"Gripping . . . a brilliant insider's view." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Go behind the scenes inside the nation's preeminent Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where good people fight the good fight amid the tragedies and absurdities of our age
Perfect for fans of Michael Lewis and David Simon (Homicide, The Corner, The Wire, We Own This City)
Real life is different from what gets depicted on procedural crime dramas.
Equipped with a journalist’s eye, a paramedic’s experience and a sardonic wit, Bruce Goldfarb spent ten years with Maryland’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where every sudden or unattended death in the state is scrutinized.
Touching on numerous scandals, including Derek Chauvin's trial for the murder of George Floyd and the tragic killing in police custody of Freddie Gray, Goldfarb pulls back the curtain on a pioneer institution in crisis.
Medical examiners and the investigators and technicians who support them play vital roles in the justice and public health systems of every American community. During Goldfarb’s time with the Maryland OCME, opioid-related deaths contributed to a significant increase in their workload. Faced with a chronic shortage of qualified experts and inadequate funding, their important and fascinating work has become more challenging than most people could ever imagine.
The public gets a skewed view of the relationship between police and medical examiners from procedural crime dramas, Bruce Goldfarb writes of his work inside one of America's most storied forensic centers. We aren’t on the same team . . . We aren’t on any team. The medical examiner’s sole duty is to the deceased person. We speak for the dead.
Praise for Bruce Goldfarb's 18 Tiny Deaths
"An engrossing and accessible chronicle of . . . the early years of scientific detection." — The Wall Street Journal
"Devotees of TV's CSI will have their minds blown." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)