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Date of Publication: January 20, 2024
“The dead tell stories. But to listen to these silent stories, a forensic surgeon has to be fully alert, with all his senses fine-tuned,” notes Dr B Umadathan in his gripping memoir which could easily pass for a detective novel. Fondly remembered as the “Sherlock Holmes of Kerala,” the author worked as a police surgeon, and was professor and head of the department of forensic medicine at several government medical colleges in Kerala. Translated into English as Dead Men Tell Tales by Priya K Nair, and published by Harper Collins, the retired forensic surgeon’s memoir was initially published in Malayalam as Oru Police Surgeonte Ormakurippukal. Apart from being a record of Dr Umadathan’s career of over 30 years as a forensic surgeon, Dead Men Tell Tales garners attention as a comprehensive work that explains the technicalities of the trade without relying heavily on esoteric jargon. In the few instances where the author resorts to technical terms, he provides a detailed explanation to benefit the lay audience. Thus, halfway through the work, readers are already familiar with terms like “exhumation”, “photographic superimposition”, “toxicology analysis”, etc.
Copyright and license
©Indian Journal of Medical Ethics 2024: Open Access and Distributed under the Creative Commons license ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits only non-commercial and non-modified sharing in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.