Forensics by Val McDermid

Forensics: The Anatomy of a Crime is a non-fiction book by Val McDermid which was released in 2014.

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Personally, I don’t often read non-fiction however I was drawn to this as it delves into the world which many of Vals books are set in. I usually don’t go for non-fiction as if not done well (especially with topics like this one) it can start to seem like a textbook and I don’t find myself interested enough to want to carry on reading.
This book is different however, the way it is written doesnt come accross as a textbook and doesn’s just state facts. It shares anecdotes and real life circumstances where the forensics have been used and evolved which gives the book more depth. I feel this is what allows the reader to become engaged and want to continue reading.
The world of crime and investigation is something that Val McDermid primarily writes about so it is interesting to see the research that has been done for this over many years of being an author.

I found this book to be very educational, I have read many crime novels and seen how the forensics have been portrayed but this allows you to learn the science behind it all. It shares different aspects of forensics from DNA, entomology (study of insects) to the use of poison as a murder weapon.
Not only does Val use this book to share the science behind these but also draws on real cases to share how they have been used in the past and how fornesic science has developed over the years.


The book doesn’t give any false conclusions and allows the reader to understand that although there may be scientific evidence linking this to crimes can often change an outcome. a lot depends on cicumstances and time and even with the forensics nothing is ever conclusive of guilt. It can be used alongside other evidence but rarely can it prove compete guilt.


I think that this was a good insight as often in books it can be seen as very black-and-white. The evidence is there so a conviction is made, in real life however it is often a different story and this book shares this.

I liked the way this book was structured with each ‘chapter’ discussing a different topic related to criminal forensics, including fire and bullet markings. This is something I liked as it allowed me to take the time to know that aspect before moving on. It provides a way to share many aspects without it becoming confusing and hard to read.

I would recommend this book as I thouroughly enjoyed it. If your a fan of forensics, crime novels and any of Val’s work this should definatly be added to your TBR list!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to like, comment and share)

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