The director of the Forensic Science Program at Pennsylvania State University, Professor Robert C. Shaler leads a comprehensive study of the intricacies of an intriguing, and always topical, science. In these lectures, Shaler imparts a clear understanding of crime-scene investigation, from archiving the scene to the presentation of evidence in court proceedings. Covering everything from fingermarks and bloodstains to 3-D imaging and microbial forensics, the course is an essential guide for anyone intrigued by this riveting subject.
©2011 Robert C. Shaler (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
I've taken college level courses on criminology and the information presented in this book is right on with the previous instructions I have received. The presenter has a good voice, seems very knowledgeable, easy to listen to, understandable, and practical. I didn't give 5 stars because the the presenter #1 tends to repeat himself and #2 uses too much casual speech in his presentation (e.g. incorrect grammar and slang such as "goona" and "kinda"). The unprofessional style of presentation lost some its credibility. However, all in all, it was well done and I've already listened to the book twice.
Of course someone interested in listening to this topic likely has a desire to learn more than be entertained. That is why I listened to it and what I enjoyed about it. Good information, but the presnetation was a bit off. The author does manage to stay on point most of the time, but there is alot of reiteration (which is not a bad thing if you are trying to drive a point home...)
This is a good informational text read in a way that you can learn from. It can be argued that there really isn't supposed to be any entertainment value in a audio presentation such as this, but an entertaining presentation does help to capture the audience.
It might just be me, but I've yet to listen to an audio presentation that has been read by the author that would not have benefited by having someone else read it. Authors do a good job writing, narrators, voice actors, they help to compel the listener to want to listen. The author is an expert in his field and the information in the book is interesting on that intellectual level a scripted narration read by an expert in that arena; would be more engaging though.
I hate to give a negative review. It seemed like a fascinating topic, but early on this gets very bogged down in terminology and how the investigators need a scientific approach, and who is a criminalist and who is a technician and who was on first, no second base... The work is much like a textbook in which the author wants each statement to be completely accurate without regard for whether anyone is still listening. Was it Samuel Noah Kramer who said archeology should bring the dead to life, not bring sleep to the living...? I gave this one an hour and punted.
Overall, I was disappointed with this series of lectures. I listen to a lot of audio lectures (mostly through a different source), and I know that with the right teacher, even the driest material can be made entertaining. Robert Shaler is informative, and as far as I can tell (I have no background in police investigation) really knows his stuff. But it's not entertaining. The early lectures in particular are rather boring; this does improve as the course progresses.
This course was not exactly what I expected (begrudgingly, I must admit that I expected something a little more CSI), but it IS an informative course. Although not really suited for audiobook format, Shaler understands not only his discipline, but how to explain it to others.
I don't think I'd recommend this course for anyone but those seriously considering a career in law-enforcement or writers who want to write about proper police procedure (not necessarily what they do, but what they SHOULD do). Again, this is not a bad product by any means, but it is, I think, of limited appeal.
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