Working Stiff is a memoir of Dr. Judy Melinek's two year period as a forensic pathology fellow at the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and is undoubtedly the best book I've read so far this year. I have always been a fan of medical/crime dramas, both fiction and reality, and had previously enjoyed the scientific journalism of Mary Roach, so I had a feeling that I would find Working Stiff absolutely fascinating...and I wasn't disappointed. Within its pages, Dr. Melinek describes her work as a forensic pathologist (medical examiner) with amazing detail and heartfelt honesty as she works to determine the cause and manner of death for a number of individuals. Dr. Melinek presents a variety of cases from all categories: homicide, accident, suicide, natural causes, medical complications, or undetermined. The final chapters focus on her experiences on and in the months following September 11, 2001, as she and her colleagues completed the harrowing and heartbreaking work of identifying the remains from the Twin Towers site. I can honestly say after reading Working Stiff, I have a new appreciation and respect for forensic pathologists and the work they do. Due to its subject matter and graphic nature, Working Stiff certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I found it utterly captivating and extremely informative. Working Stiff is non-fiction at its very best.
Disclaimer: This book has been provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.