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on 27 September 2016
Well written and engaging. Simpson was clearly a cut above (no pun) his contemporaries and was obviously a front-runner in his discipline. The book shows how rudimentary the field of Pathology was at the time, and apart from a few novel tests for blood grouping and the like, the methodology was still fairly crude.
Simpson illustrates some contempt for several of his more ham-fisted peers, which appears to be based more on personality differences than professional ineptitude. The man obviously did not suffer fools.

Also worth reading is his secretary's account of some if his cases. Molly Lefebure's book Murder on the home front' illustrates her sincere partisanship for Simpson but also gives her own accounts of some notable cases. Both of these books are worth a read for those with a sense of history.
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on 13 August 2012
This is a very interesting book indeed, especially for anyone interested in the investigation of crime and pathology, written as it is by one of the leading practitioners of the twentieth century. Prof. Simpson writes in an interesting way which is intelligble to the non specialist, though by its very nature it is not a book for the squeamish. He writes from his own knowledge and has worked on many well known cases - Hanratty, Haigh, Christie, Lord Lucan and many others from the 1930s to the 1970s. Don't expect much about his non-working career, though. He includes some humour as well to leaven the otherwise pretty grim material which he covers.

However, I can't quite give this five stars. There are a number of factual errors - the Brabin investigation was not 15 years after the Scott-Henderson one, for instance. The Hampshire detective (Supt. Roberts I recall) praised in the Brenda Nash chapter did not have a 100% rate of success up to 1964 - no one was ever convicted for the Yvonne Laker murder of 1964 (oddly enough it was Simpson who carried out the pm on her but he forgets the case, which did not have a happy ending). Perhaps more glaringly he declares that Dr Bodkin Adams was innocent; it is now generally thought he was a serial killer second only to Shipman in his body count.

Simpson's likes and dislikes come across strongly - admiration for Dr Teare but not for Francis Camps.

There's also a couple of cases where Dr Simpson does not give details of the conclusions to some of his cases; there's one in the 1930s for instance, which I would have liked to have known more about.

Simpson declares at the end he has no sympathy for murdered prostitutes or drug addicts as they don't contribute to society but he does have sympathy for young mothers who die before their time. I wonder what he felt about women who fell into both camps (eg Kathleen Maloney and Rita Nelson).

However, these are fairly minor gripes and overall I enjoyed this greatly and found much of benefit and interest.
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on 8 February 2015
This book came highly recommended and my husband was very keen to read it, but the print was awful. So difficult to read that we sent it back. When this was ordered (for Christmas) it did not arrive on time, therefore I contacted Amazon who immediately sent out another book. Both books arrived within a day of each other and both were of the same print. Such a shame as we'd like to read the book and its not available in any book shop! I'm sure it would be a great read if the print was readable!!
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on 17 March 2018
Great to get hold of a copy of this fascinating book at a reasonable price. Description of condition was accurate and delivery was very quick. Appreciated the hand written note of thanks - added a personal touch.
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on 4 April 2016
This book has to be one of my favourite autobiographies of a medical physician. It goes into a lot of depth of the cases he worked on and also the life he had within his career. The Photographs within the book give a great visual into what he has to deal with and also in my opinion a lot go reality to what he is saying. To anyone who loves forensics or medicine this book is for you.
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on 29 December 2013
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my girlfriend as she loves reading this kind of stuff. It's now 29th December and she has almost finished it. She cannot put it down. According to my girlfriend there is a lot of medical detail about the crime scene and less about the motives of the crime itself; after all, Simpson was a forensic scientist. So if you're after a 'who done it?' kind of book then this might not be for you. I asked my girlfriend to choose the best word that describes the book and she said 'fascinating'.
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on 16 July 2008
read this book in 1980, reccommended to me by my boss (a professor in Histology and Pathology) who had picked up a copy when he was in London for a congress. I bought it and well... I was more than intrigued by it. I read it in less than 2 days, just couldn't put it away.
Forensic pathology is very popular these days. Back in 1980 it wasn't a subject displayed in dozens of tv-series.
Made it even more interesting, by the way. Makes the imagination run wild.
My copy is nowhere to be found alas, so I bought another one today. Can't wait for it to arrive. I'm sure I will dive into forensics matters again with a lot of GUSTO! (GRIN). A breathless absorbing read.
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on 22 September 2015
This is my favourite EVER book. The reason I was buying it was my copy finally fell to pieces. For anyone interested in forensics this is the daddy of all books. Proffesor Keith Simpson was a true pioneer and years ahead of his time. I cannot estimate the times I have read this book.
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on 14 February 2018
yes very good read
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on 2 November 2017
A superb account of Keith Simpson's career
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