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Written in Blood [Kindle Edition]

Mike Silverman , Tony Thompson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £18.99
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Book Description

As one of the UK’s leading forensic scientists, Mike Silverman has helped to identify and convict dozens of murderers, rapists, armed robbers, burglars and muggers, thanks to the evidence they – or their victims – unwittingly left behind at the scenes of their crimes.

Mike Silverman started his career in the days when fingerprints were still kept on card files and DNA profiling was just a pipe dream, so Written in Blood is more than just a casebook – it is also a definitive history of the development of forensic science over the course of the past thirty-five years.

From collecting blood samples at gangland executions to investigating forensic science failings, including in the murders of Rachel Nickell and Damilola Taylor, Mike Silverman’s unique career provides a fascinating insight into the ways forensic science is used to help solve real-life crimes.

Packed with genuine crime scene photographs and original sketches, Written in Blood is the ultimate insider’s account of the fascinating world of forensic science.

Product Description


"This is a book that every crime writer should have in their library." (Lynda La Plante)

"Prepare to be shocked as Silverman reveals what went on behind the scenes and demonstrates that scientists, even forensic scientists, are only human. If you like science, forensics, modern history and politics, or just a good read, you will enjoy this book." (The Biologist)

"Mike Silverman goes after the guilty - it's in his DNA. And it's not just criminals who are brought to book by his finely honed forensic skills. Written In Blood is an apt title. There's bucket-loads of it here. Silverman's special field of expertise is blood pattern analysis and he's very good at it." (Daily Express)

"Silverman gives fascinating insight into many of the cases that have dominated the headlines from 1974 until his retirement – cases such and Damilola Taylor, Rachel Nickell, Stephen Lawrence, Sally Clark and Jill Dando." (Alisdair Logan, The Justice Gap)

"This book is not for the faint-hearted. Don’t expect to tiptoe into the shallow end and ease yourself into the gory details. From the first page, Silverman gives you a sharp shove between the shoulderblades and sends you face-first into the pool." (Dr Anna Williams BBC Focus Magazine)

Book Description

The remarkable casebook of one of Britain's top forensic scientists

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 8469 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (13 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186,831 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very good read 22 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book, well written and very interesting. Having heard Mike Silverman on Radio 4 decided to get this book and wasn't disappointed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable casebook, or a good autobiography? 7 Mar. 2015
By Maggie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've given this book only three stars because I'm not allowed to give it three and a half.

The cover says that Written in Blood is "the remarkable casebook" of the author, but a more accurate sub-title would be "Mike Silverman's life in forensics". An autobiography is not a bad thing, but it isn't a casebook, and if you're reading this book for the case-histories it can be frustrating.

Take the example of Robert Napper, a murderer and prolific rapist. The story of how he was eventually brought to justice is fascinating. 41% into the book (it's Kindle - I can't give you a page number) there is a thumbnail sketch of Napper's early life, to the point where his mother tried and failed to alert the police to his crimes. But this is Mike Silverman's autobiography so it's chronological: Napper drops off the radar and comes back again at 58%, and again for its finale at 84%. At each stage, the story stops suddenly, and a new subject starts without even a sub-heading. When you're engrossed in the narrative and keen to see what happens next, that's a serious irritation.

The Case of the Babygro was particularly frustrating. The story is told around 45%, and seems complete - but we don't hear the punchline until we get to 92%, when we learn how a similar case would be managed in today's profit-oriented forensic science service, possibly with a very different outcome.

Mike Silverman weaves the chronological development of 20th-century forensic science into the story of his own life in an interesting and informative way, but the focus is on the life and the science, not the cases. When he writes a casebook, I'll read it.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I heard Mike Silverman on radio/podcast and the book is every bit as good as I expected. A fascinating insight into real world forensic science; as it is now and how it got there.

The cover seems to be aiming at a slightly different ("real life crime") demographic. "Packed with genuine crime scene photos" it proclaims, as if that were something to entice. Yes, there are some pictures, but if you really want to stare at blood and gore I dare say you'll be disappointed

The scientific aspects of this work are lightly woven into his story. This is not a text book or a "hard" read, but the complexity of the work and the skill of those that perform is very clear. It covers the technical advancements as well as the all too human failings.

He doesn't set out to "diss" CSI and other similar TV shows but there is the occasional reference to something that might not be realistic and I came away with the impression that the reality was more interesting, nuanced and human than the screen representations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To anyone even a little bit interested in Forensics or CSI, this is a great read. Mike succinctly describes a number of real cases that he worked on, giving the reader the lowdown on how these investigations actually proceed in the forensic workplace, which is often quite removed from the CSI fiction. Cleverly interspersed with these casework histories Mike describes the major aspects of his own career path, and provides some fascinating insight into the politics involved in the interplay between the Forensic Science Service and other major players in the world of crime investigation, events which ultimately led to the demise of the Home Office forensic science setup in the UK. I view the book as a former Forensic Scientist myself, but I think that any reader would get a lot out of this volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into forensic science 2 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although there is obviously a fair amount of science in the book, Mike Silverman makes his subject completely accessible to a non-scientific reader like me, especially through his sometimes horrific, sometimes amusing, but always fascinating anecdotes. It was a real eye opener in many ways - from the politics to the explanation of what a forensic scientist really does. It will certainly change the way I read crime novels in future!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Written in blood 18 Mar. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
very technical ,had to skip some pages !!! However, fascinating having an inside view .To be fair the book is actually for my grand daughter who is studying forensics,thought i would just have a quick read before i passed it on !! It is interesting to see how the world of dna has come on since the sixties !!
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