Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: Never Suck on a Dead Man's Hand by Dana Kollmann

Publisher: Citadel
Publishing Date: February 1rst, 2007
ISBN: 9780806528229
Pages: 272 pages

My Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Step past the flashing lights into the true scene of the crime with Never Suck a Dead Man's Hand, a frank, unflinching, and unforgettable account of life as a crime scene investigator. Smart, sassy, and blessed--or cursed, depending on your point of view--with a stomach capable of working through the most horrific circumstances, Dana Kollmann details her true, unvarnished experiences as a CSI for the Baltimore County Police Department. Unlike the popular crime dramas proliferating on today's television networks, Kollmann's forensic tales forgo glitz for grit to show what really goes down once the yellow tape goes up.

With an informative, outspoken voice, Kollmann unveils the process and science of crime scene investigation in all its can't-take-your-eyes-away fascination. Whether explaining rigor mortis or the art of fingerprinting a stiff corpse on the side of the road, frantically brushing off a shower of roaches or pushing away a dead body, speeding to a horrific accident scene or cautiously entering a house of death, she shows what it's really like to work in the front lines as a forensics expert.

Vividly detailed and lightened by a disarming gallows humor, Dana Kollmann's true life-and-death experiences bring the sights, smells, and sounds of a crime scene alive as never before. She recounts stories that the cops and the CSI's usually leave on the field, far away from the delicate sensibilities of the average civilian--and forbidden from her family's dinner table. It's a strange world behind the yellow tape, and Never Suck a Dead Man's Hand offers a truly eye-opening perspective on the day-to-day life of a CSI.

My Review:
I really wanted to read more non-fiction this year and when I saw this book on a In My Mailbox vlog at In the Library of Lady Violet I just had to have it. I actually downloaded it for my Kindle right after seeing the vlog. Although Kollmann describes some pretty gruesome things she does it such a way that actually makes you laugh out loud. I couldn't put this book down. Kollman describes things like rotting decomposing bodies, what happens to a body once it's been enbalmed and the discomfort of any talk about bodily functions. This book is not for the squeamish but if you love the show CSI you will enjoy reading this. Kollmann makes it quite clear that being a real CSI is much different than the way it is portrayed in the media. She also explains how this is affecting judicial system in the United States. I guess most people think there should be more evidence and that it is easier to get than it actually is therefore more people are being acquited of crimes that are judged by a jury. I don't want to say much because I don't want to give much away but I would most definitely recommend going to pick this up as soon as you can. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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