Written in Bone
Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind
By Sue Black
From the author of All That Remains, a tour through the human skeleton and the secrets our bones reveal.
Longlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association ALCS Gold Dagger for Nonfiction.
In her memoir All That Remains, internationally renowned forensic anthropologist and human anatomist Dame Sue Black recounted her life lived eye to eye with the Grim Reaper. During the course of it, she offered a primer on the basics of identifying human remains, plenty of insights into the fascinating processes of death, and a sober, compassionate understanding of its inescapable presence in our existence, all leavened with her wicked sense of humor.
In her new book, Sue Black builds on the first, taking us on a guided tour of the human skeleton and explaining how each person’s life history is revealed in their bones, which she calls “the last sentinels of our mortal life to bear witness to the way we lived it.” Her narrative follows the skeleton from the top of the skull to the small bones in the foot. Each step of the journey includes an explanation of the biology—how the bone is formed in a person’s development, how it changes as we age, the secrets it may hold—and is illustrated with anecdotes from the author’s career helping solve crimes and identifying human remains, whether recent or historical. Written in Bone is full of entertaining stories that read like scenes from a true-life CSI drama, infused with humor and no-nonsense practicality about the realities of corpses and death.
Publisher: Arcade (June 1, 2021) | 336 pages | 9781951627805