Book Review: Morgue: A Life in Death

Morgue Book Cover Morgue
Vincent DiMaio, Ron Franscell,
St. Martin's Press
May 17, 2016

In this clear-eyed, gritty, and enthralling narrative, Dr. Vincent Di Maio and veteran crime writer Ron Franscell guide us behind the morgue doors to tell a fascinating life story through the cases that have made Di Maio famous-from the exhumation of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to the complex issues in the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Beginning with his street-smart Italian origins in Brooklyn, the book spans 40 years of work and more than 9,000 autopsies, and Di Maio's eventual rise into the pantheon of forensic scientists. One of the country's most methodical and intuitive criminal pathologists will dissect himself, maintaining a nearly continuous flow of suspenseful stories, revealing anecdotes, and enough macabre insider details to rivet the most fervent crime fans.

my Review

Being an Medical Examiner sounds like a cool job. Digging around in dead folks always sounded interesting to me. But I bet there’s a lot of paperwork. Morgue: A Life in Death is about DiMaio’s fascinating career as an ME (don’t worry, he doesn’t talk about the paperwork).
DiMaio’s career was sounds like it’s from one of those crime fiction novel serials that, some how, always find our lead in some high-profile case. And by book 20 in the series you can’t help but think “Come on, no one’s career deals with THIS many big cases”. Except DiMaio’s did. And that’s one reason this book worked so well. DiMaio didn’t just examine big stories as an outsider and write about them. This were actual cases he worked on. And boy, he worked on some doozies. Cases run the gambit from Trayvon Martin to Lee Harvey Oswald, from Vincent van Gogh to Phil Spectre. Each case is written about with respect without being sanitized. DiMaio included enough detail to keep the reader informed and knowledgeable without the stories feeling bogged down in facts.
If you have any interest in non-fiction or true crime, please pick this one up. Heck, the Trayvon Martin case ALONE makes this book worth a read. But I think that once you read that case, which is the first case in the book, you’ll continue on to devour this book as quickly as I did.

**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** Professional Reader

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