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All That Remains

A Renowned Forensic Scientist on Death, Mortality, and Solving Crimes
By: Sue Black
Narrated by: Angela Dawe
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Caitlin Doughty, Mary Roach, and CSI shows, a renowned forensic scientist on death and mortality.

Dame Sue Black is an internationally renowned forensic anthropologist and human anatomist. She has lived her life eye to eye with the Grim Reaper, and she writes vividly about it in this book, which is part primer on the basics of identifying human remains, part frank memoir of a woman whose first paying job as a schoolgirl was to apprentice in a butcher shop, and part no-nonsense but deeply humane introduction to the reality of death in our lives. It is a treat for CSI junkies, murder mystery and thriller fans, and anyone seeking a clear-eyed guide to a subject that touches us all.

Cutting through hype, romanticism, and cliché, she recounts her first dissection; her own first acquaintance with a loved one’s death; the mortal remains in her lab and at burial sites, as well as scenes of violence, murder, and criminal dismemberment; and about investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident, or natural disaster, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She uses key cases to reveal how forensic science has developed and what her work has taught her about human nature.

Acclaimed by bestselling crime writers and fellow scientists alike, All That Remains is neither sad nor macabre. While Professor Black tells of tragedy, she also infuses her stories with a wicked sense of humor and much common sense.

©2018 Professor Dame Sue Black (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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An Interesting Delight

This book was an interesting delight to listen to, and I hope the author and narrator work together again in future as I’d love to hear more!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bad narration

To be fair, the subject matter was great, but I couldn’t get over the pseudo-robotic voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ronald
  • 07-11-19

Frustrated

I really enjoyed this book except for 1 factor. The narration! I didn’t know much about Sue Black & assumed she was American until it was clear fm the text that she is British!!!
So why is the narration in an American accent?!?!?
At the very least it should b a ‘Standard’ English if not a Northern accent, at least close to the Author’s own. This would not be hard to research. A quick phone call to Mrs Black would be enough to ascertain which narrator to hire!

The narration itself was fine but constantly distracting as not authentic to the context of the book.
If it were fiction, I suspect more effort would be made to ‘set the scene’.

So this book is best read, not heard on Audible. Then the reader will naturally build a more accurate ‘image’ of Mrs Black.

I especially enjoyed the chapter on the author’s life/death choices & her discussion of her decisions for meeting death. Refreshing!

Audible: please re-record this properly!!!!!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sean Buchanan
  • 07-05-19

Are there no voice artists in Scotland?

This is a well written, honest and heart wrenching account by one of Scotland's great natural scientists. But the authenticity is lost in the performance of the audiobook which is read by an American.

In the end I was sorry I bought the audiobook rather than the Kindle or paperback.

If you are looking for technical descriptions of forensic activities or case studies of criminal exploits this is not the book for you. It is a very personal account of the intersection of the author's personal and professional lives with some 19th century naturalist style musings thrown in for good measure.

An excellent book, inappropriately produced as an audiobook.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-13-19

for those who would rather know

loved it
really interesting and varied
wish I'd met Uncle Willy he and the older guy who donated his body to medical science were proper characters. Plain speaking no nonsense and yet sensible and reassuring

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-04-19

Interesting Book

Good book let down by the narration. It is obvious that the author and indeed the story is Scottish so it lost some credibility and enjoyment that the narrator has a North American accent!

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  • Rah
  • 06-07-19

human experience through the eyes of death

Brilliant non-fiction depicting the experience of a forensic anthropologist. interesting perspective on life and death.