Books By Liz Porter

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Click for more on Unnatural Order

Unnatural Order is Liz’s first novel, published in 1995 and now available as an e-book. Published by Clan Destine Press, it is available on Amazon.

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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Click for more on Crime Scene Asia

For Liz’s third book,  Crime Scene Asia: when forensic evidence becomes the silent witness (Big Sky, RRP $29.99) she decided to look at crime investigation in Asia. The result is a casebook of fascinating true stories from Singapore, Malaysia, HK, The Philippines and Indonesia.

Its opening case begins when the body of a woman is found in a Singapore nature park. Nobody has reported her missing. Nobody knows who she is. The only clue to her identity is a set of tiny numbers etched into a series of implants in her teeth. Police door-knock the dentists of Singapore until they find the one who treated her. Then, following a trail of numbers called from her phone, they unmask her killer.

In another case, set 300 kms away, in Kuala Lumpur, a married man is arrested for the murder of his mistress. Police are adamant that he is her killer. But the man’s lawyer can point to forensic evidence that tells a different story altogether. Meanwhile one of the book’s Hong Kong cases tells the story of a humble truck driver facing jail for his apparent involvement in a bombing plot allegedly masterminded by two of the former British colony’s most notorious gangsters. Then the evidence of a forensic scientist sets him free.

The book also features the inside story of the Bali bombing investigation, and follows the saga of a Singaporean  student jailed for murder in NSW and freed by forensic evidence.


Liz Porter - Author, Journalist, St Kilda tragic