This was a great book. While the narration wasn’t super special it was adequate and the story was not only informative but interesting and held your attention well. I learned a lot I didn’t know about prohibition and the variety of poisons which were the murder weapon of choice during that era and about the efforts of the fledgling ME’s office to develop ways to identify these poisons. Definitely a great book and well worth the listen.
This is a history of an exotic topic. If you like to read this kind of thing to make yourself a more well rounded person, you'll enjoy it. If you have a medical background, it will be even more enjoyable as the medical details will not present a challenge.
This was a great history in an engaging format. The setting is prohibition era New York City and the cast of characters includes scientists, criminals, victims and the poisons themselves.
There are a number of speaking errors in this audiobook that really detract from the whole experience. For example, the person was "Princeton-educated and wealthy" not "Princeton, educated and wealthy". Another issue was the pronunciation of words, one was brazier (used for cooking with coals) pronounced as brasier (used for holding ...well, you know).
If you can get past the frequent errors, this is a captivating history of a profession that we now see on our TVs every time there is a crime scene.
I did not enjoy the reader.
Dr. Norris, in corroboration with his chemist, was an excellent scientist of death back in a time when DNA was a new discovery. Working without mass spec using laborious chemical reactions which were scorned by
No, I learned a lot. Wood alcohol became a default in prohibition and may have killed hundreds of people. I found it very interesting and tangential to
Yes...I browsed through the book, here I get a chance to dive into the topic more.
Linking some of the Murders ( by poisoning) in the story to one person.
I enjoy this type of science book. It goes into the history of how and why and when different types of poisons became detectable by latoratory tests (think CSI). Stories of how some of the poisons were used prior to their being detectable are included. Fascinating for some background in how poisons have been used.
I found the content of this book riveting. First the history of medical examiners and the chemistry they worked with. Allmost more importantly the resistance by the government backed by big business to take steps that would have saved lives. The book absolutey whispers and shouts situations that correlate with issues that come up all too often today. The laying out of the contents of tobacco, the ingredients of cosmetics (think back to the not too distant past when mercury was discovered in lipsticks), and the general irresponsibly towards profit.Finally I found it interesting that the curiosity of human beings both destroys and saved lives. Fascinating.
I'm not sure I'd like to see this in movie form given film's propensity for over-the-top gore fests. The subtlety would be lost and the unsung heros still left unsung.
This was a very intriguing audiobook. I almost gave up on it because the narrator sounds like a bored school teacher going through the motions. However, the text itself is so interesting that after about the 4 hour mark the narrator's presentation no longer annoyed me. I will say I learned a lot from this book. Not just about the poisons and elements, but an astonishing amount of items about the prohibition era.
Great story, memorable characters. I don't usually read or listen to non-fiction, so the fact I found this a great listen is particularly notable. The chemistry details were very informative, but even more informative was the re-creation of a different world, one much more dangerous than the one we live in. With our modern preoccupation with "toxins", it was fascinating to hear how people lived (and died) in an age where real toxins were sold at every hardware and pharmacy. The narration seems a bit flat at the beginning, but is well-suited to this story.
Yes, I do recommend this history of the attempts to clean up the Forensic Medicine field that focuses on New York City and surrounding areas in the early 20th century, BUT the reader needed a good Director who would have told her, "Please, don't do accents like that..." Unfortunately, her first quote is an accented European voice that is just painful to listen to. Overall, she does fine for the majority of the narrative and the story/history flows fairly well. So don't let the opening voice in the audio clip put you off - it really does get better.