The Real World of a Forensic Scientist: Renowned Experts Reveal What It Takes to Solve Crimes

Henry C. Lee, Author, Elaine M. Pagliaro, Author, Katherine M. Ramsland, Author Prometheus Books $25.98 (0p) ISBN 978-1-59102-729-4
In this dry and overly technical rundown of forensic science, noted names in the field examine everything from evidence collection to emerging subfields in the discipline. Despite his reputation as one of the nation's leading forensic experts-and the founder of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory-Lee, with forensics expert Pagliaro and forensic psychologist/true-crime author Ramsland, gives little insight into actual cases he has worked. Instead, he focuses on the minutiae of polymerase chain reaction amplification for DNA analysis and methods for lifting fingerprints. Lee's brief historical survey of these techniques only whets the reader's appetite for a more in-depth study of how, for example, forensic ballistics was used in the Civil War to determine that Confederate general Stonewall Jackson was shot by his own men. Unable to strike a balance between reference book and readable survey, this latest in a series of tell-all forensic tales will to attract a limited audience of those with forensic career aspirations. Illus.
Reviewed on: 08/03/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
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