Excellent read! Great flow...author does not "bounce around" too much within the story. Lots of fascinating, factual information. At times, the book almost read like prose, which must have been difficult to achieve considering the context. I also liked the few pages of pictures that were included in the center of the book. Douglas Starr is a terrific writer - I couldn't put this book down!
(From Douglas Starr's website http://www.douglasstarr.com/dstarr-shepherds-overview.htm)
A riveting true crime story that vividly recounts the birth of modern forensics.
At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, dubbed “The Killer of Little Shepherds,” terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years—until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era’s most renowned criminologist. The two men typified the Belle Époque, a period of immense scientific achievement and fascination with science’s promise to reveal the secrets of the human condition.
With high drama and stunning detail, Douglas Starr relates the infamous crime and punishment of Vacher, interweaving the story of how Lacassagne and his colleagues developed forensic science as we know it. We see one of the earliest uses of criminal profiling, as Fourquet painstakingly collects eyewitness accounts, leading to Vacher’s arrest. And we see the twists and turns of the celebrated trial: to disprove Vacher’s defense by reason of insanity, Fourquet recruits Lacassagne, who had revolutionized criminal science by refining the use of blood-spatter evidence, systematizing the autopsy, and doing groundbreaking research in psychology. Lacassagne’s forensic investigation ranks among the greatest of all time, and its denouement is gripping.
An important contribution to the history of medicine and criminal justice, impressively researched and thrillingly told.