Meet the forensic pathologist, Dr Richard Shepherd.
He solves the mysteries of unexplained or sudden death.
He has performed over 23,000 autopsies, including some of the most high-profile cases of recent times; the Hungerford Massacre, the Princess Diana inquiry, and 9/11.
He has faced serial killers, natural disaster, ‘perfect murders’ and freak accidents.
His evidence has put killers behind bars, freed the innocent, and turned open-and-shut cases on their heads.
Yet all this has come at a huge personal cost.
Unnatural Causes tells the story of not only the cases and bodies that have haunted him the most, but also how to live a life steeped in death.
Thoughtful, revealing, chilling and always unputdownable, if you liked All That Remains, War Doctor and This is Going to Hurt you’ll love this.
Unnatural Causes gives a sense of the toll that dealing with so many dead bodies takes. It’s a very human book that looks at the cases he has been involved with, from the Hungerford massacre to the murder of Stephen Lawrence ― The Times (Books of the Year, 2018)
An unputdownable record of an extraordinary life ― 100 sizzling summer books, Daily Mail
One of the most fascinating books I have read in a long time. Engrossing, a haunting page-turner. A book I could not put down ― The Times
Fabulous . . . The UK’s top pathologist investigating high-profile deaths such as that of Diana, Princess of Wales ― The Sunday Post
Puts the reader at his elbow as he wields the scalpel ― Guardian
Insightful, candid and compassionate ― Observer
Fascinating, gruesome yet engrossing ― Richard and Judy, Daily Express
Heart-wrenchingly honest ― Professor Sue Black, author of All That Remains
Darkly fascinating ― Daily Mirror
A deeply mesmerising memoir of forensic pathology. Human and fascinating ― Nigella Lawson
Partly an autobiography, but also a love letter to pathology. It’s dignified and graceful and painfully honest about the human and emotional cost of so much time with the dead. Insightful, moving and mesmerising ― Marylebone Journal
This book holds within its pages the story of a life told with honesty, and this is partly why it is such a pleasure to read. A fascinating autobiography. Unputdownable. ― Live Ribble Valley
A unique insight into a remarkable profession ― The Times
His experiences, from morgue to court, are sometimes gruesome, always gripping ― Sunday Mirror
The true crime book of the year; a thoughtful, revealing, chilling and bizarre record of an extraordinary life and profession ― Visit Norwich
He recounts experiences in a gripping memoir that melds the personal and professional ― The People
Must Read ― Daily Mail
A brilliantly written and compelling account of a medical detective who has worked on many appalling crimes and human tragedies ― Woman’s Weekly
Must read ― Daily Mail
Medical science books are rarely as gripping as Unnatural Causes. It’s grimly fascinating, and I suspect I’ll read it at least twice. ― Evening Standard
About the Author
Richard Shepherd was born in West London but grew up in Watford. He was introduced to a medical textbook smuggled into the classroom by a friend which opened his eyes to the world of crime and murder, setting him on a lifelong quest to understand death in its many forms. He trained as a doctor at St George’s Hospital medical school at Hyde Park Corner, qualifying in 1977 and then completed his postgraduate training as a forensic pathologist in 1987. He immediately joined what was then the elite forensic department at Guy’s Hospital.
He has been involved nationally and internationally in the forensic investigation of thousands of deaths from unnatural causes, from headline-making murders to mass natural disasters.