The remarkable casebook of Britain's top forensic scientist
‘All I could see was the blood. A large pool of it had seeped out from the shattered skull of the young woman who was lying face down on the carpet at the far left of the room. More blood had reached out in great scarlet arcs across the walls and the ceiling, splashing the furniture and fittings along the way.’
As one of the UK’s leading forensic scientists, Mike Silverman has helped to identify and convict dozens of murderers, rapists, armed robbers, burglars and muggers thanks to the evidence they – or their victims – unwittingly left behind at the scenes of their crimes. In Written in Blood, he opens his casebook to the public for the first time. This is the gripping story of the changing face of forensic science in the UK and beyond, told through the individual cases Silverman has faced over the past thirty-five years.
We follow the progress of cases that remained unsolved for years until breakthroughs in technology helped solve them, as well as examining high-profile cases – including the murders of Damilola Taylor and Rachel Nickell – where the original forensic evidence led to miscarriages of justice. From the days when fingerprints were still being compared by hand to the advent of DNA profiling and the current dangers of ‘the CSI effect’ in the courtroom, Silverman provides intriguing insights into the practical application of forensic techniques and how they are used to help solve real-world crime scenes.
Packed with original case files, genuine crime scene photographs and original sketches, Written in Blood is the ultimate insider’s account of the fascinating world of forensic science.
“This is a book that every crime writer should have in their library.”
Lynda La Plante
“Prepare to be shocked as Silverman reveals what went on behind the scenes and demonstrates that scientists, even forensic scientists, are only human. If you like science, forensics, modern history and politics, or just a good read, you will enjoy this book.”
“Mike Silverman goes after the guilty - it's in his DNA. And it's not just criminals who are brought to book by his finely honed forensic skills. Written In Blood is an apt title. There's bucket-loads of it here. Silverman's special field of expertise is blood pattern analysis and he's very good at it.”
“Silverman gives fascinating insight into many of the cases that have dominated the headlines from 1974 until his retirement – cases such and Damilola Taylor, Rachel Nickell, Stephen Lawrence, Sally Clark and Jill Dando.”
Alisdair Logan, The Justice Gap
“This book is not for the faint-hearted. Don’t expect to tiptoe into the shallow end and ease yourself into the gory details. From the first page, Silverman gives you a sharp shove between the shoulderblades and sends you face-first into the pool.”
Dr Anna Williams, BBC Focus Magazine