Sunday, May 15, 2016
Review of Morgue: A Life in Death
by Vincent DiMaio and Ron Franscell
St. Martin's Press, May 2016
Review by Robert A. Waters
Morgue: A Life in Death is the one of the best true crime books of the year. I highly recommend it to all connoisseurs of true crime as well as to anyone interested in pathology, forensics, or the medical field in general.
Humans have always wondered what happens to the soul after death. Dr. Vincent DiMaio admits that he can't answer that question. But as a long-time medical examiner, and now consulting pathologist, he can usually tell why someone died.
DiMaio has been called on to help solve numerous mysterious deaths, from the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman fiasco to the 125-year-old shooting of Vincent Van Gogh. The results of his examinations of events surrounding these and other cases are artfully described by celebrated true crime writer and novelist, Ron Franscell.
Sandwiched between Martin/Zimmerman and Van Gogh, the authors delve into many intriguing cases. DiMaio consulted in the case of Phil Spector, and in the exhumation and re-examination of Lee Harvey Oswald's remains. The reader will gain much “inside knowledge” in these and other cases.
Morgue begins with a brief biography of Dr. DiMaio's amazing life. A second chapter recounts the modern-day history of coroners and medical examiners. Then the authors charge straight for the reader's throat with a chapter about the shooting of Trayvon Martin. A little-known detail not covered by the media may have been a deciding factor in the jury's acquittal of Zimmerman. Throughout the book, each succeeding story ratchets up the suspense.
In addition to being a page-turner, Morgue is one of those rare books that actually teach the reader something useful.
Posted by Robert A. Waters at 12:57 AM