free hit counter code Traces: The memoir of a forensic scientist and criminal investigator - GoBooks - Download Free Book
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Traces: The memoir of a forensic scientist and criminal investigator

Availability: Ready to download

Professor Patricia Wiltshire will take you on a journey through the fascinating edgeland where nature and crime are intertwined. She'll take you searching for bodies of loved ones - through woodlands, along hedgerows, field-edges, and through plantations - solving time since death, and disposal of remains, from ditches to living rooms. She will give you glimpses of her own Professor Patricia Wiltshire will take you on a journey through the fascinating edgeland where nature and crime are intertwined. She'll take you searching for bodies of loved ones - through woodlands, along hedgerows, field-edges, and through plantations - solving time since death, and disposal of remains, from ditches to living rooms. She will give you glimpses of her own history: her loves, her losses, and the narrow little valley in Wales where she first woke up to the wonders of the natural world. Pat will show you how her work with a microscope reveals tell-tale traces of the world around us, and how these have taken suspects of the darkest criminal activities to court. From flowers, fungi, tree trunks to car pedals, walking boots, carpets, and corpses' hair, Traces is a unique book on life, death, and one's indelible link with nature.


Compare
Ads Banner

Professor Patricia Wiltshire will take you on a journey through the fascinating edgeland where nature and crime are intertwined. She'll take you searching for bodies of loved ones - through woodlands, along hedgerows, field-edges, and through plantations - solving time since death, and disposal of remains, from ditches to living rooms. She will give you glimpses of her own Professor Patricia Wiltshire will take you on a journey through the fascinating edgeland where nature and crime are intertwined. She'll take you searching for bodies of loved ones - through woodlands, along hedgerows, field-edges, and through plantations - solving time since death, and disposal of remains, from ditches to living rooms. She will give you glimpses of her own history: her loves, her losses, and the narrow little valley in Wales where she first woke up to the wonders of the natural world. Pat will show you how her work with a microscope reveals tell-tale traces of the world around us, and how these have taken suspects of the darkest criminal activities to court. From flowers, fungi, tree trunks to car pedals, walking boots, carpets, and corpses' hair, Traces is a unique book on life, death, and one's indelible link with nature.

30 review for Traces: The memoir of a forensic scientist and criminal investigator

  1. 4 out of 5

    Petra-X

    Update I got this book because I read a review which was going on about the insensitivity towards a deceased black woman as the author was unable to process the hair in a way she needed to. But the reviewer complained about how she should have consulted a black hairstylist and how the solution a pathologist suggested made them feel ill. I had a bad racial experience myself with hair so my ranty self was all primed to read it. What happened to me was that I had an operation in the local hospital a Update I got this book because I read a review which was going on about the insensitivity towards a deceased black woman as the author was unable to process the hair in a way she needed to. But the reviewer complained about how she should have consulted a black hairstylist and how the solution a pathologist suggested made them feel ill. I had a bad racial experience myself with hair so my ranty self was all primed to read it. What happened to me was that I had an operation in the local hospital and had to be showered and have my hair-washed by nurse, I was not allowed to do anything except stand there. The nurse they sent, a Filipino woman (view spoiler)[married to the brother of my long-term FWB (Welsh, but lives on the island just up the road from me, which was handy for an FWB). (hide spoiler)] She complained that she couldn't get a comb through my hair, she was quite awful about it and threw the comb down saying she would have to get another nurse. We can't all have sleek, black Asian hair dear, much as I might like to exchange it for my red curls. (The nurse who came, a Scottish lady with wavy hair, had no issues). But the incident in the book was nothing to do with race at all, it was the author's technique for releasing pollen and botanical particles from the corpse's hair didn't work and the pathologist's did (but it made me feel ill too. I'm never going to have a face lift). Anyway on with the book which is hovering between 5 star and 10 star at the moment. ________________ Can you imagine the sort of patience it requires to go through the weave of an article of clothing and pick out the minuscule pollen particles, sort them, then count them, sometimes into the thousands? But knowing what pollen there is might mean a story of a crime is credible because those plants are in that locality, or conversely that it isn't true, someone is lying. This might mean the difference between freedom and years in prison, so someone has to laboriously count those pollen particles, and it seems very few forensic scientists besides the author are doing so. I can quite understand why.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)

    The joy of finishing an audiobook after three months yayyyyyy XD Traces was an interesting listen and with a good narrator. It doesn't hold back on details for real-life crime scenes or different aspects of forensic science. It was quite slow in pacing, however I'm glad that I did stick it out to the ending. The chapters about the author's life were OK but a little distracting from the main topics of criminal investigation. I listened to this on BookBeat UK. Book- 4 stars Narrator- 4 stars Final rat The joy of finishing an audiobook after three months yayyyyyy XD Traces was an interesting listen and with a good narrator. It doesn't hold back on details for real-life crime scenes or different aspects of forensic science. It was quite slow in pacing, however I'm glad that I did stick it out to the ending. The chapters about the author's life were OK but a little distracting from the main topics of criminal investigation. I listened to this on BookBeat UK. Book- 4 stars Narrator- 4 stars Final rating- 4 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andi C Buchanan

    A disappointment. Wiltshire's actual scientific work is definitely interesting, and so is her career path, and I can forgive the paragraphs of extraneous detail as a sign of her enthusiasm for her work. But this book is marred by a patronising tone, some "kids these days" asides. Worse, her language and framing of sexual assault cases is at best problematic, and one brief scene - what she and a colleague did when she couldn't wash pollen out of a dead Black woman's hair because she was unused to A disappointment. Wiltshire's actual scientific work is definitely interesting, and so is her career path, and I can forgive the paragraphs of extraneous detail as a sign of her enthusiasm for her work. But this book is marred by a patronising tone, some "kids these days" asides. Worse, her language and framing of sexual assault cases is at best problematic, and one brief scene - what she and a colleague did when she couldn't wash pollen out of a dead Black woman's hair because she was unused to the hair texture - hardcore horrified me. I know that once you get to the autopsy table things aren't pretty, but the flippancy with which she told this anecdote (I am sparing you the details) and that it seemingly never occurred to her that obvious next step would be to consult a Black hairstylist for their expertise, actually made me feel a bit ill. I'm also reading "all that remains" by Sue Black, and the contrast here with Black's blunt, confident, but ultimately compassionate style is striking - and not at all in Wiltshire's favour.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Welton

    **May contain spoilers.** I wobbled between giving this a 3* or 2* rating because, to be fair, large chunks of the book are actually very interesting. The author obviously loves the natural world and writes rich, poetic, gloriously detailed descriptions of the places she's been. She also loves the challenge of puzzling out crime-scenes and solving the seemingly unsolvable. She had a fantastic depth of knowledge of botany and she knows how to put disparate facts together. If only she had stuck to t **May contain spoilers.** I wobbled between giving this a 3* or 2* rating because, to be fair, large chunks of the book are actually very interesting. The author obviously loves the natural world and writes rich, poetic, gloriously detailed descriptions of the places she's been. She also loves the challenge of puzzling out crime-scenes and solving the seemingly unsolvable. She had a fantastic depth of knowledge of botany and she knows how to put disparate facts together. If only she had stuck to that subject area in the book, I could have forgiven the repetition of endless lists of palynomorphs, and the frequency of being told the reason for looking at them. The repetition was exhausting and detracted from the flow. Sometimes entire paragraphs were repeated, sometimes full sentences, sometimes just phrases. The word 'exquisite', for example, is overused to the point of annoyance. Mostly, however, the same idea was expressed four or five times each chapter, with slight modification of the phrasing, as though there wasn't enough to write about and she was trying to pad it out. Parts of the book, however, are autobiographical, and these parts are painful. I got the strong feeling that not enough people paid the author attention when she was young, so she needs to remind everyone how clever, innovative and popular she is; and she does so frequently. She describes herself as the favourite of her grandmother/headmaster/father in law/ and so on. Who does that? She is also depressingly quick to point out how misguided/ ignorant/ uneducated/ lacking in intuition many of her co-workers and colleagues are, but luckily she was there to save the day! Again, this self-aggrandising just doesn't do it for me. Let the bulk of your work stand for itself. Do not beat me over the head with your magnificence.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Debumere

    Cannot review as did not finish. Bored of the plant talk at the start but will try again another time.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This was a really interesting memoir from Patricia Wiltshire, who is a forensic ecologist who looks at how the environment/nature may help the police solve crimes. I'm not sure why the publisher decided not to put that on the front cover, instead they put 'forensic scientist and criminal investigator' which is quite vague and doesn't tell you what the book is really about This was really interesting. I didn't know forensic ecologist was a job before reading this book, so I definitely learnt a lot This was a really interesting memoir from Patricia Wiltshire, who is a forensic ecologist who looks at how the environment/nature may help the police solve crimes. I'm not sure why the publisher decided not to put that on the front cover, instead they put 'forensic scientist and criminal investigator' which is quite vague and doesn't tell you what the book is really about This was really interesting. I didn't know forensic ecologist was a job before reading this book, so I definitely learnt a lot It was also nice to learn about Patricia's personal life and how she ended up being a forensic ecologist. It was fascinating. My biggest complaint with this book was that it was quite technical at times. There was a lot of scientific jargon. It was quite dry in places as well. I also found some bits repetitive too. Other than that, it was a great read. It was incredibly interesting and I enjoyed reading about all the cases she has worked on. If you liked unnatural causes by DR Richard shepherd, I think you'll really like this TW: Graphic descriptions of real life crimes

  7. 5 out of 5

    Liz Wilson

    There is no doubt that Patricia Wiltshire has lived a very interesting life and is a strong candidate for an autobiography of this type. As the first forensic botanist in the UK, she has much to share of interest and I was hoping for some gripping tales of her involvement in solving crimes. However, I am sad to report, that the writing, organisation and editing of this book is so poor that it was a real effort to stay with it to the end. Also, the mix of personal and professional was quite odd, There is no doubt that Patricia Wiltshire has lived a very interesting life and is a strong candidate for an autobiography of this type. As the first forensic botanist in the UK, she has much to share of interest and I was hoping for some gripping tales of her involvement in solving crimes. However, I am sad to report, that the writing, organisation and editing of this book is so poor that it was a real effort to stay with it to the end. Also, the mix of personal and professional was quite odd, with far too much personal opinion included on frankly irrelevant matters, where she came across as quite judgemental at times. The stories, when they were included, were narrated in such a dull way and, given the recent interest in junk science and wrongful convictions, did not persuade me of the veracity of her methods. To be clear, I am not doubting the integrity of her work but she failed to adequately explain it; indeed the tone throughout seemed to assume that the reader was stupid. I felt as if my elderly aunt, with little time for the younger generation, was trying to patronisingly explain her life to me. This is not necessarily a fault of Wiltshire, but the editors on this book should consider how they managed to allow any enjoyment to be sapped from a-no-doubt-interesting life story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This was a really fascinating read about how plants, in particular pollen spores, can help to solve crimes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katia M. Davis

    I'm not surprised Richard Shepherd gave a quote for this as it carries a similar condescending tone as his book. I read this over two evenings and was hoping for something a little more interesting because I enjoy this field of work. I've some experience analysing starch residues in archaeology during the late '90s, and thought this would be right up my street but was put off by the dry, repetative narrative. It must be hard to write a work-based memoir without colouring the narrative with perso I'm not surprised Richard Shepherd gave a quote for this as it carries a similar condescending tone as his book. I read this over two evenings and was hoping for something a little more interesting because I enjoy this field of work. I've some experience analysing starch residues in archaeology during the late '90s, and thought this would be right up my street but was put off by the dry, repetative narrative. It must be hard to write a work-based memoir without colouring the narrative with personal emotional baggage. Parts of it felt forced, and said more about the author's attitude towards personal relationships and the youth of today than forensics. Maybe it's a generation thing, but it soured me to the rest of the book. The actual cases were interesting, if somewhat repetitive in discussion of protocol. If you can get through the attitude, you might find this interesting but it's not one of my favourites.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Wiltshire helps the police with investigations by analysing soil and pollen and various other aspects of the natural world. In this memoir she talks about her work with the police, growing up in Wales and how her studies led her to be a forensic ecologist. This was fascinating and it was amazing to learn how a small piece of dirt can tell the professionals where a body is likely to be buried and if the suspect is truly the killer. Science is truly enlightening.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christine Blake

    Very interesting memoir giving an insight into the profession of the forensic ecologist, mixed in with personal history. The jump from one to the other seemed a little forced at times, but there is much to learn and enjoy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sophy H

    A fantastic book that I loaned from the library yesterday and I've finished already having devoured the words like a kid in a sweetshop! This is not your normal forensic science memoir; Patricia Wiltshire doesn't deal with fingerprints and DNA, she deals in matter! Matter that we can't escape interacting with when we interact with nature. She deals in pollen, soil, microscopic spores and other magical substances. The success of this book lies in its variety. Patricia gives us a little of her his A fantastic book that I loaned from the library yesterday and I've finished already having devoured the words like a kid in a sweetshop! This is not your normal forensic science memoir; Patricia Wiltshire doesn't deal with fingerprints and DNA, she deals in matter! Matter that we can't escape interacting with when we interact with nature. She deals in pollen, soil, microscopic spores and other magical substances. The success of this book lies in its variety. Patricia gives us a little of her history growing up in Wales, her parent's relationship, her grandmother, her school days. Then she goes into a bit of science and a murder case, then its back to her early days in different jobs and the route she took to become a forensic investigator. Then back to the science and a rape case. The story is fascinating, intriguing, informative without being gruesome, matter of fact yet sensitive to victim and family. Patricia has a way of explaining that feels expert without being patronising. I was interested to read that she started life as an avid chapel goer and attended twice on Sundays! Now, after a career in science and witnessing death in its many facets, she is an ardent Atheist. Two phrases stuck with me from her writing. They are as follows:- "Your body is your own for only a short time; the elements from which it is made are only borrowed from the outside world, and you must give them back eventually......" ".......How wonderful to be reincarnated as a bluebell, an oak tree, and a lovely beetle all at the same time. It will certainly happen whether you like the idea or not. I find this concept very appealing and I know that my husband's molecules and mine will mingle. Our ashes will be spread in the same place so we might even both end up in the same tree or bluebell. How marvellous! When the tree or bluebell die and their corpses decompose, our molecules may be released again and taken up by yet other living things. The elements that make up our bodies will exist as long as the Earth revolves around the Sun". Patricia, you're on my wavelength girl.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben Wheatcroft

    Traces is an in depth, detailed memoir of Professor Patricia Wiltshire’s experience and growth within the field of forensic ecology. It describes in sometimes eye opening detail her drive to not only grow the field of palynology within the forensic community but to establish it as a widely accepted discipline. As a student studying forensic pathology and biomedical science her memoir was both engaging and thought provoking. Whilst reading Traces I sometimes found myself doubting some of the proc Traces is an in depth, detailed memoir of Professor Patricia Wiltshire’s experience and growth within the field of forensic ecology. It describes in sometimes eye opening detail her drive to not only grow the field of palynology within the forensic community but to establish it as a widely accepted discipline. As a student studying forensic pathology and biomedical science her memoir was both engaging and thought provoking. Whilst reading Traces I sometimes found myself doubting some of the procedures I thought were fundamental and undoubtedly the best way to solve a problem. As someone who’s never really found true love for the natural world, I have grown to both have a vague understanding of the unlimited amount of trace evidence and false leads she has dealt with but a newfound respect for the world we as humans intermingle with on the daily. Without a doubt I recommend reading this book if you are a student of any sort of forensic field or well established within the field. It was page turning for me from front to back and with nuances of her past life really made me engage and understand what she was trying to convey and gain both a respect and appreciation for both her and her work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    The in depth delve into how she was able to use pollen to convict murderers was so so interesting. The personal history was unfortunately less so. To make matters worse, the entirety of the personal anecdotes are for some reason found in the back half completely out of chronological order. The front half is a five star read and the back half just dallies around unfocused and frankly uninteresting, which is a shame. Also I am not sure if I can ever eat cauliflower cheese ever again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Flapper72

    Fantastic. Another book that I stumbled across via recommendations - it seems amazon knows me well (or I always read the same type of books!). This is a book about forensic science that I'd never ever thought about before - small, microscopic plant and life forms - pollen, fungus, plant seeds - the history of the earth and the soil around us, on us, on our clothes and in our bodies and airways. Really an amazing story of a career that Patricia Wiltshire carved out for her due to her very varied Fantastic. Another book that I stumbled across via recommendations - it seems amazon knows me well (or I always read the same type of books!). This is a book about forensic science that I'd never ever thought about before - small, microscopic plant and life forms - pollen, fungus, plant seeds - the history of the earth and the soil around us, on us, on our clothes and in our bodies and airways. Really an amazing story of a career that Patricia Wiltshire carved out for her due to her very varied training in science. She wrote about some of the cases and techniques in great deal which I appreciated - I hate it when authors don't give enough detail as it's almost assumed that the reader doesn't have enough intellect to understand the details. Things were explained clearly and just made the whole of the author's achievements clearer to understand and more amazing. You also heard something about Patricia Wiltshire as a person - how she coped with the smells of decaying bodies and material, how she coped with her own child dying and also how she was perceived as a petite female in her career. The thing I found sad is the lack of formal training to gain this amount of experience. Obviously that is an impossibility as, really, it's such a variety of areas of expertise and practise that it will take many years and careers to achieve. The world today doesn't allow that time and development of our careers, the mentorship and support from our senior colleagues. I think that the world of science is a lesser place due to cost cutting and everything needing to be done 'now' and not allowing and nurturing development of knowledge base in order to achieve the careers this lady carved out for herself. It is an amazing book - highly recommended.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The red fungus with the white spots (Amanita muscaria) produces ibotenic acid and muscimol, compounds with similar effects to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)(...). Even Santa Claus, flying with his reindeers in his red and white suit, might be related to stories originally told by followers of the cult of this fungus. Many mushroom cults have existed, and still exist today, some simply associated with pleasurable experiences and others with religious ones. The basis of some religions, and even The red fungus with the white spots (Amanita muscaria) produces ibotenic acid and muscimol, compounds with similar effects to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)(...). Even Santa Claus, flying with his reindeers in his red and white suit, might be related to stories originally told by followers of the cult of this fungus. Many mushroom cults have existed, and still exist today, some simply associated with pleasurable experiences and others with religious ones. The basis of some religions, and even cultural behaviour, seem to have stemmed from hallucinogenic experiences after consumption of some mushroom or other; and fungal emblems and depictions are common in ancient pictographs (Wiltshire, P.) An expert in palyneology, botany and mycology, Patricia Wiltshire is an utterly amazing woman. A life of passion spent in scrupulous and minute studies of plants and fungi for archaeological reconstructions, lead a preeminent UCL professor to the crime scene of victims whose bodies are covered in pollen residue, plant spores and fungi. From here she determines the date of death and can visualise through the multiple plant/spore/pollen residue on the cadavers where the individuals were killed or where they were stored, and even where they breathed their last breaths. This is how she helps the police convict murderers. There's a section on body decomposition that is truly scary, one towards the end of the book on toxicology that is utterly fascinating, and the passionate details she utilises to describe her forensic work make for a truly interesting scientific read. It is also autobiographical, and in this mix lies the attraction for the amateur reader. This is how brilliant human beings can be when they follow their real calling.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

    I really enjoyed listening to Traces, it was a recommendation on audible after a previous listen. Interesting and enjoyable, giving a fascinating insight into another arm of forensic science. I was listening will running, stepping in pollen wondering what the footprint would offer.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bella

    This was very interested. The author was knowledgeable and passionate about her subject.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zahida Zahoor

    A fascinating read on how much information can be collected from palynomorphs (pollen grain and fungal spores) and how Pat was able to piece together to create a picture of the crime scene and where the victim/suspect has been. I couldn't help feel that she often overstated her role and the evidence she collected in the murder cases; especially when the author gave little or no acknowledgement to the police officers or investigators involved. Pat talks about the limitation of more modern technol A fascinating read on how much information can be collected from palynomorphs (pollen grain and fungal spores) and how Pat was able to piece together to create a picture of the crime scene and where the victim/suspect has been. I couldn't help feel that she often overstated her role and the evidence she collected in the murder cases; especially when the author gave little or no acknowledgement to the police officers or investigators involved. Pat talks about the limitation of more modern technologies such as DNA analysis and discusses cognitive bias but she doesn't delve too much into the limitation of her own field- the high risk of cross contamination, the sheer number of slides that need to be processed and manually examined. Phnologist (study of microscopic particles) is a dying discipline as it: manually labour intensive, a huge about of information is required that cross a number of academic fields including botony, forensic science and conservation. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading about Pats personal life that was interwoven in between the the murder cases. Pat come across as a complicated character who is kind and caring but someone who is arrogant and difficult, her life history explains why she is like that. The ending of the book highlights that she wrote the book as a way of leaving something behind for the world.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I’ve not reviewed a book before but felt compelled to do so after reading this book! Thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. Found that I could relate to a lot due to being a Forensic Scientist myself (who is also Welsh!). I appreciated her brutal honesty throughout, especially regarding universities and the word “Forensic”. Where I was one of the lucky ones out of my university bunch who actually got a job within the forensic world before I had graduated. Whilst my friends are still s I’ve not reviewed a book before but felt compelled to do so after reading this book! Thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. Found that I could relate to a lot due to being a Forensic Scientist myself (who is also Welsh!). I appreciated her brutal honesty throughout, especially regarding universities and the word “Forensic”. Where I was one of the lucky ones out of my university bunch who actually got a job within the forensic world before I had graduated. Whilst my friends are still searching more than a year later. This book has certainly taught me an awful lot about botany and ecology and how they can be used in a forensic setting. I found myself constantly reciting certain paragraphs to my partner which led to us both being amazed at what you can determine! There is definitely a gap on the market for aspiring students to become forensic botanists etc. These people are invaluable to forensic investigations!! This book is a must read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Fryer

    As an ecologist with an interest but little knowledge in forensics, I found this a fascinating read. But I think anyone, from any background could understand and enjoy the book. It's a mixture of science and memoir, which I like. Written in an accessible way with personal insight, its a good introduction to the potential of forensic ecology, and the level of skills and understanding required to be competent. Though you don't need to have aspirations in that line of work to enjoy this book. My co As an ecologist with an interest but little knowledge in forensics, I found this a fascinating read. But I think anyone, from any background could understand and enjoy the book. It's a mixture of science and memoir, which I like. Written in an accessible way with personal insight, its a good introduction to the potential of forensic ecology, and the level of skills and understanding required to be competent. Though you don't need to have aspirations in that line of work to enjoy this book. My copy is full of sticky-notes as I learned so much about sampling methodologies and lots of other interesting things, but I also found the author's enthusiasm for her field and nature in general, really inspiring. On a personal level, I found the author very likeable and I would recommend listening to her interview on BBC Life Scientific.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I was torn over my rating of this book, as I really enjoyed some parts of it. It just felt a little disjointed to me. It jumped between detailed, scientific commentary about the author's work to recounts of her childhood in a slightly scattered fashion. It feels like there were two separate pieces of work here whose pages were blown together in a gust of wind and published as they fell! I found the forensic science parts so interesting and concepts from the book have stayed with me as I've walked I was torn over my rating of this book, as I really enjoyed some parts of it. It just felt a little disjointed to me. It jumped between detailed, scientific commentary about the author's work to recounts of her childhood in a slightly scattered fashion. It feels like there were two separate pieces of work here whose pages were blown together in a gust of wind and published as they fell! I found the forensic science parts so interesting and concepts from the book have stayed with me as I've walked through different landscapes then got in and out of my car. I also liked reading about the author's childhood, although, as she is not someone I had heard of before it did seem slightly odd to me to be reading about her life in such detail. Maybe it was my misconception about the purpose of this book. It just wasn't quite what I was expecting. But I liked it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

    This book offers a fascinating glimpse into an area of ecology, biology, and crime investigation that is often over-looked, and not an area of research I would have known exists otherwise. The intricate workings of Wiltshire's practices and developments in a budding area of forensic investigations is truly inspiring. My only criticism is that there are moments when the memoir jumps around a little bit, seemingly out of the blue; from current developments to a seemingly mildly unrelated experienc This book offers a fascinating glimpse into an area of ecology, biology, and crime investigation that is often over-looked, and not an area of research I would have known exists otherwise. The intricate workings of Wiltshire's practices and developments in a budding area of forensic investigations is truly inspiring. My only criticism is that there are moments when the memoir jumps around a little bit, seemingly out of the blue; from current developments to a seemingly mildly unrelated experience from the past. While maybe a bit confusing, it does not detract from the overall offering of information in this book, and I will maintain that Wiltshire is a pioneering woman, and is well worth listening to.

  24. 5 out of 5

    K P Lawrence

    Highly recommended Really interesting and informative. Ideal for anyone with an interest in Forensics and Crime Scene analysis. A very refreshing approach and look at crime scene analysis unlike all the usual books. An interesting author who at times seemed to blow their own trumpet, but as the reader gets to know them is clearly just fact stating, as so much of her work is. Unsurprising as it is imperative she believe in herself when facing examination and hostility in the court room. A very int Highly recommended Really interesting and informative. Ideal for anyone with an interest in Forensics and Crime Scene analysis. A very refreshing approach and look at crime scene analysis unlike all the usual books. An interesting author who at times seemed to blow their own trumpet, but as the reader gets to know them is clearly just fact stating, as so much of her work is. Unsurprising as it is imperative she believe in herself when facing examination and hostility in the court room. A very interesting life with tragedy, so often the case with someone so focussed on their role in life. One of those books it's always sad to finish, like losing a friend. Thank you!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Studvet

    4 stars because it was so erudite, scientific in the best sense, informative and in great detail. So much detail that at times it became a bit overwhelming and monotonous recounting all the species of flowers, fungi found etc on a case, whereas I think the author could have dispensed with much of this and concentrated on the significant procedures and results rather than specifics. But overall, the product obviously of a prodigious intelligence, a good person and a real groundbreaker with a lot 4 stars because it was so erudite, scientific in the best sense, informative and in great detail. So much detail that at times it became a bit overwhelming and monotonous recounting all the species of flowers, fungi found etc on a case, whereas I think the author could have dispensed with much of this and concentrated on the significant procedures and results rather than specifics. But overall, the product obviously of a prodigious intelligence, a good person and a real groundbreaker with a lot of balls. You feel she has real integrity and could trust her and her results 100%.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mwsh

    A great insight into Forensic Palynology and the tell tale traces of the world around us. Fascinating simple insight from flowers, fungi, trees to what can be found on the bottom of your shoe/boot to the pedal, carpets of your car and corpses hair- good biological hair shampoo does wonders to help. It’s a shame there are not enough people in the UK following in the footsteps of Professor Wiltshire, I think it shows people just wont put the hard work into learning and training and just want it han A great insight into Forensic Palynology and the tell tale traces of the world around us. Fascinating simple insight from flowers, fungi, trees to what can be found on the bottom of your shoe/boot to the pedal, carpets of your car and corpses hair- good biological hair shampoo does wonders to help. It’s a shame there are not enough people in the UK following in the footsteps of Professor Wiltshire, I think it shows people just wont put the hard work into learning and training and just want it handed to them on a plate. Nothing wrong with getting your hands dirty!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julian Walker

    Absolutely fascinating and a riveting read from the opening pages. The author offers an incredible insight into the real world of criminal forensics, from a perspective that I hadn't really considered - and it is far more interesting and insightful than TV portrayals. Weaving her own biography to give an insight as to her drivers and passions, she skillfully brings her subject to life in the same way that she uses her knowledge of nature to realize crime scenes, identify innocence or guilt, and c Absolutely fascinating and a riveting read from the opening pages. The author offers an incredible insight into the real world of criminal forensics, from a perspective that I hadn't really considered - and it is far more interesting and insightful than TV portrayals. Weaving her own biography to give an insight as to her drivers and passions, she skillfully brings her subject to life in the same way that she uses her knowledge of nature to realize crime scenes, identify innocence or guilt, and create certainly from doubt. A superbly engrossing book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Beth Brown

    Imagine having a chat with your overly nostalgic grandma but with more death. I enjoyed this book but there are definite flaws. It seems to have not been edited as a whole but rather chapter by chapter in isolation; there's entire paragraphs that repeat near word for word. I could ignore that without issue if it weren't for the writers tendencies toward self agrandising which did get a little tiresome. As well as a few 'back in my days moments.

  29. 4 out of 5

    dean robinson

    admirable but boring as reading the dictionary. disclaimer: didn't make it past chapter 4. i like scientific crime stuff but this didn't sit with me sorry. phaps others will love it. chapter one gave hints of what was to come being imo a prologue. where was the editor? it cld hav said the same 50‰ shorter. after that i was falling asleep with the endless lists & banging ones own drum. respect for the author's excellent service helping the police lock up criminals however. admirable but boring as reading the dictionary. disclaimer: didn't make it past chapter 4. i like scientific crime stuff but this didn't sit with me sorry. phaps others will love it. chapter one gave hints of what was to come being imo a prologue. where was the editor? it cld hav said the same 50‰ shorter. after that i was falling asleep with the endless lists & banging ones own drum. respect for the author's excellent service helping the police lock up criminals however.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    This was a slog. Plants aren’t my thing so all the Latin names were tedious. The narrative timeline didn’t make much sense and the cases she worked on were anonymised- and some of the biggest cases she worked on weren’t included. I’m afraid I won’t Be reading anymore about the use of spores and pollen to solve crimes after this book.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.