Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Voice for the Dead” as Want to Read:
A Voice for the Dead
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Voice for the Dead

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  77 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
"James E. Starrs takes us behind the scenes and on the sites of several exhumations. He intends to set the record straight on the coldest of cold cases, to right the wrongs done by tall tales, cover-ups, and cherished historical legends." "Among the exhumations he writes about are those of Alfred Packer, a nineteenth-century Colorado prospector accused of cannibalism; of a ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 28th 2005 by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated (first published 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Voice for the Dead, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Voice for the Dead

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
M. D.  Hudson
Sep 22, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
“A forensic investigator’s pursuit of the truth in the grave” concerns digging up famous corpses to investigate how they really died. Since I was a child, I’ve been graveyard-obsessed (but not in a Jeffrey Dahmer way, I swear), so this kind of book is like catnip. It is, however, the worst-written book in the world. Just awful. Starrs is by turns preening, obnoxious and vain. His prose displays an almost unbelievable capacity for cliché. When not indulging in cliché, he shares pointless side sto ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can honestly say this was a horrible book. It felt like a CSI kids book that tries to impress you by using big words with little relevant content. I hate to say this but I felt bored with it. The author held grudges against people who disagreed with him and seems to have felt that this book would be a great forum to express his opinion that only his view can be correct. If you are interested in forensic science, the work by Bill Bass & Jon Jefferson Book entitled Death's Acre: Inside the L ...more
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is more like 2 1/2 stars for me. I liked the stories inspite of the author. I really enjoy true crime and the stories in this book are fascinating. I found the author a bit wordy and he came off to me a bit smitten with himself.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting how much can be learned from the bones of the dead.
Jun 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am quite sure that should I ever have the chance to hear the author speak that one of the following would occur;
1) He would be as long winded as his writing style, or
2) He might prove to be more interesting that he comes across in his writings.

The stories were fascinating, but a bit long winded in parts... often clothed in what I perceived to be some sort of self aggrandizement. I kept being reminded of the Hemingway followers who go to the running of the bulls, grow a beard and end up trying
I really enjoyed Dr. Starr's book and the cases he presents, especially the Boston Strangler case. However the main thing that I did not like about the book is that he would use these large words that I didn't know what they meant and I read a lot. Granted I could have looked them up but I feel that this not only wastes my energies and takes away from the flow of the book if I have to stop and look up a word. He also uses Latin words that he doesn't define, expecting the readers to know what the ...more
While the topic is fascinating, Starrs doesn't really write for the lay reader. He sprinkles terms into his writing without explaining them, possibly assuming anyone reading his book will already be familiar with them.

I've given up on this book 50 pages in. The fascinating parts are buried under the academic prose and the attempt at humor.

Verdict: perfect if you are a die-hard fan of the topic, but not for your average Joe.
Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)

Introduction: Desiderata for an Exhumation
1. Alfred G. Packer, The Colorado Cannibal with a...Conscience
2. Carl Austin Weiss, MD, He Died in Marble Halls
3. Frank Olson, The Man Who Fell Thirteen Stories
4. Jesse James, The Houdini of Western Outlaws
5. Mary A. Sullivan, She Was Just Nineteen
6. The Unheard of Voices of the Dead
Selected Bibliography by Chapter
Aug 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting to learn about the history of persons exhumed, why they were exhumed, and the results of exhumation.

It was difficult to get through the last chapter. The author just rambled on a bit too much.
Sep 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: criminology
An interesting story about information from many of the famous deaths.
Apr 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, wishlist
Not as riveting as some of the other forensic books I've read.
Stephanie A.
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I read it based on my obsession with CSI. This was not a good reason. I enjoyed reading about the original cases and not much else.
Kitty Tomlinson
Mar 24, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Couldn't get into it. May try again later.
Yellowlees Douglas
rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2015
Ron Langley
rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2010
rated it it was ok
Oct 22, 2011
Brooke Cale
rated it it was ok
May 28, 2009
rated it liked it
Sep 14, 2015
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2011
rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2012
rated it liked it
Aug 06, 2014
rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2012
rated it liked it
Aug 07, 2012
rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2014
Heather Mathie
rated it liked it
Oct 03, 2017
Q. Kelly
rated it liked it
May 31, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Feb 17, 2008
rated it liked it
Feb 26, 2013
Roger Perreault
rated it liked it
Aug 27, 2012
rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »