Convergence is everything

As the Honolulu Star-Bulletin puts it, what are the chances that two scientists working at the same lab would

have major-league books published at almost the same moment, about the

same subject? Pretty low, but something must be in the water at U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory at Hickam Air Force Base,because director Tom Holland is promoting his debut novel, ONE DROP OF BLOOD, while the lab’s Robert Mann has produced a memoir, FORENSIC DETECTIVE: HOW I CRACKED THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST CASES:

“It really was a coincidence that we got our books published at the

same time,” claimed Mann. He’s the leprechaunish one. “I actually

started mine back in 1988 when I went to Easter Island, my first big

trip examining skeletal remains outside the U.S. I took notes about our

work on the island, the people we met and the scenery.” He started work

at the Central Identification Laboratory in 1992, and started a

journal. “The chapters became a book that kept growing.”

“I guess it’s a coincidence that’s 14 years in the making,” mused

Holland. He’s the sleepy-bear one. “I knew that Bob has been worrying

around manuscripts for years, and has been encouraging me to write. But

how many people do you know who are always saying, ‘I ought to write a

book!’ Seems like you can’t swing a cat without hitting one.”

But they differ on future plans, as Mann won’t write another book for some time, and Holland’s next (currently titled KIA) will be out next year.