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Beating the Devil's Game: A History of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation
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Beating the Devil's Game: A History of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
An authoritative history of forensic science and the evolution of criminal investigation, from the author of The Forensic Science of C.S.I. and The Human Predator.

Today, the basic scientific precepts of criminal investigation-fingerprinting, DNA, ballistics, and more-are widely known among professionals and lay people alike. But behind each of these now-commonplace conce
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Berkley Hardcover (first published 2007)
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Dec 23, 2010 Jen rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jen by: $2 bin at B&N
A brief history of the evolution of forensic science. Some very interesting facts in there, including who was the first criminal to be convicted of murder based on DNA evidence (Colin Pitchfork in the U.K.) and the first attempts at lie-detectors tests (13th C. China had the accused chew rice while they were asked questions about the crime, and then required to spit it out--the liars then identified by their inability to spit out the rice because their mouths would've dried up due to the stress ...more
Anita Dalton
Admittedly, at this point in my reading life, there is nothing new under the sun where forensics books are concerned. I learned very little new reading this book. But I am a Katherine Ramsland fan girl. Her worst book is still better than 90% of the books available on paranormal or true crime themes. So while I did not learn much new, the fact is that this book is well-researched and wonderfully written. And as usual, I found many new books to read exploring the selected bibliography in her book ...more
Mar 13, 2016 Evel rated it it was amazing
As a fan of (mainly) early forensics' history I was delighted to find a book such as this one. It may seem a bit dry for someone outside the forensics-criminal law field, but for anyone acquianted with general tone of books on the matter the writing style is surely something like fresh orange juice. Loved it to bits! And molecules! :)
Feb 16, 2016 Aurora rated it it was amazing
Some people may find this book rather "dry," as it is hundreds of pages of "facts of the case," with little to no sensationalism and a high level of attention to detail. Since this book was written about the *science* of forensics, however, I was glad to see that the author kept her focus fact driven. Very interesting read.
Sarah Beth
May 21, 2011 Sarah Beth rated it liked it
"Crime has been part of human society since Cain slew Abe, and identifying perpetrators has challenged the greatest minds to develop reliable techniques for investigation and prosecution." This was certainly the most gruesome book I've ever read due to its graphic descriptions of countless murders. Yet I found the slow development of scientific means to determine guilt interesting. We've certainly come a long way from the original crime detection technique of confessions via torture. What distur ...more
Emily Brown
Nov 24, 2012 Emily Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, history
the part i was interested in, the very early history of forensics, is incredibly fascinating! there are short reviews of the crimes that led to progress and even a history of chinese forensics (though the rest is mainly western science). i stopped reading after the history of fingerprinting, as that part of forensics i know much better and reading it was redundant (for me!). this book is definitely for the expert and layman alike, definitely worth reading!!
Lauren Albert
A good introduction to the history of forensics--fingerprinting, blood analysis, forensic entomology, etc.
Jennifer T
Sep 13, 2008 Jennifer T rated it really liked it
I found this book so fascinating, it gives an in depth look into the evolution of Forensics.
Carisa Sanchez
Dec 12, 2014 Carisa Sanchez rated it really liked it
Good read. A little hard to get through but a good read overall
Rachel Arnold
Painfully boring.
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I've loved books since I was 3, and the library was a highlight of my childhood. I've been fortunate to be able to find great joy in what others have written and sometimes to give this to readers. I follow my own muse, because it leads me on interesting adventures. If others benefit, so much the better.
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