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The Best Forensic Science Books

April 16, 2018
Best Forensic Science Books

“What are the best books about Forensic Science?” We looked at 134 of the top books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 12 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Forensic Science” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 100+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 12 Forensic Science Books



12 .) Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Goodreads

In the course of researching her best-selling books, McDermid has become familiar with many branches of forensics, and now she uncovers the history of this science and the people who make sure that for murderers, there is no hiding place. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help serve justice using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene, or the faintest of human traces. Now available in paperback, Forensics goes behind the scenes with some of these top-level professionals and their groundbreaking research, drawing on original interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientists. Along the way, we discover how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine time of death; how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer; and how a team of young Argentine scientists led by a maverick American anthropologist were able to uncover the victims of a genocide. The journey takes us to war zones, fire scenes, and autopsy suites, reveals both extraordinary bravery and true wickedness, as we trace the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.

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11 .) Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales by William M. Bass

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Goodreads

Dr. Bill Bass, one of the world’s leading forensic anthropologists, gained international attention when he built a forensic lab like no other: The Body Farm. Now, this master scientist unlocks the gates of his lab to reveal his most intriguing cases-and to revisit the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, fifty years after the fact.

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10 .) Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist by William R. Maples

Lists It Appears On:

  • Best Colleges
  • Goodreads

From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, prominent forensic anthropologist Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a murder victim, the manner in which the person was dispatched, and, ultimately, the identity of the killer. In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples revisits his strangest, most interesting, and most horrific investigations, from the baffling cases of conquistador Francisco Pizarro and Vietnam MIAs to the mysterious deaths of President Zachary Taylor and the family of Czar Nicholas II.

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9 .) Bones Are Forever by Kathy Reichs

Lists It Appears On:

  • Crime Fiction Lover
  • Goodreads

Dr Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist to the province of Quebec, is brought in to investigate. While there, she discovers the mummified remains of two more babies within the same room. Shocked and distressed, Tempe must use all her skills and inner strength to focus on the facts.

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8 .) Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell

Lists It Appears On:

  • Crime Fiction Lover
  • Goodreads

A serial killer is on the loose in Richmond, Virginia. Three women have died, brutalized and strangled in their own bedrooms. There is no pattern: the killer appears to strike at random – but always early on Saturday mornings.

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7 .) Practical Homicide Investigation: Tactics, Procedures, and Forensic Technologies by Geberth, Vernon J. Geberth, Vernon J.

Lists It Appears On:

  • Realitypod
  • ThoughtCo.

“Renowned for being THE definitive resource for homicide investigators, Practical Homicide Investigation: Tactics, Procedures, and Forensic Techniques details the recognized protocols used by investigative divisions of major police departments throughout the world. The text is used in most police academies, including the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Now in its fifth edition, the book begins with a comprehensive discussion of homicide crime scenes and moves chronologically from initial police notification, the correct police response that follows, and the subsequent steps necessary to conduct an intelligent investigation. It then delves into the more technical aspects of homicide investigation, augmented with numerous pictures and full-color illustrations that involve pertinent case histories.”

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6 .) Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward by National Research Council

Lists It Appears On:

  • Realitypod
  • Sanfoundry

“Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and advancements, both systematic and scientific, are needed in a number of forensic science disciplines to ensure the reliability of work, establish enforceable standards, and promote best practices with consistent application. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward provides a detailed plan for addressing these needs and suggests the creation of a new government entity, the National Institute of Forensic Science, to establish and enforce standards within the forensic science community.

The benefits of improving and regulating the forensic science disciplines are clear: assisting law enforcement officials, enhancing homeland security, and reducing the risk of wrongful conviction and exoneration. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States gives a full account of what is needed to advance the forensic science disciplines, including upgrading of systems and organizational structures, better training, widespread adoption of uniform and enforceable best practices, and mandatory certification and accreditation programs”

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5 .) The Bone Lady: Life as a Forensic Anthropologist by Mary H. Manhein

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Goodreads

When a skeleton is all that’s left to tell the story of a crime, Mary H. Manhein, otherwise known as “the bone lady,” is called in. For almost two decades, Manhein has used her expertise in forensic pathology to help law enforcement agents–locally, nationally, and internationally–solve their most perplexing mysteries. She shares the extraordinary details of the often high-profile cases on which she works, and the science underlying her analyses. Here are Civil War skeletons, cases of alleged voodoo and witchcraft, crimes of political intrigue, and the before-and-after of facial reconstruction. Written with the compassion and humor of a born storyteller, The Bone Lady is an unforgettable glimpse into the lab where one scientist works to reveal the human stories behind the remains.

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4 .) Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Goodreads

The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist?s ?rookie season? as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases?hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex?that shaped her as both a physician and a mother.Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation?performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy?s two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587.Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America?s most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies?and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law & Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.

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3 .) Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death by Jessica Snyder Sachs

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Goodreads
  • Realitypod

When detectives come upon a murder victim, there’s one thing they want to know above all else: When did the victim die? The answer can narrow a group of suspects, make or break an alibi, even assign a name to an unidentified body. But outside the fictional world of murder mysteries, time-of-death determinations have remained infamously elusive, bedeviling criminal investigators throughout history. Armed with an array of high-tech devices and tests, the world’s best forensic pathologists are doing their best to shift the balance, but as Jessica Snyder Sachs demonstrates so eloquently in Corpse, this is a case in which nature might just trump technology: Plants, chemicals, and insects found near the body are turning out to be the fiercest weapons in our crime-fighting arsenal. In this highly original book, Sachs accompanies an eccentric group of entomologists, anthropologists, biochemists, and botanists–a new kind of biological “Mod Squad”–on some of their grisliest, most intractable cases. She also takes us into the courtroom, where “post-O.J.” forensic science as a whole is coming under fire and the new multidisciplinary art of forensic ecology is struggling to establish its credibility. Corpse is the fascinating story of the 2000year search to pinpoint time of death. It is also the terrible and beautiful story of what happens to our bodies when we die.

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2 .) Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science by Richard Saferstein

Lists It Appears On:

  • Best Colleges
  • Realitypod
  • ThoughtCo.

“A clear introduction to the technology of the modern crime laboratory for non-scientists
Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, Twelfth Edition, uses clear writing, case stories, and modern technology to capture the pulse and fervor of forensic science investigations. Written for readers with no scientific background, only the most relevant scientific and technological concepts are presented. The nature of physical evidence is defined, and the limitations that technology and current knowledge impose on its individualization and characterization are examined. A major portion of the text centers on discussions of the common items of physical evidence encountered at crime scenes. Particular attention is paid to the meaning and role of probability in interpreting the evidential significance of scientifically evaluated evidence. Updated throughout, the Twelfth Edition includes a new chapter on the exciting field of forensic biometrics. With its easy-to-understand writing and straightforward presentation, this best-selling text is clear and comprehensible to a wide variety of students.”

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1 .) The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation by Ngaire E. Genge

Lists It Appears On:

  • Best Colleges
  • Goodreads
  • Realitypod

Filled with these and many other intriguing true stories, and packed with black and white illustrations and photographs, The Forensic Casebook draws on interviews with police personnel and forensic scientists—including animal examiners, botanists, zoologists, firearms specialists, and autoposists—to uncover the vast and detailed underworkings of criminal investigation.

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The 100+ Additional Best Forensic Science Books



 

# Book Author Lists
(Titles Appear on 1 List Each)
13 206 Bones Kathy Reichs Goodreads
14 Advances in Forensic Human Identification Xanthe Mallett and Teri Blythe Sanfoundry
15 All That Remains Patricia Cornwell Goodreads
16 Attacking the Violent Crime of Arson: A Report on America’s Fire Investigation Units U S Department of Homeland Security U S Fire Administration Sanfoundry
17 Bare Bones Kathy Reichs Goodreads
18 Beyond the Body Farm: A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murders, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic Science William M. Bass Goodreads
19 Biological Monitoring Techniques for Human Exposure to Industrial Chemicals: Analysis of Human Fat, Skin, Nails, Hair, Blood, Urine and Breath L Sheldon Sanfoundry
20 Biological Psychology James W Kalat Sanfoundry
21 Biological, Psychological, and Environmental Factors in Delinquency and Mental Disorder: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography (Bibliographies & Indexes in Sociology) Deborah W. Denno and Ruth M Schwartz Sanfoundry
22 Blow Fly Patricia Cornwell Goodreads
23 Bodies We’ve Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World’s Top CSI Training School Jarrett Hallcox Goodreads
24 Body of Evidence Patricia Cornwell Goodreads
25 Bones Never Lie Kathy Reichs Goodreads
26 Bones to Ashes Kathy Reichs Goodreads
27 Book of the Dead Patricia Cornwell Goodreads
28 Calendar of Death: Socio-Psychological Factors in Thomas of Canterbury’s Attitude Toward His Own Death (Medieval People) Arthur Frederick Ide Sanfoundry
29 Careers in Explosives and Arson Investigation (Careers in Forensics) Daniel E Harmon Sanfoundry
30 Carved In Bone Jefferson Bass
Crime Fiction Lover
31 Cause of Death Patricia Cornwell Goodreads
32 Characterization and Cryopreservation of Chicken Semen Manadiel Thatohatsi Mosenene Sanfoundry
33 Conviction: Law, the State and the Construction of Justice (Oxford Socio-Legal Studies) Doreen J McBarnet Sanfoundry
34 Crime Scene Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman Sanfoundry
35
Criminal Investigation: The Art and the Science
Best Colleges
36 Cross Bones Kathy Reichs Goodreads
37 Cruel & Unusual Patricia Cornwell Goodreads
38
Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide And The Criminal Mind
Best Master In Psychology
39 Darkly Dreaming Dexter Jeff Lindsay Goodreads
40 Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers Michael Baden Goodreads
41 Deadly Decisions Kathy Reichs Goodreads
42 Death du Jour Kathy Reichs Goodreads
43 Death Investigator’s Handbook: A Field Guide to Crime Scene Processing, Forensic Evaluations and Investigative Techniques Louis N Eliopulos Sanfoundry
44 Death’s Acre
Best Colleges
45 Déjà Dead Kathy Reichs Goodreads
46 Devil Bones Kathy Reichs Goodreads
47 Dexter Is Delicious Jeff Lindsay Goodreads
48 Digital Evidence and Computer Crime: Forensic Science, Computers, and the Internet Eoghan Casey Realitypod
49 DNA Fingerprinting (The Medical Perspectives Series) M Krawczak and J Schmidtke Sanfoundry
50 DNA Fingerprinting in Plants: Principles, Methods, and Applications Kurt Weising and Hilde Nybom Sanfoundry
51 DNA Fingerprinting of Trees and Genetic Diversity of Syzygium Cumini Suphia Khan Sanfoundry
52 DNA Fingerprinting: An Introduction Lorne T Kirby Sanfoundry
53 DNA Fingerprinting: Approaches and Applications (Experientia Supplementum) G Dolf Sanfoundry
54 DNA Fingerprinting: State of the Science (Experientia Supplementum) Sergio D Pena Sanfoundry
55 DNA Fingerprinting: The Witness Within Lalji Singh and Madhusudan W Pandit Sanfoundry
56 DNA Profiling and DNA Fingerprinting (Methods and Tools in Biosciences and Medicine) Jörg Epplen and Thomas Lubjuhnn Sanfoundry
57 DNA: The Story of the Genetic Revolution James D Watson and Andrew Berry Sanfoundry
58 Evidence Found: An Approach to Crime Scene Investigation David Miranda Sanfoundry
59 Explosives and Arson Investigation (Solving Crimes With Science: Forensics) Jean Ford Sanfoundry
60 Fatal Voyage Kathy Reichs Goodreads
61 Field Guide for Fire Investigators International Association of Arson Investigators Sanfoundry
62 Fingerprints: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case that Launched Forensic Science Colin Beavan Goodreads
63 Fire Investigator International Association of Arson Investigators Sanfoundry
64 Firearms Evidence Crime Scene Processing Michael W Weissberg Sanfoundry
65 Flash and Bones Kathy Reichs Goodreads
66 Forensic Ballistics in Court: Interpretation and Presentation of Firearms Evidence Brian J Heard Sanfoundry
67 Forensic Entomology: The Utility of Arthropods in Legal Investigations, Second Edition Jason H Byrd and James L Castner Sanfoundry
68 Forensic Fire Scene Reconstruction David J Icove PE and Gerald A Haynes Sanfoundry
69 Forensic Investigation of Explosions (International Forensic Science and Investigation) Alexander Beveridge Sanfoundry
70 Forensic Investigation of Unusual Firearms: Ballistic and Medico-Legal Evidence J K Sinha Sanfoundry
71 Forensic Pathology, Second Edition ThoughtCo.
72 Forensic Science Andrew R.W. Jackson Goodreads
73 Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques Stuart H. James Realitypod
74 Forensic Science: From the Crime Scene to the Crime Lab Richard Saferstein Realitypod
75 From Potter’s Field Patricia Cornwell Goodreads
76 Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing John M Butler Sanfoundry
77 Grave Secrets Kathy Reichs Goodreads
78 Gunshot Wounds – ThoughtCo.
79 Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics: Examining and Interpreting Forensic Evidence (Developments in Forensic Science) Brian J Heard Sanfoundry
80 Hard Evidence: Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology Dawnie W Steadman Sanfoundry
81 Hidden Evidence: 40 True Crimes and How Forensic Science Helped Solve Them David L. Owen Goodreads
82 Homicide Investigation Field Guide D’Michelle P DuPre Sanfoundry
83 Human Saliva, Volume I Jorma O Tenovuo Sanfoundry
84 Identification Manuals on .303 Cartridges: Dummy Cartridges No.5 B A Temple Sanfoundry
85 Importance of Delivering Education to Prisoners in Reducing Crime Rate Mushtaq Amina Sanfoundry
86
Interpretation of Bloodstain Evidence at Crime Scenes
ThoughtCo.
87 Introduction to Forensic Science and Criminalistics Gaensslen, Robert E. Gaensslen, Robert E. Realitypod
88
Investigative Psychology: Offender Profiling And The Analysis Of Criminal Action
Best Master In Psychology
89 Lab Manual for Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science Clifton E. Meloan , Richard E. James , Richard Saferstein Realitypod
90 Male Reproductive Function and Semen: Themes and Trends in Physiology, Biochemistry and Investigative Andrology T Mann and C Lutwak-Mann Sanfoundry
91 Measurement Uncertainty in Forensic Science: A Practical Guide Suzanne Bell Sanfoundry
92 Mistress of the Art of Death Ariana Franklin Goodreads
93 Molecular Analysis of Gene Markers in Urine Swati Singh Sanfoundry
94 Monday Mourning Kathy Reichs Goodreads
95 Never Suck A Dead Man’s Hand: Curious Adventures of a CSI Dana Kollmann Bustle
96 No Stone Unturned: The True Story of the World’s Premier Forensic Investigators Steve Jackson Goodreads
97 Oral Biology: Molecular Techniques and Applications (Methods in Molecular Biology) Gregory J Seymour and Mary P Cullinan Sanfoundry
98 Organisational Anthropology: Doing Ethnography in and Among Complex Organisations (Anthropology, Culture and Society) Christina Garsten and Anette Nyqvist Sanfoundry
99 Pathways to Gang Involvement and Drug Distribution: Social, Environmental, and Psychological Factors Inger-Lise Lien Sanfoundry
100 Physical Evidence in Forensic Science Lee and Henry C Sanfoundry
101 Point of Origin Patricia Cornwell Goodreads
102 Polymers on the Crime Scene: Forensic Analysis of Polymeric Trace Evidence Valerio Causin Sanfoundry
103 Practical Fire and Arson Investigation (Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations) John J O’Connor Sanfoundry
104
Practical Homicide Investigation Checklist and Field Guide
ThoughtCo.
105 Programmable Freezing and Computer Automated Analysis of Bovine Semen P Kathiravan and K Rengarajan Sanfoundry
106 Protocols in Semen Biology (Comparing Assays) N Srivastava and Megha Pande Sanfoundry
107
Psychological Evaluations For The Courts: A Handbook For Mental Health Professionals And Lawyers
Best Master In Psychology
108 Risk Factors: An Introduction to the Sociopsychological Analysis of Drug Use Yik-Ying Katherine Ng Sanfoundry
109 Rural Arson Control Study Federal Emergency Management Agency and United States Fire Administration Sanfoundry
110 Scene of the Crime Michael Lark and Sean Phillips Sanfoundry
111
Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work
Best Master In Psychology
112 Social Anthropology of Complex Societies Michael Banton Sanfoundry
113 Social Factors and Community Well-Being (SpringerBriefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research) Seung Jong Lee and Youngwha Kee Sanfoundry
114 Socio-Demographic and Psychological Characteristics of Sub-Types of Alcoholism: An Analysis of the Type A/Type B and Five-Factor Models Mindy Hope Thiel Sanfoundry
115 Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Mary Roach Goodreads
116 Teasing Secrets from the Dead: My Investigations at America’s Most Infamous Crime Scenes Emily Craig Goodreads
117 Textbook of Firearms Investigation, Identification and Evidence Together with the Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers Julian S Hatcher Sanfoundry
118 The Anatomy Of A Motive
Best Master In Psychology
119 The Angel of Death Alane Ferguson Goodreads
120 The Body Farm Patricia Cornwell Goodreads
121 The Casebook of Forensic Detection ThoughtCo.
122 The Chemistry Of Death Simon Beckett
Crime Fiction Lover
123 The Cultural Sociology of Political Assassination: From MLK and RFK to Fortuyn and van Gogh Ron Eyerman Sanfoundry
124 The Greased Cartridge E Jaiwant Paul Sanfoundry
125 The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science Douglas Starr Goodreads
126 The Mephisto Club Tess Gerritsen Goodreads
127 The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us About Evolution, Ecology, and a Sustainable Society David Waltner-Toews Sanfoundry
128 The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York Deborah Blum Goodreads
129 The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective’s Greatest Cases E.J. Wagner Bustle
130 The Silent Girl Tess Gerritsen Goodreads
131 The Sinner Tess Gerritsen Goodreads
132 The Surgeon Tess Gerritsen
Crime Fiction Lover
133 Twelve: Fatality Hotel Arson (U.S Fire Administration Technical Report) Joseph Ockershausen and Harold Cohen Sanfoundry
134 Unnatural Exposure Patricia Cornwell Goodreads


8 Best Forensic Science Text Book Sources/Lists



Source Article
Best Colleges FORENSIC SCIENCE RESOURCES
Best Master In Psychology 5 Great Books For Forensic Psychologists
Bustle 7 Crime Scene Investigation Books To Help You Channel Your Inner NCIS
Crime Fiction Lover FORENSIC MYSTERIES: FIVE OF THE BEST
Goodreads Popular Forensic Science Books
Realitypod Top 10 Forensic Science Textbooks
Sanfoundry Best Reference Books – B.Sc. – Forensic Science
ThoughtCo. Popular Books About Forensic Science

 

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