30- SEC­OND FOREN­SIC SCIENCE

Real Crime - - Home Invasion - RE­LEASED OUT NOW EDI­TORS SUE BLACK & NI­AMH NIC DAÉID PUB­LISHER IVY PRESS AVAIL­ABLE IN HARD­BACK Joanna El­ph­ick

Since the gen­eral pub­lic have be­come in­ter­ested in the grue­some world of foren­sic science there have been hun­dreds of books pub­lished on the sub­ject, rang­ing from the ex­cep­tional to the truly dire. 30- Sec­ond Foren­sic Science slides into the former category, but don’t ex­pect it to be like any­thing else you have read. This foray into the dark arts of foren­sic science deals with 50 in­ves­tiga­tive tech­niques, but rather than drown the reader in wordy, overly com­pli­cated ex­pla­na­tions, it re­veals key in­for­ma­tion in a clear for­mat that can be quickly di­gested.

The con­tents are bro­ken up into seven ar­eas; body, bio­met­rics, traces, phys­i­cal & chem­i­cal anal­y­sis, nat­u­ral science ev­i­dence, dig­i­tal records and law & science. Each area has a glos­sary in case you don’t know your ar­son from your Eh­leringer. The var­i­ous spe­cial­ists are given one page to en­lighten the reader. As if this wasn’t enough, the in­ves­tiga­tive tech­niques have been bro­ken down fur­ther: the “3- sec­ond clue” gives a suc­cinct over­view, “3- minute ev­i­dence” delves a lit­tle deeper, and the “sce­nario” of­fers a de­tailed ex­pla­na­tion. Re­lated top­ics are sug­gested, and a key player is con­sid­ered in the “3- sec­ond bi­og­ra­phy”.

Don’t be put off by the paucity of words, it de­liv­ers all the ba­sic in­for­ma­tion, and un­less you are al­ready an ex­pert in the field, you will learn some­thing. The won­der­fully macabre il­lus­tra­tions by Nicky Ack­landSnow give the text a com­pli­ment­ing quirk­i­ness.

The usual sus­pects, rang­ing from DNA anal­y­sis to fin­ger­print­ing can all be found here, but there are also some un­usual top­ics sel­dom dis­cussed, such as gait anal­y­sis, foren­sic ar­chae­ol­ogy and iris recog­ni­tion.

Each sec­tion in­cludes a two- page pro­file.

Nat­u­ral Science Ev­i­dence, for ex­am­ple, pro­files

D’Arcy Went­worth Thomp­son, one of the first biomath­e­mati­cians. Un­sure what that is? Buy the book, give it 30 sec­onds of your time and you will.

A FORAY INTO THE DARK ARTS OF FOREN­SIC SCIENCE

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