Book Review: I Don’t Talk to Dead Bodies by Dr Rhona Morrison

Prepare to be intrigued, amazed and astonished as you join Dr Rhona Morrison
on an often funny, and at times downright bizarre, thought-provoking and eyeopening rollercoaster ride through some of the most curious encounters of her career as a leading forensic psychiatrist.
Delve into the minds of real people, whose actions may shock and stun you, but
whose stories have the power to challenge your assumptions and the stigma that
surrounds mental illness.
Travel directly into their living rooms and see behind the closed doors of
hospitals, prisons and court rooms. Lift the lid on Dr Morrison’s jaw-dropping
experiences with murderers, stalkers and other dangerous offenders as she
attempts to make sense of some highly unusual situations. Discover the true
stories of the inspiring human beings who are bravely learning to live with major
mental illness.
I Don’t Talk to Dead Bodies shines a powerful, emotional and surprisingly moving
spotlight on the fascinating life of a forensic psychiatrist and the people she works with. It goes beyond the sensationalist headlines to show you just what happens in a world where mental illness occasionally makes good people do bad things.

Dr Rhona Morrison is a retired Forensic Psychiatrist, who worked in the NHS for 32 years. Born and bred in Scotland, into a working class family, she has a grounded approach to life, with a generous helping of humour. She learned the importance of being nonjudgemental and supportive through her relationship with her sensory impaired sister, who had learning and physical disabilities.
This prepared her well for working with mentally disordered offenders in custody
and in the community, where she often felt humbled by their resilience and privileged to be part of their journey. As a passionate advocate of the destigmatisation of mental illness, she hopes her writing can shine a light on this
specialist area of practice, so often impacted by negative attitudes and damaging

My Thoughts

Firstly, thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for organising the tour and to the author for sending me a copy of the book with a request for an honest review.

Over the years, I’ve been getting more and more in to memoirs, particularly about people working in the public sector. When this one dropped in my inbox, I knew I had to read it!

Dr Morrison takes us through her career as a forensic psychiatrist and offers as touching view into the world of forensic psychiatry. I was already in awe of those working in the NHS and now even more so. Dr Morrison doesn’t dumb down the experiences for the layman but it is an exceptionally easy to read memoir and I read it in lesson than 24 hours – I was that sucked in!

What struck me the most was her compassion and I absolutely love the moral compass she presents. She prioritises patient centred care and you could tell from the stories she told that she was an incredibly well respected doctor, from both patients and colleagues alike. To paraphrase the blub, mental illness sometimes makes good people do bad things and we need to break down the stigma.

My only gripe is I think I would have liked to spent longer with some of the people mentioned, seeing how they go from initial consultation throughout their treatment but I understand that confidentiality may prevent this from happening.


I must admit I was a total emotional wreck come the final chapters as Dr Morrison so bravely writes about the death of her husband. It was raw. It was personal. It was beautiful.

If you’re interested in mental health and/or the criminal justice system, I’d highly recommend I Don’t Talk To Dead Bodies!


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