The dead talk. To the right listener, they tell us all about themselves: how they lived, how they died--and who killed them.
Val McDermid uncovers the secrets of forensic medicine with groundbreaking research and her own experience. Along the way you'll wonder at how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine time of death and how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer.
©2014 Val McDermid (P)2014 W.F. Howes Ltd
"McDermid has the ruthless psychological scalpel that forms part of the equipment of all good novelists, whatever their genre. And, fortunately for us, she knows just how to use it." (Guardian)
Why oh why did the narrator have to use such phoney, annoying regional accents? The narration completely ruins the interesting and factual content of the book. Very disappointed that I was only able to listen to the book once, as I was so irritated by this dreadful narrator. The first listen was endured because of the interesting content, but the second attempt was abandoned before the end of chapter one. Peter Arnold doesn't speak in the way portrayed at all and his expertise is considerably demeanoured by it. TERRIBLE!
Very enjoyable listen, shows the incredible depth of research Val has done over the years and just how far forensics have come during our lifetimes. Particularly interesting to hear forensic insights into some high profile cases that I remember from the news.
Enjoyed, for the most part, the narration, my only criticism would be the varying accents used by the narrator when quoting passages from some of the experts. Some accents made me chuckle, some made me cringe. She has a lovely Scottish accent, very easy on the ear, I felt there was no real need to use different voices to emphasise the quotes of others.
Highly recommend this, especially if you are a fan of any crime writers or tv shows, not just the work of Val McDermid. Will listen again.
The book itself was great. The narration was AWFUL.
First of all I should say that book is a really interesting, nicely written and well researched piece of popular science. I just wish I had read it, rather than listened to it.
The problem was not with the general reading, the narrator had a nice reading voice. But when she gets to quoting people, for some reason someone thought it would be a good idea forget to attempt regional and national accents. That was s SERIOUSLY BAD idea. It's so bad!! So very very bad. She is incapable of doing ANY accent than her own. It's cringe worthy. I was embarrassed for her!
The American accent was possibly the worst, but the regional English accents were a close second. She manages to make people, who are undoubtedly highly intelligent experts in their field, sound like dim imbeciles from a Little Britain sketch. Maybe her regional Scottish accents were better, as she is Scottish, but given how TRULY AWFUL the others were I wouldn't be surprised if they were bad too.
It's not only that the use of accents were TOTALLY distracting (I cannot truly emphasise how distracting they were) it's that the use of them was also inconsistent and at times simply incorrect. I happen to have worked for one of the people quoted in the book - Clive Stafford Smith. He's a lawyer who has represented many people on death row in the U.S. The problem is that the narrator gives him an American accent. Stafford Smith has indeed worked and lived in the States, but he's from Cambridgeshire and speaks with an English accent. He's also relatively famous and is interviewed on TV fairly regularly, so there's no mistaking his accent. So it's just lazy that they got that wrong.
I know I'm going on and on about it, but that is symptomatic of how blummin' awful it was and that it completely ruined what was actually a great book. I can actually only assume that the book was even better than I think because I thought it was pretty good despite the TERRIBLE narration. Imagine what I'd have thought of it had been good!
The content of the book was super interesting, well researched and nicely written.
Enjoyed listening to this book. It provides an interesting insight into to world of forensics, as seen from the eyes of the experts. It highlights the many great forensic advances but tempers this with cautionary tales that in the wrong hands forensic evidence can be misinterpreted leading to dire consequences for some. Really worth a read!
very interesting, story superb reader not as good, her Scottish accent was a bit strong and read what she saw which sometimes was not the correct pronunciation.
If the narrator had stuck to her own accent -- which is actually pretty authoritative, clear and wonderful -- I'd have loved to listen to the whole book.
As it is, I'm bailing out after suffering through two hours.
Sarah Barron: no more accents. Ever again.
Unique in terms of content.
In terms of narration and the way you can be put off a really good book by a ruined narration, I'd put it up there with any one of Jot Davies's many crackers. Yes. That bad.
Sarah Barron, minus all of her distracting regional accents.
The content was great, so once I return the Audible book I'm going to buy a Kindle or paper copy.
I will pay closer attention to listeners' reviews from now on. I can't pretend I wasn't warned.
Love Val Mc Dermid's work, but the narrator's awful attempts at regional accents really spoiled my enjoyment of this book. The actual content gave a fascinating insight into the world of forensic science.
This is a thorough, fascinating and illuminating history of forensic science, by one of the queens of crime fiction. Sadly, the narrator mispronounces even common words, stresses phrases incorrectly, and puts on unnecessary and irritating accents when reading direct quotations. This did not stop me listening to the whole book, as the content is truly gripping, but it was a regular irritant throughout the book.
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