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The Best Forensic Science Books

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“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.

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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



 

#BookAuthorLists
(Titles Appear on 1 List Each)
13206 BonesKathy ReichsGoodreads
14Advances in Forensic Human IdentificationXanthe Mallett and Teri BlytheSanfoundry
15All That RemainsPatricia CornwellGoodreads
16Attacking the Violent Crime of Arson: A Report on America’s Fire Investigation UnitsU S Department of Homeland Security U S Fire AdministrationSanfoundry
17Bare BonesKathy ReichsGoodreads
18Beyond the Body Farm: A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murders, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic ScienceWilliam M. BassGoodreads
19Biological Monitoring Techniques for Human Exposure to Industrial Chemicals: Analysis of Human Fat, Skin, Nails, Hair, Blood, Urine and BreathL SheldonSanfoundry
20Biological PsychologyJames W KalatSanfoundry
21Biological, Psychological, and Environmental Factors in Delinquency and Mental Disorder: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography (Bibliographies & Indexes in Sociology)Deborah W. Denno and Ruth M SchwartzSanfoundry
22Blow FlyPatricia CornwellGoodreads
23Bodies We’ve Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World’s Top CSI Training SchoolJarrett HallcoxGoodreads
24Body of EvidencePatricia CornwellGoodreads
25Bones Never LieKathy ReichsGoodreads
26Bones to AshesKathy ReichsGoodreads
27Book of the DeadPatricia CornwellGoodreads
28Calendar of Death: Socio-Psychological Factors in Thomas of Canterbury’s Attitude Toward His Own Death (Medieval People)Arthur Frederick IdeSanfoundry
29Careers in Explosives and Arson Investigation (Careers in Forensics)Daniel E HarmonSanfoundry
30Carved In BoneJefferson Bass
Crime Fiction Lover
31Cause of DeathPatricia CornwellGoodreads
32Characterization and Cryopreservation of Chicken SemenManadiel Thatohatsi MoseneneSanfoundry
33Conviction: Law, the State and the Construction of Justice (Oxford Socio-Legal Studies)Doreen J McBarnetSanfoundry
34Crime SceneJonathan Kellerman and Jesse KellermanSanfoundry
35
Criminal Investigation: The Art and the Science
Best Colleges
36Cross BonesKathy ReichsGoodreads
37Cruel & UnusualPatricia CornwellGoodreads
38
Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide And The Criminal Mind
Best Master In Psychology
39Darkly Dreaming DexterJeff LindsayGoodreads
40Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching KillersMichael BadenGoodreads
41Deadly DecisionsKathy ReichsGoodreads
42Death du JourKathy ReichsGoodreads
43Death Investigator’s Handbook: A Field Guide to Crime Scene Processing, Forensic Evaluations and Investigative TechniquesLouis N EliopulosSanfoundry
44Death’s Acre
Best Colleges
45Déjà DeadKathy ReichsGoodreads
46Devil BonesKathy ReichsGoodreads
47Dexter Is DeliciousJeff LindsayGoodreads
48Digital Evidence and Computer Crime: Forensic Science, Computers, and the InternetEoghan CaseyRealitypod
49DNA Fingerprinting (The Medical Perspectives Series)M Krawczak and J SchmidtkeSanfoundry
50DNA Fingerprinting in Plants: Principles, Methods, and ApplicationsKurt Weising and Hilde NybomSanfoundry
51DNA Fingerprinting of Trees and Genetic Diversity of Syzygium CuminiSuphia KhanSanfoundry
52DNA Fingerprinting: An IntroductionLorne T KirbySanfoundry
53DNA Fingerprinting: Approaches and Applications (Experientia Supplementum)G DolfSanfoundry
54DNA Fingerprinting: State of the Science (Experientia Supplementum)Sergio D PenaSanfoundry
55DNA Fingerprinting: The Witness WithinLalji Singh and Madhusudan W PanditSanfoundry
56DNA Profiling and DNA Fingerprinting (Methods and Tools in Biosciences and Medicine)Jörg Epplen and Thomas LubjuhnnSanfoundry
57DNA: The Story of the Genetic RevolutionJames D Watson and Andrew BerrySanfoundry
58Evidence Found: An Approach to Crime Scene InvestigationDavid MirandaSanfoundry
59Explosives and Arson Investigation (Solving Crimes With Science: Forensics)Jean FordSanfoundry
60Fatal VoyageKathy ReichsGoodreads
61Field Guide for Fire InvestigatorsInternational Association of Arson InvestigatorsSanfoundry
62Fingerprints: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case that Launched Forensic ScienceColin BeavanGoodreads
63Fire InvestigatorInternational Association of Arson InvestigatorsSanfoundry
64Firearms Evidence Crime Scene ProcessingMichael W WeissbergSanfoundry
65Flash and BonesKathy ReichsGoodreads
66Forensic Ballistics in Court: Interpretation and Presentation of Firearms EvidenceBrian J HeardSanfoundry
67Forensic Entomology: The Utility of Arthropods in Legal Investigations, Second EditionJason H Byrd and James L CastnerSanfoundry
68Forensic Fire Scene ReconstructionDavid J Icove PE and Gerald A HaynesSanfoundry
69Forensic Investigation of Explosions (International Forensic Science and Investigation)Alexander BeveridgeSanfoundry
70Forensic Investigation of Unusual Firearms: Ballistic and Medico-Legal EvidenceJ K SinhaSanfoundry
71Forensic Pathology, Second EditionThoughtCo.
72Forensic ScienceAndrew R.W. JacksonGoodreads
73Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative TechniquesStuart H. JamesRealitypod
74Forensic Science: From the Crime Scene to the Crime LabRichard SafersteinRealitypod
75From Potter’s FieldPatricia CornwellGoodreads
76Fundamentals of Forensic DNA TypingJohn M ButlerSanfoundry
77Grave SecretsKathy ReichsGoodreads
78Gunshot Wounds –ThoughtCo.
79Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics: Examining and Interpreting Forensic Evidence (Developments in Forensic Science)Brian J HeardSanfoundry
80Hard Evidence: Case Studies in Forensic AnthropologyDawnie W SteadmanSanfoundry
81Hidden Evidence: 40 True Crimes and How Forensic Science Helped Solve ThemDavid L. OwenGoodreads
82Homicide Investigation Field GuideD’Michelle P DuPreSanfoundry
83Human Saliva, Volume IJorma O TenovuoSanfoundry
84Identification Manuals on .303 Cartridges: Dummy Cartridges No.5B A TempleSanfoundry
85Importance of Delivering Education to Prisoners in Reducing Crime RateMushtaq AminaSanfoundry
86
Interpretation of Bloodstain Evidence at Crime Scenes
ThoughtCo.
87Introduction to Forensic Science and CriminalisticsGaensslen, Robert E. Gaensslen, Robert E.Realitypod
88
Investigative Psychology: Offender Profiling And The Analysis Of Criminal Action
Best Master In Psychology
89Lab Manual for Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic ScienceClifton E. Meloan , Richard E. James , Richard SafersteinRealitypod
90Male Reproductive Function and Semen: Themes and Trends in Physiology, Biochemistry and Investigative AndrologyT Mann and C Lutwak-MannSanfoundry
91Measurement Uncertainty in Forensic Science: A Practical GuideSuzanne BellSanfoundry
92Mistress of the Art of DeathAriana FranklinGoodreads
93Molecular Analysis of Gene Markers in UrineSwati SinghSanfoundry
94Monday MourningKathy ReichsGoodreads
95Never Suck A Dead Man’s Hand: Curious Adventures of a CSIDana KollmannBustle
96No Stone Unturned: The True Story of the World’s Premier Forensic InvestigatorsSteve JacksonGoodreads
97Oral Biology: Molecular Techniques and Applications (Methods in Molecular Biology)Gregory J Seymour and Mary P CullinanSanfoundry
98Organisational Anthropology: Doing Ethnography in and Among Complex Organisations (Anthropology, Culture and Society)Christina Garsten and Anette NyqvistSanfoundry
99Pathways to Gang Involvement and Drug Distribution: Social, Environmental, and Psychological FactorsInger-Lise LienSanfoundry
100Physical Evidence in Forensic ScienceLee and Henry CSanfoundry
101Point of OriginPatricia CornwellGoodreads
102Polymers on the Crime Scene: Forensic Analysis of Polymeric Trace EvidenceValerio CausinSanfoundry
103Practical Fire and Arson Investigation (Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations)John J O’ConnorSanfoundry
104
Practical Homicide Investigation Checklist and Field Guide
ThoughtCo.
105Programmable Freezing and Computer Automated Analysis of Bovine SemenP Kathiravan and K RengarajanSanfoundry
106Protocols in Semen Biology (Comparing Assays)N Srivastava and Megha PandeSanfoundry
107
Psychological Evaluations For The Courts: A Handbook For Mental Health Professionals And Lawyers
Best Master In Psychology
108Risk Factors: An Introduction to the Sociopsychological Analysis of Drug UseYik-Ying Katherine NgSanfoundry
109Rural Arson Control StudyFederal Emergency Management Agency and United States Fire AdministrationSanfoundry
110Scene of the CrimeMichael Lark and Sean PhillipsSanfoundry
111
Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work
Best Master In Psychology
112Social Anthropology of Complex SocietiesMichael BantonSanfoundry
113Social Factors and Community Well-Being (SpringerBriefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research)Seung Jong Lee and Youngwha KeeSanfoundry
114Socio-Demographic and Psychological Characteristics of Sub-Types of Alcoholism: An Analysis of the Type A/Type B and Five-Factor ModelsMindy Hope ThielSanfoundry
115Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human CadaversMary RoachGoodreads
116Teasing Secrets from the Dead: My Investigations at America’s Most Infamous Crime ScenesEmily CraigGoodreads
117Textbook of Firearms Investigation, Identification and Evidence Together with the Textbook of Pistols and RevolversJulian S HatcherSanfoundry
118The Anatomy Of A Motive
Best Master In Psychology
119The Angel of DeathAlane FergusonGoodreads
120The Body FarmPatricia CornwellGoodreads
121The Casebook of Forensic DetectionThoughtCo.
122The Chemistry Of DeathSimon Beckett
Crime Fiction Lover
123The Cultural Sociology of Political Assassination: From MLK and RFK to Fortuyn and van GoghRon EyermanSanfoundry
124The Greased CartridgeE Jaiwant PaulSanfoundry
125The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic ScienceDouglas StarrGoodreads
126The Mephisto ClubTess GerritsenGoodreads
127The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us About Evolution, Ecology, and a Sustainable SocietyDavid Waltner-ToewsSanfoundry
128The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New YorkDeborah BlumGoodreads
129The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective’s Greatest CasesE.J. WagnerBustle
130The Silent GirlTess GerritsenGoodreads
131The SinnerTess GerritsenGoodreads
132The SurgeonTess Gerritsen
Crime Fiction Lover
133Twelve: Fatality Hotel Arson (U.S Fire Administration Technical Report)Joseph Ockershausen and Harold CohenSanfoundry
134Unnatural ExposurePatricia CornwellGoodreads


8 Best Forensic Science Text Book Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
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