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Dead Reckoning

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3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  522 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Michael Baden and Marion Roach take readers to the autopsy table in the morgue and practically place the scalpel in their hands to show how advances in forensic science are solving crimes as never before. They visit cases both famous and ordinary to explain why the first hour at a crime scene is crucial. They reveal, for the first time, how a key clue to the killer of Nico ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 2nd 2002 by Arrow
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(showing 1-30 of 1,186)
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Rebecca McNutt
Dead Reckoning is an intriguing look at the new sciences and technologies being used to corner criminals in today's society. I think it got a little too technical as it went on but it was still a good book.
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Mar 04, 2011 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Niecole
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Pick-a-Shelf
Shelves: pick-a-shelf, 2011
I belong to a book club where a member gets to pick a genre each month and we all read whatever books we want to from that genre. When I first saw the shelf for February was Science, I admit it, I groaned. Then I figured that I like thrillers, so a book on forensics might be pretty good. And I was right. Dr. Michael Baden is a forensic scientist, medical examiner, news consultant, and expert witness. He has been involved in many cases over his career, including many high profile cases. In additi ...more
Book Concierge
I have been interested in forensic science, particularly forensic pathology, since I was in about 7th grade (early '60s). I am endlessly fascinated with this subject. So I had high hopes for this book. Baden is a nationally known forensic pathologist. But he is far too aware of his own reputation. Rather than informative, I found this to be egotistical.
Erika
Nov 21, 2015 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
I thought this book was very good. It kept me captivated and intrueged. Dead Reckoning is about forensic science. A former forensic scientist takes you into his world, showing you what happens behind the scenes of crimes, and how crimes are solved. Each chapter is a different aspect of the crime scenes. It shows you things like autopsies, how blood splatters vary and what it could mean, and also, what occurs in the court room, as well as many other things. I would definitly reccomend this book t ...more
F
Apr 21, 2015 F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What Baden knows he really knows and this book is written in a easy to read, engaging style. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and learned quite a bit. I really enjoyed the personal touches and glimpses of men like Henry Lee.

There are a few points, however, that keep me from giving it 5 stars.

Baden has little or no use for profiling. He summarily dismisses it with a somewhat lame excuse that any experienced detective can tell you the same things as a profiler. In doing this Baden dismisses an excell
...more
Freyja
Feb 06, 2016 Freyja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-this
One of the things we have to do in class is recognize who the book was written for. I would put this book as the casual interested 'normal person', as well at a student just starting in the field, to get a general scope of what's involved.
I really really enjoyed it. It was easy and very enjoyable to read, and despite the (sometimes) graphic material depicted, it was one I reached for automatically to read over my morning breakfast and tea.
If you are at all curious about forensic pathology, or a
...more
g-na
Feb 11, 2012 g-na rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biology-medicine
Yet another in a series of books I have read about forensic investigation, this time written by a former NYC chief medical examiner who has autopsied thousands of bodies. In addition to presenting some interesting, and sometimes high-profile, cases, the author spends time discussing the ethics behind being a forensic investgator and brings up some surprising points, such as evidence discovered may never make it into the courtroom if it does not support the position of whichever side hired the in ...more
Beka
Dec 08, 2010 Beka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: criminology
An informative book concerning forensic sciences. Although Baden seems to be a highly respected, competent medical examiner and forensic pathologist, he clearly does not give much thought to areas he considers useless (i.e. profiling and creation). It was ironic that he was discussing what he calls "junk science" and says that he considers junk science to include when people tout unproven theories as facts, yet he blindly believes that the myriad of complex organs in our body just evolved one by ...more
Stephanie Griffin
Good for someone new to the subject of forensic science, but a little too basic for me. Also, some of the writing was a bit self-aggrandizing...
~Stephanie
Sharon Eaton
I loved it. A fast-paced, informative read for anyone who enjoys true crime. It provides an in-depth look into the different subspecialties of forensic pathology and those who do the groundbreaking work in those fields. The authors' ability to take you inside a laboratory, morgue or murder scene is uncanny and you can't help but respect the methods employed by the "rock star" scientists and criminalists involved. The manner in which scenes are described make it seem like you are right there whil ...more
Aurora
Feb 22, 2016 Aurora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was decent, but not as technical as I was expecting. I was hoping for more scientific explanation and less emotional diatribe. Additionally, his unabashed sexism detracted from the professional aspect. Overall, though, I would say it's a good introduction to general forensic science.
Pete
Jun 08, 2009 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very informative book on the work of a forensic pathologist. Michael Baden really knows what he is talking about, having worked as a pathologist in New York City for many years, even hosting his own show called Autopsy on HBO. The book goes into very vivid detail so it really isn't for squeamish people.

There is also no shortage of a personal touch by way of a very distinct tone from the author. Dr. Baden goes into great detail in examining the cases of Jonbenet Ramsey and O.J. Simpson
...more
Nicole
Mar 27, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another foray into forensic pathology, this time with accomplished pathologist Dr Baden. A great read for both the lay public or interested professionals, the book weaves science and courtroom proceedings and discusses how the science is investigated and discovered. Great chapters on autopsies, the importance of entomology, and how faulty science can have far-reaching havoc on the lives of the wrongly accused. The book treats its subject matter with respect and dignity though at times may be a l ...more
Stephanie
Mar 16, 2011 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fairly easy reading, with a few historical tidbits that are quite interesting. The science part of it is well-written and easy to understand, and the cases themselves, although well-publicized, are offered from a different and intensely personal perspective ... including the OJ Simpson case, the TWA 800 disaster and the unearthing of the Romanov graves in Russia. The photographs included in the book include crime scene and/or autopsy photos of Nicole Simpson, passengers from the TWA bombing, Med ...more
Kirsten
Oct 03, 2011 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marion Roach has done a great job of co-writing this book. Reading the descriptions of Dr. Baden's work is rather like having Michael sitting across the dinner table -- she captures his voice wonderfully.

If you are already familiar with the science, this book might have too much overview for your tastes. It's a great introduction however, and has some really engaging case studies. Great stuff from a man at the top of his field.
Debra
Sep 24, 2012 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baden, the former New York City Medical Examiner, takes us behind the scenes to discover how forensic science works. He details some high-profile stuff (untested blood droplets on Nicole Simpson's back) and just plain interesting stuff (like exhuming Medgar Ever's body 28 years after burial and it looked like it was buried the day before). All fascinating stuff.
Renée Mee
Dec 03, 2012 Renée Mee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction


Good read; a bit dry in places but good insight into the world of forensic medicine and the need to be as scientific as possible. No room for emotion or personal feelings. Makes one glad that pathology and science have combined and do not forget DNA , to fight crime and bring justice to victims. On the whole quite readable and enjoyable despite the topic.
SouthWestZippy
Informative and interesting and has some short history lessons on forensics. Does fall short of a clear explanation of why a case fell through or came together but still gives fascinating and raw look at forensics.
Michael Baden does talk a little about the O.J. Simpson and the "Wood Chipper Murder" cases and the autopsies.
Sue
Sep 02, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimen
Well-organized, though clearly written for the layman. Close to impossible to guess the knowledge of the reader so, to avoid presuming or assuming, probably best to just “put it all out there.” My favorite chapter was “Inside,” and I will add that I enjoyed it more than I had expected; full of juicy details.
Edie
Jun 01, 2012 Edie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition


Very interesting. I could of done without the slams on Texas and our death penalty. I also thought the entire chapter 11 was just an attempt to squeeze out 18 filler pages and make the book bigger. But, that said, the other 10 chapters were graphically griping.
Pete
Dec 21, 2011 Pete rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was amazing when I read it in high school. I was in the law academy at school so I was taking Forensic Science instead of Chemistry. It was a great read, very informative and gruesome as all get out.
Diana
Dr. Baden (M.E.) tells some cases, and we delve into other aspects of forensics, like the blood school.

Interesting cases, but very disjointed. You're never quite sure what you're reading.
Julie
Nov 19, 2010 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medical
I picked this up for 50 cents at a garage sale. It is a little outdated, but pretty interesting book about autopsies and forensic science.
Giovanni Calabro
Aug 28, 2007 Giovanni Calabro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone with a strong stomach
It was as interesting as it was disturbing. This is written by the medical examiner that was on the HBO documentaries, "Autopsy."
Kathryn
slow reading...but the science sucked me in!!!!!! ok,,,i admit it: watched way too much quincy in my formative years.
Colleen
Jun 22, 2013 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I completely loved this book. What a amazing mind. I read this about 10 years ago. I still have it.
Wendy Luvert
Feb 10, 2010 Wendy Luvert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000-2002
I learned lots of things about forensics from this book. Fascinating!!!It has actual crime scene photos.
Larissa
Jun 06, 2009 Larissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
easy-to-understand and very interesting if you're interested in forensics (i just happen to be)
Diane Familia
Very informative and detailed as far as what a forensic pathologists goes through.
Christina
Nov 28, 2009 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, forensics
The science in the book is good, but it is the anecdotes that really makes the book.
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Michael M. Baden is a physician and board-certified forensic pathologist known for his work investigating high-profile deaths and as a host of HBO's Autopsy. He is also the Forensic Science Contributor for Fox News Channel. ~ Wikipedia
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