Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical ExaminerReceived an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Staying alive, as it turns out, is mostly common sense.

This is undoubtedly my ‘Must Read’ Non-Fiction book of 2014 so far.  If you’re like me and have a penchant for American crime shows and books about 9/11 then this book is for you!

To give you fair warning though if you look away during the autopsy scenes in NCIS or the operations in Grey’s Anatomy (guilty) then this book is going to be rather gruesome but well worth persevering through your ‘Eeek’ barrier.

One of the things I loved the most about the book (aside from its fascinating subject matter) was the way that the author didn’t let her personal life take over the book.  In other non-fiction books I’ve read, they start out being about the job (what you picked the book up for) and end with some introspective rambling.  However, with this you get tale upon tale of some of the numerous bodies she had to deal with whilst working in New York (The 9/11 chapter was especially harrowing).

Judy Melinek gives great insight into a job which is unerringly fascinating but which most of us wouldn’t have the nerves of steel to actually do.  Combined with some great writing, and black humour in parts, this book is a real page-turner and I finished reading cover-to-cover within 24 hours of receiving the ARC through the post.

PS. I also personally learnt a new word: defenestrated.

Book: 5*

Cover: 4*

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