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Forensic Science of CSI

Forensic Science of CSI

4.5 12
by Katherine Ramsland

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The CBS television show, "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation," has captured audiences - and ratings - with its unflinchingly realistic details of forensic science, tools, and technology. This fascinating new book - written by an acclaimed biographer with a master's degree in forensic psychology - goes behind the crime-solving techniques dramatized on the TV show to


The CBS television show, "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation," has captured audiences - and ratings - with its unflinchingly realistic details of forensic science, tools, and technology. This fascinating new book - written by an acclaimed biographer with a master's degree in forensic psychology - goes behind the crime-solving techniques dramatized on the TV show to examine the reality of these cutting-edge procedures.

From DNA typing and ballistics, to bitemark and blood pattern analysis, here are detailed accounts of the actual techniques used in today's crime investigations. Prominent experts in the field offer rare glimpses into cases ranging from missing persons to murder.

For fans of the television show, as well as true crime buffs and science readers - this is the real thing.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With the mind of a true investigator, Katherine Ramsland demystifies the world of forensics with authentic and vivid detail." John Douglas

"Fascinating...this book is a must for anyone who wonders how the real crime-solvers do it." Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Patient.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
File size:
335 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D. has published twenty-five books, including two novels.  She holds graduate degrees in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, and philosophy.  Currently she teaches forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania.  After publishing two academic books, she wrote Prism of the Night: A Biography of Anne Rice. Then she published guidebooks to Rice's fictional worlds: The Vampire Companion: The Official Guide to Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, The Witches' Companion: The Official Guide to Anne Rice's Lives of the Mayfair Witches, The Roquelaure Reader: A Companion to Anne Rice's Erotica, and The Anne Rice Reader. Her next work was Dean Koontz: A Writer’s Biography, and afterward ventured into journalism with a two-year investigation of the vampire subculture, to write Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today.  Following that was Ghost, Cemetery Stories, and The Science of Vampires.

Her background in forensic studies positioned her to write The Forensic Science of C.S.I. and The Criminal Mind, as well as co-writing with former FBI profiler, Gregg McCrary, The Unknown Darkness.  In addition, she wrote The Science of Cold Case Files, and Inside the Minds of Mass Murderers and she pens editorials on breaking forensic cases for The Philadelphia Inquirer.  Her latest books are The Human Predator: A Historical Chronicle of Serial Murder and Forensic Investigation, and with James E. Starrs, A Voice for the Dead.

She has penned articles and reviews for The New York Times Book Review, The Writer, Psychology Today, The Newark Star Ledger,and Publishers Weekly.  She contributes regularly to Court TV’s Crime Library, is a staff consultant for the official U.K.-based magazine for C.S.I., has a column in Crime, Murder, Forensics, and has published more than three hundred articles about serial killers, forensic psychology, and forensic science.


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Forensic Science of CSI 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Laurie Rheault More than 1 year ago
I purchased several forensic science books this summer to help me prepare to teach a high school forensics course this fall. I was very disappointed with this one - I came across some sections that contained information that was sometimes questionable or awkwardly worded, to outright wrong, leaving me uncertain about trusting the rest. For example, on pg 88 the author is describing crime lab instruments. In her description of a stereo microscope she writes, "It relies on a light source at the base and a stage that holds the specimen. A hollow tube through which the viewer looks magnifies ... This works best with transparent objects, but can also bring out details if an opaque object is sliced sufficiently thin." It seems as if the author is confusing a compound microscope (with two eyepieces, maybe) with the stereo microscope. The compound microscope uses transillumination, thus the need for thin or transparent objects. A stereo microscope, however, uses incident light illumination (in other words, the light reflects off the object, it does not pass through it like the other scope.) This means that stereo microscopes are great for viewing surface details at low magnifications, providing 3-D viewing of OPAQUE, not translucent, objects. Stereo microscopes also lack a stage, which makes them easy to differentiate from a compound scope. Overall, the entire book is not terrible, but the author seems uncomfortable with her descriptions of the science behind the methods, especially the DNA sections. It was just surprising and disappointing to purchase a "reference" style book containing unreliable or uncertain information. Granted, many textbooks contain their fair share of occasional errors also, but had I known in advance, I would have chosen a different book for my classroom library.
Teresa Bloedel More than 1 year ago
2nd Nook book I bought. I'm also a huge CSI fan. This book is just amazing for any hardcore science fan like myself. LOVE this story(: I understood it completely. Annd I'm only 13!
Guest More than 1 year ago
That forensic in C.S.I book will help you so much if your studing that topic, also it's good just for reading pleasures too. They explain definitions and give the different job descriptions. Also explains proccedure used when doing a certin tests.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good introduction for someone who watches CSI, but knows nothing else about forensics. Unfortunately, it focuses on criminal psychology and interpetation rather than on the evidence itself. For a throrogh, and extremely interesting, guide to the forensic layman, read The Forensic Casebook.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 15 years old and I already know what I want t be. A Forensic Scientist. I love this book {and the show on CBS}. I recommend this book to everyone who is as interested as I am about the Forensics in a crime.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is part television series guide, part forensics primer, and is well written. It gives fairly good definitions, some are left out, due to most people's familiarity with the shows (C.S.I. and now C.S.I. Miami) e.g., 'bindle'-a piece of paper or envelope used for evidence collection. Some of the real life cases are a bit gruesome and not for everyone. A nice guide for fans of the shows, like me, or anyone curious about the science behind this important part of criminology.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have purchased this book last week and i am so into it not only because I am taking this major in college but the forensic field has always been an interest to me. I hope everyone that picks this book enjoys it as much as i do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am in 8th grade, but i love forensic science, i have watched any show on it, i am very interested by it. It is so cool how they can find the murderer of a homicide, i can't wait to read this book, it wil be great
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard about this book from a friend and started reading it. Once I got started I couldn't put it down. Before I read this book I didn't think that forensic science look really fun or interesting and once I read your book it changed the whole outlook for me. I know I'm only 15 but I have narrowed my career choices down to 2 choices(a physician or a forensic anthropologist). :-)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am only 11years old and i am in 5th grade.I look exactly like Jorja Fox(Sara Sidle).I have been watching the show for about 3years and just loved it.So when i grow up i want to be in forensice! heavenlyangel91991@yahoo.com c.s.i girl!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book. i am only in 7th grade. i sugjest this book to every body
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ever since my science teacher passed out a "Current Science" issue featuring C.S.I. I was hooked! This is the BEST book for waiting for the next Thursday's episode to come round. If you are a fan of the TV show and are glad that CSI won a People's Choice Award, read it!