Bodies We've Buried : Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World's Top CSI Training School
Two National Forensic Science Institute administrators invite readers into what the Washington Post calls "the Harvard of hellish violence"-the only hands-on CSI school of its kind where students are trained in burial recovery with actual human remains. With exclusive access to a world normally off-limits to the public, this is the first book to go behind the scenes of the ten-week course that discloses the uncensored realities of burial exhumations and the fascinating art of forensic investigation.
The latest authors to capitalize on the CSI craze are well situated to add something new to the literature. Hallcox and Welch run the National Forensic Academy, a state-of-the-art, hands-on crime scene investigation school for people in law enforcement, but those impressive credentials do not translate into a good read. Despite some interesting war stories, the bulk of the book is an overly technical, step-by-step description of the course of study given to academy students ("The problem, however, is that ninhydrin is not reliable when it comes to the zinc chloride process"), which is likely to glaze the eyes of all but the most die-hard fans of the genre. In addition, the authors' failed efforts at sardonic humor ("Though there are probably a few people we could think of to stick in front of a moving vehicle, our grant does not allow us to kill anybody"), and clunky, florid phrasing ("With the first lightning strike of a tree witnessed by man, he has forever been obsessed with this primordial heat") make what should have been a fascinating insider account a hard slog. B&w photos. (Jan. 3)
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April 30, 2007
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