In this text on forensic entomology, the author examines the way in which this profession is practised, based on his own study of the life-histories of Diptera - especially blowflies.The author cites many high-profile cases, some of them notorious crimes, from the present day and from the past. Two murders of the last century are written about at length and the author also includes many cases in which he was personally involved, including one dating from November, 1862 in which two children went for a walk in some woods and were never seen alive again. An inquest concluding that their deaths were produced by "cold, accelerated by moisture in the form of sleet and rain". Erzinclioglu was able to advise that no British fly species know to breed in carrion could lay eggs in such temperatures; revealing that the children must have been abducted and killed, and their bodies later left in the woods.
The author also expresses his concern about how forensic evidence is given in court, suggesting that, now The Forensic Science Service is an executive agency of the Home Office - paid for on an item service basis - it may be used less frequently, or inferior advice sought because it is cheaper. He argues for a system whereby a judge can commission accredited scientists drawn from a panel, bringing our justice system in line with that of France.
Shortlisted for Macallan Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction 2001.