books reviews 6

Unnatural Causes – Dr Richard Shepherd

For anyone interested in the world of true crime, this is a must read.

The author takes us on an extraordinary journey through thirty years of murders, disasters and terrorist attacks, painting a vivid picture of not only of his work, but the extraordinary pressures faced by pathologists, immersed in such traumatic events on a daily basis.

Dr Richard Shepherd’s life in pathology has many layers. The detailed explanations of how he interpreted crime scenes and conducted post mortems send shivers down the spine. His honest and emotional account of managing family life and dealing with PTSD will have a resonance with anyone trying to survive the anxieties and pressures of a demanding job.

The book starts with his experiences of the Hungerford massacre, thrown in at the deep end because his boss was on holiday and then catalogues his involvement in numerous high profile cases including the Clapham rail crash, the sinking of the Marchioness, the Bali bombing and the murders of Rachel Nickell and Stephen Lawrence.

Sometimes deeply depressing, but ultimately uplifting, this book is an outstanding work and I am quite sure, will be read for years to come.

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