All That Remains: A Life in Death
Professor Dame Sue Black discusses the subject she grapples with every day - Death - bringing her unique perspective to the multitudinous circumstances in which life is lost. From the painful grieving process after losing a loved one, to violence, murder, criminal dismemberment, missing persons, war (such as Kosovo), natural disasters (such as a tsunami), unidentified bodies, historical remains -- involving investigative agencies, lawyers, justice, criminal sentences, and always sadness and pain, she takes us on a scientific and reflective journey explaining the genetic DNA traits that develop before our birth, and those traits and features we gather in the twists and turns through life, all of which add up to an identity that reveals itself in death.
Riveting as the best crime novel, and leavened with humour, this is an enriching and reassuring read and a parallel celebration of life.
"Dame Sue Black writes about life and death with great tenderness but no nonsense, with impeccable science lucidly explained, and with moral depths humanely navigated, so that we can all feel better about the path we must all inevitably follow. I am genuinely glad I read this book." -- Lee Child "No scientist communicates better than Professor Sue Black. All That Remains is a unique blend of memoir and monograph that admits us into the remarkable world of forensic anthropology." -- Val McDermid, award-winning author of THE MERMAIDS SINGING "Most of us are terrified of death, but Sue Black shows us that death is in fact a wondrous process, intimately tied with life itself. Written with warmth and humanity, All That Remains reveals her life among the dead, who can surely count her as their best friend." -- Tess Gerritsen "Compelling, brave and extremely accessible.. A must for anyone who thinks about the basics of living and dying. And there are jokes as well." -- Rachel Joyce "Sue Black has been intimately involved with the aftermath of death for her whole professional career and in her book she weaves in details of her amazing and active life with her analysis of death in a narrative that is personal, touching, occasionally tragic but also instilled with her wonderful sense of humour." -- Dr Richard Shepherd, Consultant Forensic Pathologist
Professor Sue Black is one of the world's leading forensic anthropologists, the Director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, and the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Her forensic expertise has been crucial to a number of high-profile criminal cases, and in 1999 she headed the British Forensic Team's exhumation of mass graves in Kosovo. Sue Black has often appeared in the media: in BBC Two's History Cold Case, and the documentary 'After the Wave: Ten years since the Boxing Day Tsunami'. In October 2015 Professor Black was the guest for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to forensic anthropology.