I need to stop here for the time being.
It took me all of chapter 1 to get used to McDermid's style in this book, which I can only describe as a mix of her prose and what I presume is her reporting style (she was journalist before turning to crime writing full time...).
She definitely places a lot of focus on the stories of different crimes, but the science related facts are there too. Not as much "hard science", yet, as I'd love but there are definitely some parts that made me perk up after reading about some of the descriptions of the horrible crime scenes.
I particularly liked this one so far:
"Arsonists often leave matches behind, assuming they will burn away to nothing. But the powdered rock in a match head contains the fossilised remains of single-cell algae called ‘diatoms’. A diatom’s shell is made of silica, which is abrasive enough to help you strike the match, and tough enough to endure extremely high temperatures. Each of the 8,000 known species of diatom has a unique shell structure, identifiable through a microscope. Different brands make their matches using powdered rock from different quarries. If forensic scientists can spot the diatoms, they can identify the match brand."