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During Carl Heine’s autopsy in chapter 5, Horace Whaley’s war experiences are important to the development of the plot because
His experiences helped him remain unaffected during autopsies.
It reveals that he and Carl Heine shared a commonality.
It makes him a better coroner.
When Horace sees Carl Heine’s head wound it reminds him of wounds he saw inflicted by Japanese soldiers.
He had seen many cases of drowning during the war.