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School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up
Students intrigued by forensic science will find many answers to their questions in these books, which are aimed at readers with no experience in the field. Each title intersperses actual criminal cases with theoretical background on the types of evidence investigators look for and the ways they collect and analyze it. Fire has a chapter on recent terrorism cases, and the science in this volume is more complex than in the other book. Hair also discusses modern advances in working with trace evidence, such as the electron microscope and DNA testing. Captioned, black-and-white and color photos appear throughout both titles. The writing style is mostly clear, though not lively. Occasionally, passages are confusing, such as a section in Hair on Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, who was tried for murder, which first states that he was declared innocent by a jury in 1979, but then mentions he was convicted. (He actually was convicted.) These books are similar to the "24/7: Science behind the Scenes" series (Watts), though there is more emphasis on theory and less on actual cases, limiting their appeal to browsers. Purchase where demand is high or where forensic-science courses are offered.
—Jackie PartchCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.