With the publication of POLICE PROCEDURE & INVESTIGATIONS, Writer's Digest Books has gotten itself a sure-fire winner. The subtitle of this book indicates that it was written primarily for the writers of crime books and crime-related short stories. But that is a much too narrow focus. This book is for anyone who is interested in police work, criminal investigations, and all of the aspects that fit under those two general categories. And it delves into these areas to a much greater depth than the ever-popular and ever-growing list of television programs that claim to be "reality-based" crime shows.

Nearly everybody is now familiar with terms such as crime scene investigation, autopsy, the exclusionary rule, blood spatter analysis, flash-bangs, DNA evidence, and the Miranda warning. But if you want to know what kind of equipment crime scene investigators need, what kind of training goes on in police academies, how long rigor mortis effects a corpse, what a "sally port" is, what kind of chemicals are used to make meth, or the difference between ASPs and shock sticks, this is the book for you.

Author Lee Lofland is well known to writers of crime novels mainly because of his expertise in the field, but also because of his clear, concise, and jargon-free writing style. He is a writer's writer, but he is also a reader's writer. His prose is clean and direct, his organization logical, and his coverage comprehensive.

I highly recommend this book for anyone--writer or non-writer--who wants to know what REALLY goes on during a criminal investigation, inside a courtroom, or behind prison walls.

Russ Heitz

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