Written on the Skin

  • by Liz Porter
  • Narrated by Elizabeth Kaye
  • 14 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This well-researched and entertaining audiobook looks at the role of forensic investigators in solving dozens of fascinating crimes and mysteries.In a close examination of an assault victim's body, a forensic physician can 'read' the terrible alphabet that fists and weapons have written across it.A crime scene investigator notes the tiny indentations on the fragments of a tin can identified at a bomb site, enabling him to find the can opener that made them - and the bomb-maker who used it.A forensic dentist identifies the thief who dropped some chewing gum, with his teeth marks in it, during a burglary.Liz Porter's riveting case book shows how forensic investigators - including pathologists, chemists, entomologists, DNA specialists, and document examiners - have used their expertise in dozens of fascinating crimes and mysteries.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Liz Porter's fascinating Written on the Skin has that rare distinction of being a truly unique and wholly entrancing work: a casebook recording, in intricate and abundant detail, a body of forensic fieldwork that may seem, to the average listener, almost akin to magic.
Voice actor Elizabeth Kaye uses her warm, dry voice to great effect in her performance of this audiobook, and her careful, consistent tone is well-suited to Porter's subject matter: the methodical review of corpses which can reveal so much about the circumstances of their lives, and deaths.

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What the Critics Say

"Elizabeth Kaye narrates this Australian forensic casebook with vitality and intelligence. As she presents the particulars of selected cases solved by forensics - the 2002 Bali bombing, a fatal hit-and-run in Victoria, the Lindy Chamberlain case - listeners grow to understand that crime technicians don't have the glamour jobs seen on the popular C.S.I. shows that pepper the TV airwaves. Each of the 10 chapters deals with one special area used to solve cases, including 'Reading the Blood,' 'Reading the Bones,' and 'Reading the Crime Scene'. Porter's writing style mixes science with storytelling, and Kaye's reading is as exciting as the scientific study of decomposition can be, taking listeners through labor-intensive tests of bugs, bones, blood, and DNA. Well-organized research and a solid reading make this gripping listening." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Chillingly educational

Would you listen to Written on the Skin again? Why?

I listen to it often. It reader has great voice, and the stories are haunting and interesting and well worth several listens.


What did you like best about this story?

That it doesn't shy away from the horror, but doesn't exploit it either. The aim is to showcase great forensic work, while keeping it accessible to the layperson. It succeeds on both counts.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

All the cases are moving in their own way, which is the greta strength of this book.


Any additional comments?

Great broad overview for people who are ready to step beyond the CSI stuff.

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- Severa

Great book but not keen on the narrator

What made the experience of listening to Written on the Skin the most enjoyable?

The content of the book - I really enjoyed the detail of the cases rather than the quick overviews you get with a lot of forensic stories


What did you like best about this story?

Again the content


Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I thought that the narrator wasn't the best choice - might have been better read by an Australian to match the content. She seemed to stumble over a few words and the pace was wrong - she read too quickly where pauses would have helped to digest the material


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Most of the cases were very harrowing


Any additional comments?

Great book, lots of scientific content, let down for me by the narrator a bit

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- Denise

Book Details

  • Release Date: 14-08-2009
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd