If you are a fan of forensic science based books and TV shows (like Patricia Cornwell's books or CSI) then this book is for you! This book is all about the "Body Farm": the plot in Knoxville, TN where forensic scientists study how dead bodies decompose under different conditions. While not for the squeamish, this book is so fascinating that it is hard to put down!
This is an utterly fascinating book describing a series of case studies taken from the career of the first author, Bill Bass, who is one of the nation's leading forensic anthropologists and the founder of the Body Farm. I have also had a life-long interest in true crime books, so when I found out about "Death's Acre" I ordered it promptly
What happens when a body is left above ground? Underground in plastic? In a car trunk? The differences from a scientific/ molecular view is fascinating. This is a very interesting window into the world of Dr. Bass - how he was drawn to this field of study, the hurdles he had to clear to get funding for his research - and the graduate students who are drawn to this field of science. Dr. Bass approaches his work with respect for the dead, yet maintains a gentle sense of humor as he explains the how and why of what he does. A fascinating read!
Wonderful non-fiction book with all the excitement of a fictional forensic murder mystery. Dr Bass includes several anecdotes about mistakes he made which reveals the human side of scientific research and the perils of making assumptions. Though written as a biography, all fans of Bones, CSI, or Criminal Minds will love this book that shares not only how "The Body Farm" came into being, but many of its precedent-setting experiments as well as a selection of real-life crimes that Dr. Bass is called upon to help solve thru the science of forensic anthropology.
The only negative I found was that some of the chapters seem to have been written as "stand alone" stories, then included in the book so that certain references are repeated over and over (such as the mistakes Dr Bass made over the years).
Additional treat is the foreword by Patricia Cornwell as well as the chapter about her request for a forensic experiment to be done that helps her write her novel "The Body Farm" which in turn brings Dr Bass' research facility into the public limelight and greatly increases donations of bodies for his research.
Heather reviewed Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab / The Body Farm / Where The Dead Do Tell Tales on
Helpful Score: 1
Very Good book. Death's acre invites readers on an unprecedented journey behind the gates of the body farm.A patch of land in the Tennessee hills, where corpses decompose and forensic anthropology is revolutionized.
This is an interesting and compelling look at the Body Farm at the University of Tennesse, written by the forensic anthropologist who created it. He describes a number of true crime cases that he has been called on as an expert witness, how he got his start in anthropology and how he is able to determine age, sex, and stature from just a handful of bone fragments. He also details how he first met Patricia Cornwell and how she got her start in writing the Kay Scarpetta series. A must-read for true crime aficionados or fans of Patricia Cornwell.