Janine McGuire reviews this terminology resource for students and professionals

cover of Oxford dictionary of forensic science

Suzanne Bell

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press 2012 | Pp320 | £12.99 (PB) | ISBN9780199594009

Reviewed by Janine McGuire

In the Oxford dictionary of forensic science the author Suzanne Bell has used her years of experience working in the field of forensic science to pull together a dictionary containing references to all the key areas. 

The dictionary provides terminology and explanations of the majority of topics in the vast and increasing area of forensic science. From DNA to forensic computing, this dictionary covers in clear language all the key terms and techniques. The explanations are clear and concisely written, while being informative and engaging. 

The cross-referencing in the book is useful and encourages readers to investigate unfamiliar terms, turning this book in to more than just a dictionary. The diagrams, illustrations and pictures are a welcome additional feature and, if anything, could be expanded on. 

The book contains informative references to some of the pioneers in the field of forensic science and how their work has advanced this area. Also included are some classic and pioneering criminal cases, which demonstrate how new techniques were applied as the field emerged. It concludes with some appendices which include a comprehensive list of abbreviations, chemical data and references to websites for further reading. 

This book would be suitable for a wide range of people, appealing to students at either secondary or university level, as a general reference source for professionals working in the area and also those with a general interest.

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