Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd

This book was recommended to me by a friend after enjoying This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay so much. Unnatural Causes is a memoir by Dr Richard Shepherd who is one of the UK’s leading pathologists. I was expecting it to take a similar form to This Is Going To Hurt but it is a full memoir rather than extracts detailing not only the challenges and opportunities in his professional life, but also his childhood and personal life.

Dr Shepherd’s professional portfolio is very impressive. He was involved in pathological investigations across a number of high profile cases: Stephen Lawrence, Dr Harold Shipman, Princess Diana and Baby Noah, as well as working through a number of famous disasters; the most notable being 9/11. His memoir takes us from his early life dealing with (or not as the case may be) the death of his mother at a young age, discovering pathology through a medical book his friend stole from his father and through his training into the world of work.

I personally find crimes fascinating; I studied Crime and Investigation BSc for my undergraduate degree and thoroughly enjoyed the hands on side of the course. So hearing about how Dr Shepherd processed the bodies and reconstructed the crimes in his mind really interested me. However, I have to admit I almost didn’t continue with the book as I felt his journey to pathology and establishing his career was too slow placed. It is well worth sticking through to the end though!

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