Dr Richard Shepherd: Unnatural Causes


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.


I read a lot of crime fiction, so forensic pathologists are often found within the pages of the books I read. However, if we accept that most, if not all, of my favourite authors admit to using a little poetic license, it was fascinating to find out what a forensic pathologist actually does. I found the explanations in Unnatural Causes absolutely fascinating and I really appreciated the way that Shepherd explained all the relevant terms without ever being patronising.

In his career, Shepherd has been involved in examinations for a number of high profile cases; notably Stephen Lawrence, Princess Diana as well as victims of 9/11 and Harold Shipman. These were described in a lot of detail and I was absolutely hooked, learning details about these famous deaths that I had never previously realised. Shepherd also describes some cases that, although less high profile, have made an impact upon him. These cases also made an impact on me as they were so horrific or heartbreaking and I was engrossed in reading about them.

We also learn a little about Shepherd’s personal life, particularly as his career is in its earlier stages. He writes about his family with affection, and this adds more context to the book and demonstrates in an interesting way how Shepherd managed his personal and professional life, and how one informed the other.

Unnatural Causes has a poignant ending, but I feel it fits the book well and gives us a comprehensive view of what has been a rewarding and challenging career.

Unnatural Causes is available from Amazon.

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