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True Stories from the Morgue

To most people the nature of the activities which take place in a morgue are generally a mystery. In his book “True Stories from the Morgue” John Merrick provides the reader with an insight into his complex role as a Forensic Counsellor at the Office of the State Coroner in Glebe, Sydney. During his 20 years in this role he has dealt with grieving relatives, coped with mutilated and decomposed bodies and dealt with death on a large scale.

The role of Forensic Counsellor is a high specialized occupation: the complexity of it normally not understood by the general public. John Merrick’s anecdotal descriptions of cases which form part of his work are realistically and emotively related; they ‘lift the veil’ on the nature of this work. Who can remain dried eyed when reading the experience of the widow who not only lost her husband unexpectedly through a suicide car crash but then lost the next love of her life as the result of a drug overdose before she turned 30?  The account of the perseverance of Ebony Simpson’s mother to obtain justice for her daughter demonstrates the complexity of Mr. Merrick’s job and his willingness to go the extra mile.

When a loved one dies, those left behind are usually so distressed that they fail to ask for details when an autopsy is scheduled. This book also describes in layman’s terms what happens in an autopsy and at a coronial inquiry. The author explains how it is often the Forensic Counsellor who undertakes the task of clarifying to the bereaved how the autopsy will be undertaken on their loved one.

This is any easy but an emotional read for those who wish to explore the role of a bereavement counsellor associated with a morgue. Each story leaves the reader not only empathising with the victim but also in awe of the author for his dedication to his job; one which he does with compassion and kindness. 

Author John Merrick
Publisher New Holland Publishers
ISBN 9781742579177
Distributor New Holland Publishers
Released April 2017