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5.0 out of 5 stars If you love a good book, You will love this one!
Fasten your seatbelts. Get ready for the exciting trip into the world of a medical examiner, who is known for having a part in the investigation of some of the country's most recent and most publicized criminal cases. There is nothing better than reading an excellent book, capable of sending chills down your spine. In this informational, attention-grabbing paper-back, Dr...
Published on Nov. 4 2003 by Kelly Burke

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3.0 out of 5 stars Run of the Mill
This is just like so many other books on forensic sciences. The real interesting reading is Dr. Baden's first book, "Unnatural Death." This isn't a bad book, as Dr. Baden has had a very interesting career, it's just not the fascinating stories he's told before. In fact, most of the book is about his colleagues.
Published on Oct. 5 2002


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5.0 out of 5 stars If you love a good book, You will love this one!, Nov. 4 2003
By 
Kelly Burke (Detroit, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
Fasten your seatbelts. Get ready for the exciting trip into the world of a medical examiner, who is known for having a part in the investigation of some of the country's most recent and most publicized criminal cases. There is nothing better than reading an excellent book, capable of sending chills down your spine. In this informational, attention-grabbing paper-back, Dr. Michael Baden walks us science lovers through various crime scenes and popular crime cases, throwing us readers into a frenzy as we try to speculate the truth. With the help of Baden's colleagues, this book gives an amazingly interesting insight into crime scene investigation and "the new science of catching killers".
As part of our human nature, there is some part of us that finds the death of a human somewhat intriguing. Especially me, a freshman in college, hoping to one day become a forensic pathologist myself, the readers' mind is almost over stimulated with the cracking open of this piece of work. I could barely wait to turn the page to absorb the interesting facts reiterating the importance of blood stain patterns and even bugs to the determination of time of death or even the solving of a crime case.
I must admit, this grisly text is almost guaranteed to churn the stomachs of the weak and frighten away even the average medically-curious individual. Dr. Baden seamlessly depicts images of corpses and their appearance after the decomposition process has begun. He is not ashamed to throw at you the monstrous illustration of a single head apart from its being.
Even for those readers that have no prior interest in forensics, this book is capable of quickly persuading the minds of the vulnerable. Things that one may have once found horrid and gruesome may now be the motivation to read on. This book is an open door that provides the reader an enormous opportunity to explore a completely new world in medicine.
For those that are even slightly intrigued by the disgusting but amazingly tempting tone of this book, it is a must-read. But beware; the journey might be a rough one. Be sure you are wearing your seatbelts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT INFORMATION, Aug. 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
I AM STUDYING TO BECOME A FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST AND I FOUND THIS BOOK FULL OF GREAT INFORMATION. I WAS NOT ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN ONCE I PICKED IT UP. I AM AMAZED STILL AT HOW THE SMALLEST THINGS CAN MAKE OR BREAK A CASE. MICHAEL BADEN IS ONE OF THE BEST FORENSIC PATHOLOGISTS AND IT SHOWS THAT IN HIS NEWEST BOOK.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely riveting, from start to finish!!!, July 26 2003
By 
Carrie (Knoxville, TN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
For anyone considering the field of forensic pathology, or if you're just curious, this book is thorough and detailed, while maintaining a fast pace. Baden and Roach don't underestimate the intelligence of the layreader, but also don't get bogged down in medical-speak. Although Baden sometimes seems to lose focus from topic to topic, his digressions are always fascinating and educational.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Awful writing!, May 22 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
I am sorry to disagree with most of the reviewers, but this is one of the most annoying books I have read in my life (42 years!). I am a scientist and I was expecting somewhat more informative. However, the main problem of this book is not that it gives very little information about forensic science, but that the writing is simply AWFUL. To me, it looks like this book was generated from a five-hour interview that Marion Roach later transformed into many pages of bad writing. I was tempted to reproduce a couple of paragraphs here, but I am not sure about copyright infringement issues. Again, this has been the most disappointing book I have read in my life. Stay away from it if you care about decent writing style!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome but informative!, March 20 2003
By 
Michael Freeman (Blanchard, OK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
Excellent book if you're interested at all in forensic pathology. Written by someone who has done hundreds if not thousands of autopsies, this book gives a first-hand account of several interesting cases.
You'll learn about "bug school," where students are taught how to determine the time of death by examining the types of bugs that invest the corpse. You'll learn about "blood school," where students are taught to reconstruct a crime scene by looking at blood patterns.
These are just a couple of examples of the topics in the book. It's not written like a textbook, though--it's very readable and kept my attention well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pathological Humor, Jan. 25 2003
By 
E. A. Lovitt "starmoth" (Gladwin, MI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
People contrive some very peculiar ways to die, and Dr. Baden, who was once the chief medical examiner of New York City seems to have seen or heard of them all.
For instance, there was the airline pilot who stripped down and chained himself to a moving--well, I don't want to spoil the story for you. But if you have a mordant sense of humor, try attending a convention of pathologists and forensic scientists--especially if Dr. Baden is scheduled to speak. They usually meet near Reno and book Wayne Newton in to entertain them.
(I don't know why medical examiners are so endeared with Wayne Newton. This might be one of those deep philosophical conundrums that ordinary mortals should not speculate upon lest they go blind).
Did you know that it is possible to special-order a pair of diamond-studded handcuffs?
This is just one of the fascinating tidbits that Dr. Baden and Marion Roach share with us in "Dead Reckoning." This book is more of an overview of modern forensic pathology than was their previous volume, "Unnatural Death," which was primarily a series of Dr. Baden's criminal cases. In "Dead Reckoning" we are introduced to other famous (in their own circle, at least) forensic scientists such as the bug man, Dr. Neal Haskell (his specialty is my least favorite part of crime solving) and Dr. Henry Lee, the American 'Sherlock Holmes' whose Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory was involved in the infamous 'wood chipper' case (there was a very thorough murderer, indeed).
The authors also illuminate criminal cases where Dr. Baden had no direct involvement, such as the O.J. Simpson murder trial. It was shocking to learn how badly the crime scene was handled in this particular case.
"Dead Reckoning" is a must-read for true crime buffs. It also helps to have a peculiar sense of humor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Great, Nov. 28 2002
By 
Patrick Crowe "Pat Crowe" (Huntington Station, New York USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
Marion Roach and Michael Baden take you into the autopsy room and lives of a foensic pathologist, while teaching and educating
readers the fascinating (and gruesome) aspects of forensic medicine. The book is a fascinating mix of humor, philosophy, history and science, ending in an odd, but appropriate chapter on the brotherhood (and sisterhood) of pathologists, criminalists and scientists at a convention in love with a craft the public finds both gruesome and fascinating. Their writing collaboration brings out the best of Roach and Baden in a surprising well written, and sometimes poetic, passionate recount of forensic cases carefully chosen to illustrate the science. Several chapters were dedicated around top experts in the fields of entymology and blood spatter evidence literally taking the reader to school under the tutelage of some entertaiining teachers
True crime buffs and pathology groupies will not find the
material old hat-and novices to this growing area of literature
will feel the passion and philosophy of the doctor who 'listens'
to the dead to help learn what happened during their life,and
more particularly how they came to their end.
Along the way ,you'll learn the personal history of both both Baden and his good friend, the legendary henry lee. Their stories as to how these legends arrived who and where they are
today makes great reading.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest at all in forensic pathology and the lives of those whom the
science and search for the truth about the dead is their passion---with one caveat for the faint of heart--- be aware
of maggots . . .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome but informative, Oct. 15 2002
By 
dr_sasp (England, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
Like sex and psychology, we all know something about death. As a forensic pathologist, Baden is an expert. He shares his expertise and fascination with cause and mode of death in this enthralling book. As a frequent expert-witness in his field, Baden has mastered the art of expressing his science in easy-to-understand terms, without patronising the reader. His passion for his subject spills onto the page like so many bodily fluids seeping inextricably into the text.
Our authors revel in the gruesome and grotesque subspecialties of forensic pathology. The reader is invited to the Blood School where practising crime investigators go to learn about the ballistics of blood splatter. The course includes esoteric experiments where participants find themselves blowing mouthfuls of blood at each other to demonstrate what evidence may result. The squeamish among you may have your stomachs turned by a weekend trip to a leading forensic entomologist's ranch, where pigs are slaughtered and then, later, are re-examined for evidence of insect activity: this science helps to estimate the time since death of a corpse. As a source of many clues, heads warrant a chapter of their very own: the skull may be subject to facial reconstruction; dental histories can lead to identification of the deceased; DNA and evidence of drug use or poisoning can be extracted from hairs from the scalp.
All of these stories are told with zeal, but also with an underlying gravity. Our authors take the scientific processes of collecting and preserving evidence seriously - experience tells them that any evidence may turn out to be essential in the examination an unnatural death. Vitally, it is truth that the investigator seeks here - regardless whether he has been employed by the prosecution or defence for a case.
Baden and Roach take a potentially interesting subject and make it fascinating - and highly readable. The breadth of fields studied in the search of truth, and subsequently justice, is broad and continues to evolve. I wonder what form evidence will be found in next? Baden and Roach are surely qualified to tell us.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Run of the Mill, Oct. 5 2002
By A Customer
This is just like so many other books on forensic sciences. The real interesting reading is Dr. Baden's first book, "Unnatural Death." This isn't a bad book, as Dr. Baden has had a very interesting career, it's just not the fascinating stories he's told before. In fact, most of the book is about his colleagues.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but slightly technical..., Sept. 11 2002
By 
James F. Anderson III (Hudson, WI USA) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this book, as I find the subject matter fascinating. However, the book does have quite a few technical details that would be more useful in a textbook instead of a lay-persons book. Regardless, if you enjoy books of this nature, you will no doubt find this a good read.
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Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers
Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers by Marion Roach (Paperback - Sept. 4 2002)
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