Sunday, May 11, 2008

Death's Acre by Dr. Bill Bass

Death's Acre by Dr. Bill Bass

Though this book may have better been called "The Body Farm", this title is taken by Patricia Cornwell even though it's based on a creation by Bass. Bass got into the forensic field almost by accident. Since then, he has become one of the leading specialists in human bones in North America. Bass practically created a specialization (and then a following from other universities) in human bone forensics and claims to have trained over a third of all professionals out there that specialize in this. He also is the creator of the "body farm", which studies the decomposition of bodies under different scenarios. Patricia Cornwell has worked with Bass in the writing of her books, and Bass and his team have assisted in numerous criminal cases.

Bass takes us through some of the important findings him and his students/colleagues have made. He then corresponds these findings to important cases he has been involved with. Some are heartbreaking, some are stupid. One of Bass's colleagues was involved in a murder trial in Toronto that was breaking news up here during the time.

This books gives you an in depth look at the art of bone forensics. I found it extremely interesting. I've also read "Jefferson Bass" novels before - where Dr. Bill Bass co-writes with another author and have enjoyed those books very much. I believe the reason is because they so closely follow Bass' real life experience. Bass has a friend that specializes in fingerprinting named Art, and surely enough in the fictional books there is a fingerprinting specialist named Art.

First Line: "A dozen tiny bones, nestled in my palm: They were virtually all that remained, except for yellowed clippings, scratchy newsreel footage, and painful memories, from what they called 'the trial of the century.'"



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