Thriller writer, finger print expert and Floridian Lisa Black has a simple rule for anyone working in forensics: Never wear anything you don't want covered in dirt or blood.
Black should know -- she's a former forensic specialist scientist at the Cleveland coroner's office. That work informs both her latest book, "Trail of Blood," and her opinion of shows like Criminal Minds and CSI Miami.
"The worst thing that gets me are these databases," Black told Niteside at a Books & Books signing last night. "[Those shows] have databases of every substance that exists in the universe. They can suck molecules out of the air, and know ten hours later what perfume it is and who sells it."
She added with a chuckle: "And we aren't all gorgeous, single and angst-ridden or wear designer heels."
And why would you when they are just going to be ruined by blood splatter?
Black, a Cleveland native who has testified in more than forty-five homicide trials, sets her new book in her hometown. The main character encounters a murder streak similar to that of the infamous "Torso Killer," who was responsible for at least 12 homicides in 1930s Cleveland, and never caught.
"Unlike what you see on TV, a piece of forensic science doesn't necessarily prove anything at all," Black explained. "It indicates one way or the other, but it's usually just one part of the story."
"The [Torso] killer remains America's version of Jack the Ripper -- in my book, though, I find the killer."