Read Bones: A Forensic Detective's Casebook by Douglas H. Ubelaker Free Online
Book Title: Bones: A Forensic Detective's Casebook|
The author of the book: Douglas H. Ubelaker
Edition: M. Evans and Company
Date of issue: February 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9780871319043
Loaded: 1943 times
Reader ratings: 5.9
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 943 KB
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Dr. Douglas Ubelaker is the curator of anthropology at the Smithsonian, a consultant for the FBI in forensic anthropology, and teaches of forensic anthropology at George Washington University. (I couldn't find any reference to the other author, Henry Scammell.) presents dozens of case studies and breaks down the science used to work on them into bites. These bites sometimes become bogged down in details or include not enough information, but they're there. In fact, if it weren't for the many photos and diagrams sprinkled throughout, I probably wouldn't have finished the book, to be honest.
Like many forensic books, this one explores the history of forensic anthropology, following the science from basic archaeology to what it is today. It also tracks the author's (the book is written in first person, so it's unclear if only Ubelaker is speaking or if they're both "I") journey from excavating burial sites to identifying the difference between sheep and young human femurs (they are quite similar).
And while that's all very interesting - and the cases are generally intriguing - the language is often clinical and textbookish. Bones has a feel of someone going through all of his case files and just presenting surface information, rather than explaining it well with less cases and more useful description of how the case is solved, as other authors have done. What I mean is, if you want to know how it all works, this isn't a good reference book. Some explanations are long and specific, while others just touch on the very basic elements and scurry to the next case.
On the other hand, there are several unsolved cases in the book, so if you fancy yourself a super-sleuth, pay attention. You never know when you might help catch a killer!
For readers who have a good foundation in forensics (either you do it for a living or have read everything else on the shelf already), Bones might not prove to be too interesting. You likely already understand determination of race and height from bones, recognize the different marks scavengers and weapons leave, and the know value of superimposition of photos on skulls for identification. However, if you're looking for a supplement to other, better books, this might be worth picking up, particularly for the section on races, because the illustrations are good. Overall, however, I'm just not really impressed with this book.
Now, here's a mystery for you: Who is Henry Scammell?
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