31 Dec 2015

Category: book

Tags: book, crime, nonfiction, okay

I have always been interested in the criminal justice system both from a fiction and non-fiction perspective. Forensics is a non-fiction book about the various forensic sciences written by an author of fictional crime stories. It is basically a series of anecdotes, interviews, and case studies about a variety of different techniques used to catch and prosecute criminals.

I thought this book was just okay because there was a lack of depth. Specifically, I wanted to hear more about specific techniques and methodologies at a more detailed and scientific level. As it stands, this is a survey of what exists at the highest level, with an example case or two that demonstrates where the technique was first used or where it was very important to the outcome.

One strange aspect of this book for me personally was that the author is British and therefore most of the examples are in the UK legal system. I say this is strange because there is quite a bit of difference between the UK and US legal systems as well as how juries react to certain evidence. Therefore, I think it would be interesting to find examples strictly from the US legal system that are parallel to the ones in the UK in this book. The forensic techniques are basically the same so for that purpose the setting did not really matter.

After reading this book, I may look into more detailed books that focus on one or two of the different forensic sciences alone. All that being said, if you want a quick overview of the reality behind shows like CSI and Law & Order, then this is definitely something good to pick up.

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