Ten of the world's top crime writers are competing to have a new morgue and research facility in Scotland named after them.
The authors are taking part in the 'Million For A Morgue' campaign in order to help the University of Dundee raise funds for the new facility.
Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham, Jeffrey Deaver, Jeff Lindsay, Stuart MacBride, Peter James and Val McDermid are participating in the campaign to assist the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification.
Fans can go to the Million for a Morgue website and make a donation, with each £ donated counting as one vote for their favourite author. The new facility will be named after the writer who gets the most votes. The competition will close once £1M target is raised. The university is also putting £1 million toward the new centre.
The idea for the fundraiser came about through the friendship between Professor Sue Black, the Director of the CAHID, and writer Val McDermid. Black has often provided McDermid with forensic details for her crime stories.
"I’ve known Sue for years and she has helped me tremendously with a lot of the sort of grisly technical detail that goes into my books,' said McDermid in a press release. "This is a very worthy cause and will give Sue and her team a fantastic new facility from which to continue their world-leading research work.
"I am delighted that my fellow authors have pitched in to give something back to the forensic community through this appeal. I hope that lovers of crime fiction will support the appeal and get voting."
Those working at the CAHID have developed techniques such as hand identification, which has led to the successful prosecution of paedophiles identified from images of their hands found on photographs and films. The centre also trains officers in disaster victim identification.
With the new morgue, the university will become the first in the UK to use the Thiel method of embalming, providing a more realistic method of testing techniques, and a more realistic way to practise procedures.
"I write merely fiction, but these scientists work in the very real world of death investigation, a field that is sadly underfunded," said author Tess Gerritsen in a press release. " How wonderful that that my fictional detectives can now help support the true detectives.'
The Million for a Morgue campaign also has a Facebook page.