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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

The heart-wrenchingly honest new book about
life and death from forensic pathologist and bestselling author of Unnatural Causes, Dr Richard Shepherd.

This book is about death, but in it I will take readers on a journey through life…

What can death teach us about life?

Conducting many thousands of post-mortems has given Dr Richard Shepherd the opportunity to examine death at every stage of life. Each autopsy is its own unique investigation, providing evidence of how, through life, the risks to us ebb and flow. From old to young, from murder to misadventure, and from illness to accidental death, each body has taught him something: about human development, about mortality, about its owner’s life story, about justice and even about himself.

From the bestselling author of Unnatural Causes comes a powerful, moving, endlessly fascinating and above all reassuring book about death as it touches our own lives – how to understand it, how best to postpone it, and, when our time comes (as it must come), how to embrace it, as the last great adventure on our journey through life.

Praise for Dr Richard Shepherd

‘Gripping, grimly fascinating, and I suspect I’ll read it at least twice’
Evening Standard

‘A deeply mesmerising memoir of forensic pathology. Human and fascinating’ Nigella Lawson

‘An absolutely brilliant book. I really recommend it, I don’t often say that but it’s fascinating’ Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

‘Puts the reader at his elbow as he wields the scalpel’ Guardian

‘Fascinating, gruesome yet engrossing’
Richard and Judy, Daily Express

‘Fascinating, insightful, candid, compassionate’ Observer

© Dr Richard Shepherd 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

  • This sequel is more ruminative, more meditative . . . Full of sharp observations about what life and death do to the human body

    The Times, A BOOK OF THE YEAR
  • Enlightening, strangely uplifting . . . Shepherd’s final chapter on death itself is a meditation of great beauty and light which puts all the darkness of the previous pages into perspective

    Daily Mail
  • Each chapter is like a finely crafted detective story in which he expands on the causes of death as revealed by the post mortem, or the hidden reasons that precipitated it. Some are ordinary, others extraordinary. Shepherd writes beautifully, and despite its subject, the book is very funny in parts

    Daily Telegraph
  • Deeply insightful . . . Shepherd is unflinching in his self-dissection

    The Times
  • Fascinating

    Daily Express
  • Fascinating. He has the ability to examine himself and other people with the same forensic eye that he applies to corpses – one of the reasons why his books feel so life-enhancing

    Daily Telegraph

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