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Book Review: Unnatural Causes

Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd

Page length: 152 pages

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime, Biography

Publication Date: 20 September 2018

Publisher: Penguin

Source: ARC via NetGalley

Stars:  5 out of 5


Meet the forensic pathologist, Dr Richard Shepherd.

He solves the mysteries of unexplained or sudden death.

He has performed over 23,000 autopsies, including some of the most high-profile cases of recent times; the Hungerford Massacre, the Princess Diana inquiry, and 9/11.

He has faced serial killers, natural disaster, 'perfect murders' and freak accidents.

His evidence has put killers behind bars, freed the innocent, and turned open-and-shut cases on their heads.

Yet all this has come at a huge personal cost.

Unnatural Causes tells the story of not only the cases and bodies that have haunted him the most, but also how to live a life steeped in death.

My Review:

I'm late to this party but had heard very good things about this book and I wasn't disappointed. The only thing I remember from 1987 was the great storm, so I hadn't heard of the Hungerford Massacre, so the opening was completely shocking, and the details how people died including the gunman were horrific. The humanist view of death from Dr Shepherd through his life and work made this book a compelling read.

That and his honest and visceral reactions to the concept of death. Not to mention his graphic (yet scientific) descriptions of bodies, all told with the respect that they were once living beings, and someone's mother/father/sister/brother.

The book has been voted as True Crime Book of the Year and I wholeheartedly agree.

The book is incredibly detailed. And I enjoyed it so much I've just bought the audiobook to listen to the book narrated by the author.


Thank you so much the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary electronic copy in return for an honest review. 

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