Following Crime Has Never Been This Interesting!

Bridget Heos’ Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA is no ordinary non-fiction book. It is, in fact, one of the few books that not only educates you about the history of crime solving but also tells you how forensic science was able to solve some of the classic cases and helped in bringing the perpetrator to justice.

The back cover suggests that the book would be ideal for fans of Sherlock Holmes and TV show Crime Scene Investigation; but in reality, it is just the opposite as it is an ideal read for anyone who is remotely connected to crime – be it as a fan, as a follower or even a potential detective. Not only does it chronologically tells the readers how forensic science evolved over the years but it also pays tribute to the brains who gave the field everything to make life easier for generations to come.

So, how forensic science came into being for the first time? This book includes one of the earliest instances of a Chinese coroner Zhang Ju who burnt two boars (one dead and one alive) as early as 270 CE to solve a case where a man was burnt but nobody could assess if he was dead at that time or alive.

There is also a lot of text on the burning courts where the French authorities held trials for heretics; then there are cases where a single lost key helped the police look for a murderer while in one instance, the coroner solved a case by just taking a look at a body part that was found lying around in the city.

Covering cases from all over the world must have been a hefty task for the author who connects two unrelated cases brilliantly with amazing use of words and doesn’t let you take your eyes off the book at any time. How could you put aside the book when you are reading about one George Joseph Smith who murdered three of his wives soon after marrying them and left 5 others penniless and was caught with the help of forensic science or how the mother of forensic science, Frances Glessner Lee, served as an inspiration for the character of Jessica Fletcher in hit TV show Murder, She Wrote.

Add to that the humble beginnings of databases that started from gathering simple fingerprints to currently in use DNA analysis and forensic anthropology and you have a reading material that will give enlighten you [on everything crime you] to the core.

As the book moves into the last 100 years, it talks about the cases that inspired TV shows and films with the Sam Sheppard case being credited as the one behind the popularity of The Fugitive. The execution of a Romanov family also finds a place in this collection simply because forensic scientists first used their methods to uncover the Tsar and his family’s hidden grave and second to prove that a woman who claimed to be Princess Anastasia was mentally unstable, as the real daughter of Tsar Nicholas II couldn’t survive the execution.

Be it the loopholes in state laws, cases where an innocent man is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit or the murders that remain unsolved, the book tackles nearly everything related to crime in any capacity. In fact, one should be mentally prepared to be engrossed in the narrative because here, missing one detail will cost you more than just ‘missing a detail’. The happiness one draws from reading the conclusion of a case that initially baffled all is irreplaceable and makes this book a must-read.

Every crime leaves some evidence and this book tells you exactly how to use that evidence to solve cases that would have been challenging without the modern marvels of science. The books uses the clever use of illustration to cater to the young readers. The incorporated images and pictures take you through the many phases of the criminal investigation. This book will also make you suspect everyone as no one can be exonerated until and unless cleared by forensics. It also discusses the different kinds of crimes and treats document analysis, currency and art forgery as well as murders as the same thing. From the cases that hit the headlines to accumulating and analysing key evidence or from crime scene to the courtroom, this book brings to you everything that you need to understand about crimes and criminal investigations.

Yesteryears’ ‘how can you solve a crime’ has now become ‘how soon can you solve a crime’ in the new millennium, thanks to this amazing book. This branch of criminology existed for a long time but the kind of attention it has received after the airing of Crime Scene Investigation has no parallel. Author Dr. Zakaria Erzinçlioðlu explains investigative techniques to the normal readers so that the next time they come across a crime scene, they know exactly what to preserve, what to observe and what not to do. The book also discusses the development of this modern way of crime solving that has evolved big time since the days of Sherlock Holmes. Everything from crimes to criminals, modus operandi to different kinds of poisons, drugs, and pieces of evidence are revealed in way that will improve your knowledge, in fact, multiply it manifolds. – Omair Alavi