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Book review: Crime scene to court: the essentials of forensic science

‘Crime scene to court: the essentials of forensic science’, 2ndedition, edited by P. C. White. Pp xxii+451. Price £ 27.95. Cambridge:Royal Society of Chemistry; 2004. ISBN 0 85404 656 9

by Tony Moffat

Written by some of the best forensic scientists the UK has ever produced

‘Crime scene to court: the essentials of forensic science’, 2nd edition, edited by P. C. White. Pp xxii+451. Price £ 27.95. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry; 2004. ISBN 0 85404 656 9


The book does exactly what it says on the cover. It takes the reader from the crime scene examination through the collection of trace evidence, analysis of the various types of evidence and then the presentation of expert forensic evidence in court.

Intended for use by those studying forensic science at degree level, it is nevertheless written in an easily understandable style for the general public to read and enjoy.

The book has been written by some of the best forensic scientists the UK has ever produced and is a superb compilation of their knowledge and experience. After an introductory chapter on what forensic science is all about, chapters on the crime scene, trace and contact evidence, marks and impressions, and blood pattern analysis follow, with case examples to illustrate the scientific principles involved.

The next chapters detail the specific ways that the various types of evidence are examined: documents, computer-based media, fires, explosions, firearms, drugs of abuse, toxicology and alcohol. Modern methods of DNA analysis are also included. Good photographs illustrate the points being made.

At 450 pages for under £30, it is exceptionally good value as an undergraduate text even though it is now five years old.

 

Tony Moffat was previously chief scientist of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and is currently emeritus professor of pharmaceutical analysis at the School of Pharmacy, University of London

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Citation: The Pharmaceutical JournalURI: 10973580

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