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Dead Men Tell Tales: The Memoir of a Police Surgeon Book Review

Dead Men Tell Tales: The Memoir of a Police Surgeon Book Cover

Dead Men Tell Tales: The Memoir of a Police Surgeon  
Author: Dr. B. Umadathan
Translated to English by: Priya K. Nair
Genre: Memoir, True Crime
Pages: 364
Publication date: 31 March 2021
Publisher: Harper Collins India

Can the dead tell their stories? In the hands of a good forensic surgeon, they certainly can.

First published in 2010 in Malayalam as Oru Police Surgeonte Ormakkurippukal, this is the bestselling memoir of Kerala’s most famous forensic surgeon, Dr B. Umadathan.

Popularly known as the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Kerala’, Dr Umadathan revisits some of his strangest and most interesting cases, like the Chacko murder masterminded by Sukumara Kurup; the sensational Polakkulam case; and the baffling Panoor Soman case.

Chilling, shocking and, at times, downright bizarre, Dead Men Tell Tales is unputdownable.

Dr B. Umadathan (1946-2019) served as professor and police surgeon in Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Thrissur medical colleges. He was the medical-legal advisor of Kerala Police.

He is the author of Medical Science in Criminal Investigation (2014), Crime in Kerala: The History of Criminal Investigation in Kerala (2016) and The Skull (2019).

Dead Men Tell Tales: The Memoir of a Police Surgeon IG Pic 1

I personally am a huge true crime fan and this book was just the perfect book for me. Dr. B. Umadathan was such a fascinating and admirable person. He was an expert in his field who performed autopsies. This is his memoir recalling his first hand experiences as a police surgeon. He tells some of the most interesting and fascinating anecdotes revolving his career. These anecdotes were definitely my most favorite part of this book because every anecdote felt like a mini detective short story.

He also explained some scientific terms about the ways people die which was so fascinating to know. My favorites were when he explained ballistics and exhumation.

This book is so fast paced because it gets you hooked within the first page and you cannot put this book down. The writing was also very fluid and comprehensive, and translated well. I can understand that this book might sound intimidating to some people but he wrote this book in such a plain but grasping language that it is accessible to everyone.

This book reads like a detective story where there is a mystery of a death to solve but it’s even better because of the fact that it’s not fiction. When you realize that everything in this book is real, it adds another level of enjoyment and fascination.

There were also many pictures and illustrations that added more value and enjoyment to this book.

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Example of illustration that is present in this book.

My verdict is this is a must read for fans of true crime and mystery thriller fans, and everyone else. Like I said I am a sucker for true crime and have always been fascinated by autopsies, forensics, investigation, and seeing a bit of behind-the-scenes of post mortems and the process investigations was so incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the first page to the last. Highly recommend it!

My rating : 5 out of 5 stars.


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