Welcome to the website of true crime author, novelist and freelance journalist Liz Porter.

Liz writes about “the real CSI” in books that read like crime fiction but tell true stories about the way real-life forensic scientists solve crimes and mysteries.

Her first forensic science book Written On The Skin: An Australian forensic casebook shared the 2007 Ned Kelly Prize for best true crime book.

Her second, Cold Case Files: Past crimes solved by new forensic science, won the 2012 Sisters in Crime Davitt Award for best true crime book. A regular public speaker on crime and forensic science, Liz is now working on a crime novel. Read more

Liz Porter - Author, Journalist, St Kilda tragic
Click for more on Unnatural Order

Unnatural Order is Liz’s first novel, published in 1995 and now out of print. But watch this space, it may soon be reborn in E-book form.

In her review of the novel, published in The Age, Philippa Hawker wrote: “At first, Unnatural Order seems to be primarily a story of misguided romance and claustrophobic obsession, the tale of a woman who gradually surrenders her independence to a man and a culture.

The novel explores more than the darker side of devotion, however. As a journalist, Caroline becomes involved in several potential stories, and her investigations take her out of the encircling cocoon of her life with Karl. A woman accused of murdering her child seems to be the victim of local prejudices: following up the lead, Caroline starts to unravel other secrets, stories from Germany's recent history which also throw her life and past into sharp relief.

Liz Porter explores her subject with smooth precision, enlarging its scale and taking the plot in unexpected directions.”

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Click for more on Written On The Skin

Liz’s first forensic science book, Written On The Skin, shared the 2007 Ned Kelly Prize for best true crime book and garnered rave reviews which described it as “reading like good crime fiction”.

Its more than 55 cases include that of the crime scene investigator who noted the tiny indentations on the fragments of a tin can identified at a bomb site. After months of testing he was able to match these miscroscopic marks to the can opener that made them - and lead police to the bomb-maker who used it.

There’s also the forensic dentist who documented the marks in chewing gum dropped by a thief during a burglary and matched them to the teeth of the suspect.

Then there’s the forensic physician who examined an abused child, was able to "read" the terrible alphabet that fists and weapons write on the skin and then identify a mother's hairbrush as the source of the "tramline bruising" on her daughter's leg.

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Click for more on Cold Case Files

For Liz’s second forensic science book, Cold Case Files, she decided to broaden her focus and look at British and US cases as well as Australian ones.

Described by The Weekend Australian’s crime expert Graeme Blundell as “as gripping as any Jack Reacher novel” and “as brilliantly written and researched as her forensic casebook Written on the Skin”, Cold Case Files won the 2012 Sisters in Crime Davitt Award for best true crime book.

Its 18 cases include one in which cold case investigators scraped back paint in a renovated flat where a murder was committed twelve years earlier, finding the blood stain that led them to a killer. It has a forensic dentist who probed the mysterious death of an ancient Egyptian child mummy, a musician who trained as a document examiner to explore an ancient musical mystery, and a case in which a long-forgotten palm print led detectives to the real perpetrator of a murder for which an innocent man had already served 12 years' jail.

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