This is a fascinating account written by one of the forensic investigators following the terrorist attacks in London on 7th and 21st July. It was really interesting to read about one of the team going off to the crime scene and their role working with the police.
These are shocking events to remember and to dwell on and I think the author does a good job trying to describe what it is like to have to dwell on the attacks because of the job you are doing. The scene in the underground is described in enough detail to get a sense of the horror of being there. There is some description about the process to understand the type of bombs which were made. Finally the book ends with the court case and the involvement of the forensic team presenting their evidence.
The author reminds the reader that these are his memories of the events and that the book is not intended to cover the entire investigation, only the forensic parts. I found it engaging and an interesting read. I have no personal connection to the attacks and I think if you did, it would be quite a difficult and emotional book to read.
by Elaine Davenport
A fascinating insight in to Cliff Todd’s life working for the Forensic Explosives Laboratory or FEL.
It took me a while to get in to the book and get used to Cliff’s delivery which is rather ‘blokey’ and casual with a lot of “So I” “So then” but it soon became unimportant and unnoticeable as he started talking about working on 7/7. I loved the way Cliff always stopped to reflect on how he felt after each traumatic day and that his narrative often relates how he was concerned for their mental health and happiness. The FEL certainly seemed to be a team I’d be happy working in.
For someone nosy like me, it was great to get a peek ‘backstage’ at tragedies that I’d followed so closely on the news and Cliff was respectful and professional in the way he recounted those details.
I won’t say the chapters on explosives and how they are forensically detected were fascinating to me, but I could follow them and learned something so hats off to Cliff for that!
I really enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to anyone interested in forensic technique and on how a major crime incident is investigated.
by Kate Southey