Reviews for Mop Men : Inside the World of Crime Scene Cleaners

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 November #2

Who cleans up when a killer leaves a really big bloody mess? In a chatty, tongue-in-cheek profile of Neal Smither, chief of Crime Scene Cleaners Inc., journalist Emmins lets the "Boss Cleaner" speak passionately of how he tackles spills and splotches resulting from the San Francisco Bay area's murders, suicides and other deaths. Emmins delves into the zany character of Smither, a loving family man who puts on a coarsely humorous persona as "protective armor" as he surrounds himself with the dark realm of death, monitoring his multimillion-dollar business in a highly competitive field. Hanging around with Smither means a grisly experience of suicide surrounded by transgender porn, bodies splattered by gunfire or the decayed corpses of those ruined by meth or contagious disease. For a totally gonzo way of looking at the crime scene cleaning business, try this engrossing, wisecracking assessment (of Smither, Emmins writes, "[I]f not actually one of Death's litter, he must be at barest minimum a cousin") of a world we know exists but ignore as we go on about our lives. (Jan.)

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