This book was very intriguing and informative. I listened to it for the juicy murders and scandal but the part that sticks with me is the part about Prohibition. I didn't know much about Prohibition and the different kinds of (poison) alcohol people drank during that era. The book explains all about Prohibition and how the government accidentally became the biggest poisoner of all because they tried to make other kinds of alcohol, used for industry, undrinkable. People drank it anyway, and died.
Of course there is no shortage of juicy family murders, too!
I prefer urban/para romance right now for the fantasy aspect, but I listen to other genres as well.
This was an incredibly interesting book. It was great to hear about how the forensic sciences got its start. A great book for people who love history and how things started.
I would never have believed that a story about pathologists would have been so fascinating. The combining of crimes, scientific bits about poisons of all sorts and the emergence of a new approach and new tools for detection and law enforcement made for a really engrossing story. Part detective story, part history, part science and all entertaining and educational. I loved it.
I am currently about 3/4 of the way through this book. The story itself if fascinating. However, for a reader with a scientific bent, it is a little lite. But I am really struggling with the narration. As bad as any I have heard in my experience with audible books. It's a real job to listen to this narrator. I guess it speaks well for the book, itself, that I am determined to finish it.
This book is written like a series of newspaper stories on deaths caused by poison. To link the stories together, Blum has written about the New York City Coroner who name sounded like Norris and his chief chemist Geottler. Together they change the profession of forensic medicine.
Since reading The Disappearing Spoon I have had a fascination of chemistry. This book goes into detail on the use of forensic medicine to discern the chemical markers of various poisons from arsenic to thallium. For that reason, I found it very interesting. It is not a deep study of the personality of these poisoners. Most were typical Americans, not serial killers.
The book did dishearten me when I thought about the way people bumped off their inconvenient relatives with such convenient methods. I was also saddened by the number of alcohol deaths during Prohibition. Seems that people would go to any length, even if it killed them, to get their alcohol.
I recommend this book to anyone who is curious about a very dark side of American society and the triumph of forensic science.
I have listened to this book repeatedly. It is my "background music" book of choice. Fascinating, well researched book. Excellent narrator - even soothing making the more gruesome aspects of the forensic science tolerable.
If you have ever doubted the notion that one person can change the world, this is a book you must read.
I found the details of life during Prohibition totally fascinating and I was surprised to learn that FDR initially resisted food and drug safety standards.
Even for someone like me who has no scientific background this was a compelling read and Deborah Blum has made the details of forensic science completely understandable and accessible.
This book is a great blend of history and science, told in an engaging and entertaining style. I usually go for trashy action-packed fiction, but found the narrative of this book to be utterly engrossing.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book. History and anecdotes, perhaps. I certainly wasn't expecting to be as fascinated as I was.
Ms Blum gives us a bit of history on the actual chemical elements used in various murders in addition to the details of the murders and how they were dealt with. The office of coroner, too, is followed from its beginnings... and there are a few "raised eyebrow" moments in that as well. Things have certainly changed since then.
All in all, the book actually made me regret my 12-hour shift wasn't a little longer so I could listen to the end in one go.
My name is Madena Williams, I'm an author of nonfiction publications. I write mostly inspirational advice that will impact people's lives.
It is a very graphic detail of what the poisons will do to the human body, and the story lines are very good as well. This book keeps you interested, and it seems to be very knowledgeable on the different poisons in the world. It keeps you wanting more.