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The Darkroom

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781841884851

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 15th February 2024

Genre: Biography & True Stories

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It was my job to look and look and never look away, until I had captured every part of the scene, until I had told the story of those last moments that the dead could not…

For years, A.J. Hewitt was the first person into a crime scene. Before the detectives and the forensics team it was her alone with the body, the only sound her flashes firing as they lit up scenes of unimaginable horror. It was her job to shoot the photographs that revealed the circumstances of someone’s final moments.

Now in her debut book, The Darkroom, Hewitt takes us into the shadowy world of the crime scene photographer, and recounts remarkable tales, from murders to suicides, accidents to assassinations.

In the tradition of Unnatural Causes, When the Dogs Don’t Bark and All That Remains, this is a true crime book full of the wisdom that can be found in the darkness.


The work of a forensic photographer is to record facts dispassionately, to observe closely when the reflex is to look away. A. J. Hewitt's stunning debut work of nonfiction documents her extraordinary work as a Scotland Yard forensic photographer, bringing the reader into a world kept from view of the public. Hewitt's engaging and well-crafted prose deserves high praise. This is must-have reading for fans of true crime and forensic science.
Bruce Goldfarb, author of 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Invented Modern Forensics
For those of us in the forensic field it is good to see an unvarnished account of the range of cases and sights and smells to which we may be exposed. This book has the additional elements of a young female photographer striving to gain acceptance within a predominantly male setting. It not only provides detailed case histories but the personal experience of how a police photographer's work is done. The book raises the more tricky questions for politicians and senior police officers about how and why such expertise has been undervalued in recent years with the loss of so many skilled professionals
Professor Jason Payne-James, author, coroner and Professor of Forensic & Legal Medicine
A vivid, raw account of a career spent in the darkest regions of life and death. Hewitt writes with breathtaking honesty, revealing the damage done to those who work on the edge of evil to find justice, chipping away to find the light within. She's the real deal.
Barbara Butcher, author of What the Dead Know: Learning about Life as a New York City Death Investigator
The Darkroom is a terrific read about the inner workings of Scotland Yard. Author A. J. Hewitt gives us incredible stories about documenting crime-scenes as a Forensic Photographer for the Yard. Hewitt was a consummate professional, painstakingly documenting the victim's last moment in the hope that they might speak from the grave, and allow justice to be done. I hope to read more books from her in the future.
Cynthia Beebe, author of Boots in the Ashes: Busting Bombers, Arsonists and Outlaws as a Trailblazing Female Atf Agent
So beautifully and so powerfully written. If you ever thought you had what it takes to be a crime scene photographer, this book will make you think twice...
Peter James, International Bestselling Author
In the quiet aftermath of a murder, crime scene photographer A.J. Hewitt often worked alone, her deft eye focused on the victim. Her evidence has freed the innocent and helped convict the guilty. In her new book, The Darkroom, Hewitt shines a bright light on the often-dark world of crime scene investigations-a must-read for true crime fanatics.
Kate Winkler Dawson, author of American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI
The Darkroom: Case Files of a Scotland Yard Forensic Photographer is a brilliant, fierce, and unique work of nonfiction. A.J. Hewitt's moving memoir is a page turner that takes the reader beyond the true-crime genre. It captures the violence and cruelty of men. It questions society's priorities. And while the cases she lays out in front of the reader are fascinating, sometimes infuriating, and often tragic, Hewitt doesn't stop there. The Darkroom illuminates crucial small details, surprises with original insights, and offers the reader a wide angle view of crime and punishment.
Cat Warren, author of What the Dog Knows: scent, science, and the amazing ways dogs perceive the world, a New York Times bestseller
The Darkroom is an absolutely riveting read. It is a compelling book that works on so many levels. An authentic and sensitive account of the impact and aftermath of crime that will appeal to true crime readers and crime fiction authors, it also has wide appeal as a human story that charts A.J. Hewitt's touching journey as the outsider turned insider and her struggle to prevent herself being changed by her experiences as a Police Forensic Photographer for New Scotland Yard. A unique book that offers a unique perspective. Highly recommended.
Adam Hamdy, screenwriter and bestselling author of The Other Side of Night
Passionate and empathetic, Hewitt speeds across London from one site of murder and mayhem to the next, always another crime scene coming, always more brutalized dead to bring to light and into focus. The great city grinds on, never seeing or knowing of these, her haunted stories selected from decades of skilled photographic investigative work for Scotland Yard.
Judy Melinek & T.J. Mitchell, authors of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner, a New York Times bestseller
An incredible insight into the work of a crime scene photographer told with sensitivity and compassion, but also with the forensic acuity of an experienced professional. The autobiographical style used to tell stories of crime scenes and crimes is compelling and incredibly readable. It becomes clear the crucial role that crime scene photography plays in not only documenting the evidence, but in aiding the solving of crimes. A must read for anyone interested in the darker side of human criminality and the work of forensic investigators.
Professor Jane Monckton-Smith, author of In Control: Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder
Beautifully written, AJ paints a poignant, intimate picture of her time as a police photographer. Insightful, moving, and thought provoking, I highly recommend this book to anyone thinking of entering the world of forensics.
Dr Xanthe Mallett, Criminologist, and author of Reasonable Doubt
I will never look at a crime scene photograph in quite the same way again after reading this remarkable and unexpected memoir... Intriguing, perspective-changing and painfully honest, this collection of stories is a fantastic addition to the true crime and investigation genre. I urge you to enter The Darkroom.
Kerry Daynes, Consultant Forensic Psychologist and author of The Dark Side of The Mind
Gripping, gritty and not for the faint-hearted. Forensic experts are the modern day 'sin eaters', dealing with the darkest sides of human life and death, so that others are spared the trauma. We must recognise that they too are human and will be affected.
Professor Dame Sue Black, author of All That Remains: A Life in Death