In My Hands Today…

The Foundling – Paul Joseph Fronczak and Alex Tresniowski

The Foundling tells the incredible and inspiring true story of Paul Fronczak, a man who recently discovered via a DNA test that he was not who he thought he was—and set out to solve two fifty-year-old mysteries at once. Along the way he upturned the genealogy industry, unearthed his family’s deepest secrets, and broke open the second longest cold-case in US history, all in a desperate bid to find out who he really is.

In 1964, a woman pretending to be a nurse kidnapped an infant boy named Paul Fronczak from a Chicago hospital.

Two years later, police found a boy abandoned outside a variety store in New Jersey. The FBI tracked down Dora Fronczak, the kidnapped infant’s mother, and she identified the abandoned boy as her son. The family spent the next fifty years believing they were whole again—but Paul was always unsure about his true identity.

Then, five years ago—spurred on by the birth of his first child, Emma Faith—Paul took a DNA test. The test revealed definitively that he was not Paul Fronczak. From that moment on, Paul has been on a tireless mission to find the man whose life he’s been living—and to discover who abandoned him, and why.

This is the story of Paul’s heart-wrenching and tortuous journey to solve both mysteries and finally learn the truth about his identity.

In My Hands Today…

Traces: The memoir of a forensic scientist and criminal investigator – Patricia Wiltshire

Professor Patricia Wiltshire will take you on a journey through the fascinating edgeland where nature and crime are intertwined. She’ll take you searching for bodies of loved ones – through woodlands, along hedgerows, field-edges, and through plantations – solving time since death, and disposal of remains, from ditches to living rooms. She will give you glimpses of her own history: her loves, her losses, and the narrow little valley in Wales where she first woke up to the wonders of the natural world. Pat will show you how her work with a microscope reveals tell-tale traces of the world around us, and how these have taken suspects of the darkest criminal activities to court.

From flowers, fungi, tree trunks to car pedals, walking boots, carpets, and corpses’ hair, Traces is a unique book on life, death, and one’s indelible link with nature.

In My Hands Today…

Corrupt Bodies: Death and Dirty Dealing in a London Morgue – Peter Everett, Kris Hollington

In 1985, Peter Everett landed the job as Superintendent of Southwark Mortuary. In just six years he’d gone from lowly assistant to running the UK’s busiest murder morgue. He couldn’t believe his luck.

What he didn’t know was that Southwark, operating in near-Victorian conditions, was a hotbed of corruption. Attendants stole from the dead, funeral homes paid bribes, and there was a lively trade in stolen body parts and recycled coffins.

Set in the fascinating pre-DNA and psychological profiling years of 1985-87, this memoir tells a gripping and gruesome tale, with a unique insight into a world of death most of us don’t ever see. Peter managed pathologists, oversaw post-mortems and worked alongside Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad – including the case of the serial killer, the Stockwell Strangler.

This is a thrilling tale of murder and corruption in the mid-1980s, told with insight and compassion.

In My Hands Today…

Gujarat Files – Rana Ayyub

Gujarat Files is the account of an eight-month long undercover investigation by journalist Rana Ayyub into the Gujarat riots, fake encounters and the murder of state Home Minister Haren Pandya that brings to the fore startling revelations.

Posing as Maithili Tyagi, a filmmaker from the American Film Institute Conservatory, Rana met bureaucrats and top cops in Gujarat who held pivotal positions in the state between 2001 and 2010. The transcripts of the sting operation reveal the complicity of the state and its officials in crimes against humanity.

With sensational disclosures about cases that run parallel to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s ascent to power and their journey from Gujarat to New Delhi, the book tells you the hushed truth of the state in the words of those who developed amnesia while speaking before commissions of enquiry, but held nothing back in the secretly taped videos which form the basis of this remarkable read.

In My Hands Today…

In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. At the center of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human. In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.