Forensic science is the method of application of scientific methods and processes to solve crimes.
It Is essential to crime-solving as it allows for objective evidence. It is a multi- disciplinary subject, making use of diverse subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, law, engineering etc.
Being such an interesting and thrilling field of study, an increasing number of people are applying to study this subject. There are a number of books that you can read to grow your knowledge.
Since the methods used in this discipline are constantly evolving, it’s important to keep up with the trends.
So, here’s a list of books that you can read and use for reference, if you are planning on being aligned to this profession.
An Introduction to Forensic Science and Criminalistics (Howard A. Harris, Henry C. Lee)
This book presents the practice of forensic science from a broad viewpoint. This serves as an introductory textbook for courses at the undergraduate level.
It covers the latest scientific methods of evidence collection, evidence analysis and its application to an investigation and use in court. It covers physical evidence collection, crime scene processing, pattern evidence, fingerprint evidence, questioned documents, DNA and biological evidence, drug evidence, chemical testing and computer and digital forensic evidence. It also includes laboratory procedures, emergency technologies etc. The book introduces the students to the scientific method and its application to forensic analysis. It contains worked examples, case studies as well as end of the chapter questions.
The Future of Forensic Science (Edited by Daniel A. Martel)
This book is a collection of content from the past and current Presidents of American Academy of Forensic Sciences, who share their experience with the profession, their knowledge and insights.
The authors of this book try to envision what their respective discipline of forensic science will look like a decade from now. It tries to predict the impact of this evolution on law. It talks about new directions and the future of forensic science disciplines like criminalistics, forensic engineering, psychology, toxicology etc. Since this book is collectively written by some of the best forensic minds in the world, it is a must read for everyone who is currently practicing forensic science.
Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques (Edited by Stuart H. James, Jon J. Nordby, Suzanne Bell)
Like the previous one, this book also has contributions from experts in the field of forensic science. These experts share real case studies from their personal files. All these testimonies are combined to form a fascinating account of the evolving technologies in the field.
The text compels the readers to always follow the evidence, whether it is the crime scene, the laboratory analysis or even the autopsy table. It offers in- depth information about all disciplines in forensic science, including forensic anthropology, death investigation, bloodstain pattern analysis, tool marks and many more. Each chapter begins with an overview and ends with a summary, key points, review questions and further references.
Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation (Barry A. J. Fisher, David R. Fisher)
This is a comprehensive guide to the investigative and technical aspects of CSI. It examines the concepts, field- tested techniques and procedures of crime scene investigation.
It contains numerous case studies to illustrate the technical aspects, and also has coloured photographs to make it interesting. Additionally, it has a number of practical tips for crime scene processing. Each chapter has a number of review questions that you can use to test yourself. This book is a must- have for students, entry- level practitioners as well as experienced practitioners to have a better appreciation of the strengths and limitations of this discipline.
Textbook of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (Anil Aggarwal)
Contrary to what the name suggests, this book branches out to almost every aspect of medicine and is not confined to criminal matters alone. The forensic science section is put together by many authors in a number of related areas, including forensic odontology, osteology, biology, ballistics, serology and pathology. It also offers a brief explanation of the Indian legal system. It discusses the legal aspects of death and possible causes. It discusses injuries and its legal aspects and their classification based on the weapon that produced them. Lastly, it also explains the legal aspects of medical practice.
The toxicology section covers statutes on drugs and poisons in India, characteristics of poisons, and their classification based on their mode of action. This book serves as an excellent guide for students and experts alike.
Forensic Pathology: Principles and Practice (David Dolinak, Evan Matshes, Emma Lew)
In this book, some of the world’s leading pathologists provide reviews about many of the recent medical and legal advances in the field.
It concentrates on common pathological entities likely to be encountered in a daily forensic routine, as well as on some not- so- common pathological conditions that are rarely seen in the autopsy room.
It focusses on pathology of burned bodies, traumatic brain injury, drug abuse, sudden infant death, sudden cardiac arrest and many other aspects in the field. The authors also discuss proper procedures for giving expert testimony in a death investigation. This book makes for an informative read for forensic investigators and demonstrates the latest medical and scientific advancements being made to solve current issues.
The Handy Forensic Science Answer Book (Patricia,
This book is full of fun facts about forensic science and is perfect for high school and college students who are exploring potential career paths. The question- answer format of this book is what makes it unique.
The questions are phrased well and the answers that follow are straightforward and to- the- point. The topics covered sare diverse- history of forensic science, crime scene investigation, lab work, controversies etc. The chapters on famous crimes and murders attract casually inquisitive readers. It also emphasizes the importance of forensic science in non- criminal events, such as the sinking of the Titanic. All in all, though this book may not be as informative for academic purposes, it is simply ideal for a little light reading.
A Hands-On Introduction to Forensic Science (Mark M. Okuda, Frank H. Stephenson)
This book approaches the topic of forensic science from a practical perspective in a way such that the readers understand that the different disciplines within the field of forensic science are inter- connected.
The book follows a unique format of a fictional narrative, entertaining the students as well as providing hands- on learning to crack the fictional case. It covers the full range of topics in this manner- crime scene processing, lifting prints, evidence of traces and blood, DNA sequencing, ballistics, skeletal remains and court testimony. The students are introduced to science necessary to process evidence maths, physics, chemistry and biology. This approach helps students to understand how forensic science works in the real world.
Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science (Richard Saferstein)
This book is for absolute beginners and introduces non- scientific readers to the world of forensic science. It tries to make a non- scientist understand the modern technology involved in solving crimes.
It gives a basic overview of all the major segments of forensic science. It has chapters that even cover crime scene reconstruction and the latest DNA forensic technology. It reviews numerous cases to give a practical overview of the concepts. It explains each technique and the science behind it in detail. Its huge wealth of information is what makes it a fascinating book to read.