Recommended Book of the Week: Unatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd.

Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd

Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd - Credit: Archant

Dr Richard Shepherd tells his extraordinary story of his life as a forensic pathologist.

He solves the mysteries of unexplained or sudden death and this has meant he has been up close and personal to serial killers, victims of natural disasters and perfect murders and those who have suffered a freak accidents. His job is similar to the role of a detective and his ultimate and pressing quest is to find out how someone died.

And while he has been involved in some of the most high-profile cases of recent times, including the 7/7 bombings and the Hungerford massacre in August 1987, when he confirmed Michael Ryan had shot himself after killing 16 people, he admits it is often the less well-known encounters that have proved the most perplexing, intriguing and even bizarre.

In or out of the public eye, his evidence has put killers behind bars, freed the innocent and turned open-and-shut cases on their heads.

But a lifetime of death, bearing witness to some of humanity’s darkest corners, exacts a price and Shepherd doesn’t flinch from counting the cost to him and his family.

“The dead do not hide the truth and they never lie. Through me the dead can speak,” he says.