Review: All that Remains: A Renowned Forensic Scientist on Death, Mortality, and Solving Crimes by Sue Black

Title: All That Remains

Author: Sue Black

Narrator: Angela Dawe

Length: 10 hours and 22 mins

4 stars out of five
4 stars – It was really good

Trigger Warnings: Graphic depictions of death and dissection. Discussions of hate crimes, murder, death of a family members and parents, grief, guilt, dementia, physician-assisted suicide, suicide, terrorist attacks, genocide, death of children, musophobia (fear of rodents), PTSD, pedophilia, child abuse

Sue Black is a professor of anatomy and forensic anthropology in the UK and confronts death every day. This book discusses the many different faces of death she has come to know and how it has influenced her views on death and dying. 

This was another fascinating book by Sue Black. This book discusses her forensic anthropology work on modern cases, mass fatalities due to war and natural disasters, and ancient remains.  Interwoven with these cases is reflection on her personal life and the deaths within it, like her beloved uncle and her parents deaths. 

The part that I found most fascinating about this book was her discussion of mass fatalities due to war and natural disasters. She talks about her experiences in Kosovo identifying remains and of the 2004 tsunami. Sue’s experiences at these violence scenes were very emotional and heartbreaking, but she did her duty and was always respectful to the dead and their families. 

These experiences with large scale disasters pushed her to advocate for Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) training in the UK. This program is now well established and has helped with disasters around the world. She even helped write the textbook for the DVI course. I love that she is an advocate for her field and is determined to teach future generations what she knows. She really has helped expand the field she is in. 

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you are interested in forensics or death positive books. I also suggest picking up her other book, Written in Bone, if you are looking for just forensics and true crime nonfiction. 

Goodreads | Amazon

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