The Pequod Review:
Joseph Wambaugh's The Blooding is a gripping and well-structured account of the first time DNA was used to solve a murder. In November 1983, a teenage girl was found raped and killed in Narborough, England, a small town outside Leicester. The case was still unsolved when three years later (in June 1986) another very similar murder took place. The police identified a suspect — Richard Buckland, a local 17-year-old — who soon afterward would confess to both crimes. But separately, a British geneticist (Alec Jeffreys) had been researching a process whereby each person's unique DNA could be visually mapped. He was able to prove that Buckland's DNA did not match the semen found in both victims (thus preventing what probably would have been the conviction of an innocent man). The police would later procure blood samples from more than 4,000 men in the area in order to eventually identify the perpetrator. This is a very good book, and one that has as much narrative tension as Wambaugh's (excellent) crime novels.