Unfortunate as the jurors’ mind-reading attempts may have been, Humes’s main objection to the Parks trial has to do with evidence-gathering. Before he is done with it, the small fire that killed Parks’s kids grows into a conflagration threatening the integrity of the American criminal justice system ... Humes makes no mention, however, of what might be the strongest weapon in Cohen’s arsenal: Burned itself, a powerful brief not only for Parks but also for a recognition of the weaknesses in forensic science generally.
The narrative heats up as Humes uncovers the inherently flawed, self-regulating process in which forensic labs are under the jurisdiction of law enforcement ... In this riveting overview of forensic science, Humes goes on to note that similar longstanding 'evidence,' including fingerprints and bite-mark analysis, are of equally dubious merit, relying more on opinion than science. Hume’s fascinating account is perfect for the many readers interested in crime-scene investigation.
Humes shows how the story of Jo Ann Parks wrongful conviction has the power to upend arson investigation as we know it ... [a] powerful true crime tale that questions the authority of forensic science.
A searing look at the limits of forensics ... provides a vivid picture of the reality of criminal investigations ... open-minded readers will join in his skepticism. An instant true-crime classic that reads like a thriller, this joins the ranks of recent works also throwing into question the belief that crime scene investigators can infallibly arrive at the right answer.