The stuff of life and death

The stuff of life and death
Dr Dick Shepherd: ‘Emotionally and personally, I wanted to write something more than about how clever pathologists are’

Dr Dick Shepherd has been a forensic pathologist for four decades - having cast a cold eye on cases big and small. Now retired, he has written a surprisingly optimistic, deeply human book about a life in death

‘I swallowed. The town was disintegrating. I blinked. An earthquake? The town’s colours waved. Its buildings were pebbles on a riverbed, viewed through the distorting lens of flowing water. Extraordinary air currents? No. Because the town waved in time with something inside me, something like nausea. But more ominous. I blinked harder and my hand tightened on the plane’s controls as if I could correct this feeling by correcting altitude or direction. But it came from deep inside me, forcing its way up through my body with a physical power that left me breathless.”

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