above "informative" and into "exciting reading" territory.

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