Children's LiteratureA crime scene is a source of terror but also a treasure trove of evidence. Forensic science has progressed to a point where investigators can now compile compelling evidence of guilt based upon the slightest trace elements left at the scene of a crime. Over the years, forensic techniques such as fingerprinting, serology, and DNA testing have made it more probable that police investigations will achieve fruitful results. In this volume of the illustrated "Crime and Detection" series, readers are introduced to some of the basic and advanced techniques utilized by forensic investigators. Author Brian Innes highlights both the evolution of forensic technology as well as the way in which law enforcement uses data revealed by such interventions. Innes uses a very thorough approach to describe many of the most prevalent forensic approaches. However, while this is an information-packed book, it seems to lack a steady pace. The reliance upon fairly technical descriptions will be of interest to some readers while bogging down others. Therefore, this book is a mixed bag and will be of somewhat limited interest to many readers. 2003, Amber Books, Romaneck
VOYAThe twenty stand-alone volumes of the "Crime and Detection" series have much to recommend them. The topics, such as domestic violence, government intelligence agencies, international terrorism, and forensics, comprise today's headlines. The three volumes reviewed here are attractive and filled with compelling photographs related to the subject at hand. The text, appropriate for middle school and early junior high students, does not condescend or sugarcoat the information. Rather, each volume presents in clear, simple language, information about tough, often grisly topics. In Cyber Crime, Grant-Adamson focuses on the security compromises and economic damage that hackers wreak on society. Several notorious hackers are featured, as are the latest efforts being taken to stay one step ahead of the current crop of techno-miscreants. The Hate Crimes volume is a sobering view of the history of attacks fueled by rage against religion, sexual orientation, race, or politics. Photographs of Matthew Shepard, mourners of Columbine, and of course, September 11 are some of the powerful portraits of the devastation caused by unchecked hatred. Forensic Science is a natural draw for CSI and Court TV fans. Innes does not flinch in his descriptions of the meticulous science of investigating gruesome clues to solve violent crimes. The in-your-face photographs include an x-ray of a bullet lodged in a skull, the bloodied bodies of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and gory footprints at a murder scene. The challenge of this worthwhile series is sloppy editing. In Cyber Crime, confusing language muddies an analysis of internal versus external hacking statistics. In Hate Crimes, Wright describes three hate-relatedkillings and then writes, "Incidents that are more serious have occurred" when clearly he meant to say, "less serious" to describe attacks that damage property. Forensic Science also could have benefited from a more critical eye. The index to that volume is mislabeled as glossary. Still, the overall content of each volume is strong enough to warrant serious consideration of this modestly priced series. Glossary. Index. Photos. Charts. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Mason Crest, 96p. PLB Andersen
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 8 Up-An intriguing look at a constantly changing field of scientific investigation. The minute details of crime-scene investigation and painstaking laboratory examination of evidence are described in chapters with titles such as "Deadly Poison" and "Telltale Blood." The large format allows clear views of fingerprinting, bloody footprints, and police examining the scene of a bombing. The features that separate this treatment from earlier titles such as Andrea Campbell's Forensic Science (Chelsea, 1999) are the abundance of color photographs and the international scope. Investigators pictured are identified as working in Chile, Taiwan, Iceland, and Germany, as well as in various American and Mexican laboratories and police departments. Criminal investigations from the 19th and 20th centuries illustrate the importance of specific techniques or types of evidence in solving crimes and presenting solid court cases. Sidebars highlight particularly strange or infamous cases. Although there is no pronunciation guide for some of the technical terms, overall this is a detailed and thorough package.-Ann G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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