Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Science Beats Crime

Science Beats Crime
by John Perritano
Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2011. 48 pages. Nonfiction

This is a great book for fans of CSI or aspiring detectives. There are ten short sections that explain a particular investigative technique such as DNA testing and ballistics. Each section is followed by one or two real cases that were solved using that particular technique. Some sections are a bit gruesome--the illustrations are actual photos. I learned quite a bit--sometimes a bit more than I wanted. For example, there is a body farm at the University of Tennessee where bodies are put in all sorts of different situations so that researchers can study how different things affect body decomposition. There is actually a list of 1,600 people who would like to donate their bodies to this body farm when they die! I also learned about a field called forensic entomology. By investigating which bugs are on, in, or near a body, an entomologist can estimate how long a person has been dead. If this book piques your interest, the author has included a list of books and websites you can further investigate to find out more.

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