I received this book as an advance copy via NetGalley because I have had a morbid fascination for this science for a while. I did not get along with it when I first read it closer to its publication date and I set it aside. For some strange reason I started it yesterday and the pages just flew by! I wonder if this has happened to many of you?
I do not like reading of war and strife and suffering of any kind but I have always had a strange affinity to reading murder mysteries (Not thrillers, but the mysteries where there is one murder or many, and an analysis is performed on the surroundings ). I could even watch the TV serial Bones without flinching. I believe most people could not stomach the detail that the human body was explored on it, but I never faced any issues but I turn away and cry at almost any sign of trouble otherwise.
I thought this would be a book that would help me understand what drew me into the orbit of liking forensics. The first time I picked up the book, and the first few chapters provide a lot of detail about the author and her childhood. This did not hold my attention for long but when I started reading it all over again yesterday, it did not matter any more. The reason the author gives for going into those details is to indicate her approach to death as a whole. The question of identity:
[how much alterations can a biological entity sustain while remaining recognisable as the same individual and maintaining its traceable identity]
that goes along with it as well as the value that human life has. This is not a collection of success stories though, it is a mixed bag. It is informational, detail oriented but very interesting. There are facts slipped in ,ones I might carry these with me to be used to play a role in some gathering where I can pull one of them out and astound my audience. After such a long time in the occupation of a forensic anthropology, Sue Black has provided a very comprehensive look at what goes on in her head and how she got there. It is not just an outlook on death but as she put in her title, all that remains after it.
I would recommend this as a must read for anyone with an avid interest in anything to do we us as people and what comes as part and parcel of a person who spends her time trying to find important answers in our physical remains.