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Aftermath: Cleaning Up...
 
by
Gil Reavill
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Aftermath: Cleaning Up After the Csi Goes Home

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  435 ratings  ·  90 reviews
In the tradition of Mary Roach's 'Stiff', journalist Gil Reavill has gloved and suited up in order to work alongside the Aftermath, Inc. crews. Taking his readers through a landscape of violence and heart-rending drama, this is a harrowing journey to the extreme edge of human behaviour.
Paperback, 254 pages
Published August 16th 2007 by VISION Paperbacks (first published May 17th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,093)
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Hunger For Knowledge
Blood spatter. Bits and pieces of bone and tissue. Degradation products of the body. Rotten smell of death. Carrion flies and maggots. Just a few of the things you can come across in a crime scene, or even in a scene where deceased has met a natural, peaceful death.

It feels strange to think that before someone had the brain to come up with a crime scene cleaning company, the task of cleaning was on the shoulders of the victims family or, for example, church volunteers. Often it was easier to to
...more
RNOCEAN
In this grisly, swaggering tale of gut-churning crime scenes and the men who clean them up after the forensics team is done, veteran true crime scribe Reavill (Beyond All Reason: My Life with Susan Smith) holds nothing back. From descriptions of crimes ("The fusillade of bullets tore through Johnson's body.... Blood, bits of flesh and bone fragments exploded everywhere") to hepatitis C "bleed-outs" ("All four walls of the bathroom looked like someone had taken a blood hose and turned it on them" ...more
Kye Alfred Hillig
Having done this job I was ready to be very critical of it especially because the author wrote for Maxim which I think it a magazine that plays to the lowest common denominator. This book was incredibly true to life. I related to his nervousness riding out to his first job. It really rang bells with me about some of his revelations doing this line of work. It truly does make you realize that we are not our bodies. It also is true that once you have done this job that you never look at life or de ...more
Tammy Walton Grant
Jan 19, 2013 Tammy Walton Grant rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: forensic afficionados
I have always been a somewhat morbid sort, so you can see why this book appealed to me immensely.

It's an easy read, with tons of gnarly detail and incisive wit. I laughed out loud a number of times while reading, mostly from passages like this, where the author is referring to the death of a kid on his little league team when he was seven:

"You always remember your first dead body. The following afternoon at the funeral home, Chucky was a waxen figure arrayed in a coffin of polished mahogany, so
...more
Miles
Ewwww. Ick. Gross. All that and more. This is a book about the people who clean up when grandpa is found decomposing in the hallway three weeks after he died in the house where he lived alone. This is the story of people who scrape the brains off the wall after junior blows his head off with a shotgun. This is the tale of the maggots and bugs and vomit inducing stench of decomposition. You think you've got stain removal challenges? You don't have stain removal challenges. Bioremediation technici ...more
Renee
Aug 05, 2008 Renee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: CSI and crime story afficionados
Recommended to Renee by: Paul Sullivan
Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home, by Gil Reavill, is not for the faint of heart or the weak-stomached. Reavill, who is a crime story writer for Maxim, decided to do a story about a real-life company who does “bioremediation”; that is, clean-up and removal of the biological mess of violent crimes, suicides, long-unnoticed natural deaths. High Ick Factor but the story is told with humor, respect for those who do this work, and a good dose of self-deprecation (Reavill has a very wea ...more
Caleb Ross
Not exactly a review, but I do mention this book in one of my book vlog videos. Click the image below to watch (opens in YouTube).



Truly a fantastic and fascinating look into the cleaning of crime scenes. Though this book does do a great job at outlining the specifics (types of materials used, and such) it really shines by going into the lives of the survivors and of the cleaners themselves.
Kat
I found the author's jock/Maxim style extremely grating, and his liberal use of quotes to be downright annoying, but the book eventually won me over. At times it seemed like a thinly veiled advertisement for Aftermath, Inc., but there was just enough substance to keep things interesting. I was more interested in the science and methodology of crime scene clean-up, while the book focused more on the human aspect. Not a bad thing, just not quite what I expected.
Joanne Parkington
This book was right up my street so a 3 star rating was pretty much in the bag already ... in Britain the thankless task of cleaning up crime scenes belong's to the local council's fumigation & pest control team's but there's no such cover in America .... step forward bioremediation companies and in particular Aftermath Inc., ... Gil Reavill shadow's the 'techs' of the title at first like a giddy kid until the unpleasentness of the task's ahead start to sink in ... never mind the smell's.
The
...more
Tracey
My semi-morbid streak (along with a friend's reccomendation) led me to check this book out from my local library. Reavill is a true-crime writer who decided he should go one step further and learn about what happens to a crime scene once the law is done with it. Therefore, he meets the owners of Aftermath Inc., the heavy-hitters in the field of "bioremediation" - providing cleaning services to bio-contaminated sites; usually death scenes, but not always.

Reavill jumps in with both Tyvek-clad feet
...more
Dustin Gaughran
This was an interesting look at a subject no one ever really thinks about. But it was definitely educational. Some sections do not deal with clean up at all, though, and focus on the motives behind crimes, the criminal mind, or just out right philosophical musing about life and death. It all ties together, given the subject matter. But I felt it a little too far off base at times. You pick this up expecting gruesome details (which are present, don't get me wrong) about cleaning up crime scenes. ...more
Mirjam Penning
How two guys came up with the idea for a new business. They sort of rolled into it. One day, in their neighborhood someone died of unnatural causes and they offered to clean up after the fact when no one else would or could. When they think back about their first clean-up(s) they still shiffer. The book will tell you why.

The writer of the book was a 'volunteer' for awhile. It was research in the field for his book. He could a pretty good insight and sometimes more than he bargained for.
Some par
...more
Eva Leger
Aug 05, 2009 Eva Leger rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: CSI fans, ppl interested in this subject
Recommended to Eva by: found it on-line somwhere
I've read that some people feel this was written in a magazine article way and I have to disagree. I'm not sure if it was meant to insinuate that this would be a bad thing or not but either way I thought it was written just fine and not like a long article at all.
I think Reavill did pretty good job with the book overall, I learned a lot of things I had no idea about during the course of reading. I had never thought once about who cleans up these crime scenes and I especially never stopped to th
...more
Maddy
(Non-fiction)
RATING: 3.5

For years, Gil Reavill was a true crime correspondent for Maxim magazine. In spite of the fact that he reported on dozens of true crimes, he never visited a fresh crime scene. Instead, he would rely on one of the professionals at the site for the descriptions that he would use in his articles. So when he has the opportunity to work with a company that cleans up after suicides, murders and other messy deaths, he jumps at the chance.

Two young men by the name of Tim Reifstec
...more
Joy
This is not a book for the faint of heart - it is exactly as it states, a book about "what happens after CSI goes home." What DOES happen after a body is found and the investigation is over? A company in the relatively recent field of "bioremediation" comes in to clean up what's left. Blood, brains, "fluids," fingerprint powder, gunpowder residue, these guys have seen it all and cleaned it up more than once. The author is a crime writer who followed along with a few teams from Aftermath, Inc. to ...more
Bryce
After watching Sunshine Cleaning and reading The Mystical Art of Removing All Signs of Death, I've wondered at the reality of the crime scene cleanup business. Who would get into this business and why? How gruesome can it get?

The answers: Some nice Midwestern boys. Because there's a lot of money in it and it can actually help people. And pretty darn gruesome.

Reavill trails the owners and crews of Aftermath and the reports of what he experienced with this is straightforward, interesting and a li
...more
lola
I have a stomach for gore. My father walked in on his grandmother bludgeoned to death when he was 18, and forbade me to watch horror movies or Law & Order growing up because the vicarious enjoyment of other people's pain via popular entertainment is (let's be real) fucking disgusting.* At any rate, I saw someone reading this on the subway and figured I'd pick it up from the library. It was like a long Maxim article about death with occasional attempts at depth, and the physical book smelled ...more
Shell
This HAD to be the original draft. This was so painful to read I couldn't force myself to finish even though the subject matter was quite interesting. I found myself re-writing each paragraph in my head and began to wonder why I bothered to continue. Someone please take his keyboard away from him and direct him to an English class or three. Vicodin take me away!
Kim-Lost-In-A-Book
I really enjoyed this book, if "enjoyed" is the proper word to use for a non-fiction book about the people who clean up after death occurs.

While it is difficult to read at times due to it's graphic descriptions, it's also very educational and interesting to read. It's intelligently written. I think it should be required reading for all the fans of the CSI type tv shows. So they can see the less glamorous romanticized side of real life death. And see how those crime scenes are truly handled - th
...more
Laura
This was a fairly quick and interesting read. Reavill is a crime author (he wrote true-crime articles for Maxim, among other works) who accompanies the works at Afermath Inc, a "bioremediation" company that cleans up a location after a death, a hoarder situation, tear-gas use, etc. Reavill investigates the processes, describes job sites and specific crimes/clean-ups, and delves into the personalities working for such a company. He also explores his own thoughts and reactions. I don't know quite ...more
Sarah
This is a fascinating examination into the world of crime and death scene cleanup. Reavill explores the voyeurism and violation involved in looking at and being fascinated by death and decay. But he also discusses the compassion and respect necessary in dealing with the scenes of the dead. Once a person dies, they become an object, a corpse--with toxic fluids and body matter to clean up and obliterate. Reavill reminds us of the person that occupied that space, while explaining the fascinating bi ...more
Angela
Written by a crime writer (he usually writes for Maxim magazine) this insight in to what happens AFTER the crime was interesting to me. I have often wondered how the family deals with cleaning up after the worst day of their lives. I can't put in to words how devasting that idea must be. Yes, Aftermath is a commercial enterprise, and they do make money, but more than that, they offer a service that is so desperately needed.

I like reading about the crimes. I am a little off, part of what makes m
...more
Nancy
This was a fascinating book written by a crime-writer who works for Maxim magazine on the side, who decides to learn more about the people who clean up after suicides, homicides, industrial accidents, and unattended deaths. To do this, he shadows a company called Aftermath, Inc. who sends out teams to clean up after biological catastrophes for about six months. He describes in death some of the death scenes he visited with the Aftermath crew, and there are bits here and there that are not for pe ...more
Joseph Santiago
The author was a crime writer and this story becomes interesting as you learn about him through the book. Besides anyone willing to admit they got sick on the teacups while taking their kid on is ok in my book. When I first started reading this book I was wondering if it would be a story of every aspect of a business plan. This book shares some of the crimes that bring others to a violent end. It shares the isolation of some who died without anyone there and were left until the meat of a man was ...more
Ice
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kara
This was a FANTASTIC book! It was gritty, intense, and very interesting. It definitely proves the old adage that fact is often stranger than fiction! Everything was written out in such detail and definitely a very emotional read! In some cases (during the description of some of the murders) I definitely had to put the book down for awhile and then come back to it after a few hours (in the case of the Ed Gein murder description I needed to put the book down for a whole day). It's definitely not f ...more
J
This book is an amazing look at who cleans up after traumatic crimes. It opened my eyes to many different situations that I never really thought about. While definitly not for the squeemish, an interesting read. Much like Mary Roach's "Stiff". The author mixes a lot of facts and interesting bits of humanity into his writing, from quoting the Grateful Dead to miscellaneous trivia. If you've ever wondered about what happens after crime, or how the company "Aftermath" was started, you'll get a lot ...more
lytteltonwitch
I have never thought about what happens after a murder or any other death. The suicides or even sadder the person who lives alone and isn't found straight away. The mess that is left behind and this does explain why buildings often get burnt down. The author seem to have at times an unhealthy interest in the subject but then we are all a bit like that.

The people who do this job for a living have to have something special as I don't think that I could do the job and I am not particularly squeamis
...more
Jada Roche
I liked the topic but sweet fuck the author....I didn't need to read that he wrote for lad mags, the way he wrote screamed it. Glad to be done with this. I think a different author could do much much better with the information.
Catherine
This book was supposed to be about the company Aftermath, Inc., the founders, what their company does, and their employees, which is cleaning up after crimes, deaths, disasters, you name it. I was very interested in learning about the company and its culture. That covered about half of the book. The other half was a loose memoir of the author, who followed the Aftermath technicians on their jobs. I didn't buy the book to be baraged by the author's boring babble about himself and the numerous quo ...more
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