No matter what subject you take up, reading or referring to good books for your studies is a necessity and forensic science is no exception.
While you may have recently enrolled in a forensic course or just been introduced to the subject, a few good books can help you ace the subject and give you an edge over the others.
Whether it be to learn the history of forensic science or the different specialisations under it, the crime scene investigation process or the existing criminal laws, here are some of the best general forensic science books for beginners to equip you with adequate knowledge on the subject ( and also to get those extra points for your exams).
1. Criminalistics -An Introduction to Forensic Science by Richard Saferstein
This book is an excellent guide for beginners as it makes the modern crime laboratory clear and comprehensible to the non-scientist. Saferstein simplifies the basic concepts and terminologies, the various techniques being employed for the proper collection and preservation of evidence at crime scenes and the examination and analysis at the laboratory.
It also clearly explains the role of forensic science in criminal investigations, by combining the concepts and techniques with real case studies.
2. Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation by Barry A.J. Fisher and David R Fisher
Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation is another well-written guide for beginners to the investigative and technical aspects of Crime Scene Investigation. Written by authors with over 50 years of combined experience in forensic science, this book examines the concepts, field-tested techniques, and procedures of crime scene investigation and includes many informative casework examples and photographs.
This book will also give the students an idea about the strengths and limitations of forensic science in its application to crime scene investigations.
3. Forensic Science in Criminal Investigation and Trials by B. R. Sharma
Forensic Science in criminal investigation and trials is intended to assist students or anyone in the criminal justice system, for that matter, to understand the potentialities, the limitation and the process of Forensic Science.
It is an encyclopaedic comprehensive guide written in non-technical language. The concepts are explained with the help of applicable statutes, including the latest legal position and landmark judgments.
4. Forensic Science in Crime Investigation by B.S. Nabar
With years of experience in teaching the subject in a premier Training Institution for Police Officers at senior levels, the author has dealt with the subject in a simple and precise manner. This book serves as a text book to students of Forensic Science and also as a handbook to the practicing professionals in criminal justice system.
5. Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction by Jim Fraser
Written by an author with 40 years’ experience in forensic science working on many high profile cases, this book begins at the crime scene itself, explaining the principles and processes of crime scene management, and drawing on his own personal experience.
It explores how forensic scientists work, from the reconstruction of events to laboratory examinations. Topical areas explored include the growing significance of cognitive bias in forensic science, and recent research that raises doubts about the validity of some forensic techniques.
6. Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation(Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations) by Ross M. Gardner
Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation provides the essential tools for what crime scene investigators need to know, what they need to do, and how to do it.
Richly illustrated―with more than 415 figures, this book thoroughly addresses the role of the crime scene investigator in the context of understanding the nature of physical evidence, assessing the scene, documentation and the role of crime scene analysis and reconstruction. It also includes a list of review questions at the end of each chapter.
7. Fundamentals of Forensic Science by Max M. Houck and Jay A. Siegel
This book provides an introduction to the basic principles of forensic science, from the crime scene to the courtroom. It is divided into six parts, covering basics of crime scene investigation and the nature of evidence, analytical tools, the various types of forensic evidence collected and the legal aspects of forensic science.
8. Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques,by Stuart H. James, Jon J. Nordby and Suzanne Bell
This book presents contributions from experts in the field who discuss case studies from their own personal files. The book begins by discussing the intersection of law and forensic science, how things become evidence, and how courts decide if an item or testimony should be admissible. It takes the evidence from crime scene investigation into laboratory analysis and even onto the autopsy table for the fullest breadth of subject matter of any forensic text available.
Each section and each chapter begins with an overview and ends with a summary, and key terms, review questions, and up-to-date references are provided.