Review by Alaina Joby, grade 9
Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget Heos
Interested in all things murder and mystery? Curious to know how murders are analyzed? Are murder mysteries really part of everyday life? This book is for you. Though, the concept of forensic science seems modern and complicated, it all started way back in ancient China. This book acts like a history encyclopedia containing different aspects of forensic sciences and how they came to be as developed as they are today. First up, poison tests. The famous arsenic poison cases of Mary Ann Cotton is introduced and the step by step procedures for its investigation is given in full detail. This chapter also introduces different methods for testing poison. The next chapter elaborates on the rise of medical coroners and autopsies and gives an insight into interesting fields like toxicology and forensic pathology. The Brides in the Bath case is explained along with a significant number of other murder cases and renowned people within their fields. The book also dedicates a portion to the first official detectives and elaborates on the story of Eugène François Vidocq – a criminal who uses his crime network to later help the law. Other topics this book focuses on are Firearm Analysis, Blood Analysis and DNA Testing. When I first saw the title, I thought it would be a violent read. Turns out, it is pretty interesting if you are into mystery and murder and want to read about real life cases. Though this book is a work of nonfiction, it is just as good as reading Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. The author uses a light tone while laying out the case and the investigation behind it, which is usually tinged with a little humour here and there that keeps the reader excited and focused. The book is fact filled and makes you want to join the FBI or MI7. The way the book is organized also helps readers. Each chapter talks about a specific field of Forensic science so you can just flip to a particular chapter to learn more about that field. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anybody curious as to how crimes are solved. Heos does an outstanding job in showing that baffling murder cases are not just a part of a Sherlock Holmes novel. They are part of everyday life. 4.5 stars.
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