chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
July 15, 2023 Book Review

Recent Reads

Jolie Zangari

Advanced Interviewing Techniques, Fourth Edition

Proven Strategies for Law Enforcement, Military, and Security Personnel

Professional Practice

Jack Schafer and Joe Navarro, Authors (Charles C Thomas Publisher, LTD.)

An updated practice guide on the critically important and often controversial topic of interviewing and interrogation. With chapters on planning, building rapport, detecting deception, Miranda, the art of questioning, and more, this book breaks down all the important components that may affect the successful outcome of any interview. Within each chapter, there are a multitude of easily identifiable subtopics with brief explanations. This allows for any reader to have the option of reading the guide in its entirety for background information, or simply identifying a particular issue and receiving a brief update on the information relevant solely to that issue. In-text citations are provided, making for an easily identifiable source should the reader need a more in-depth explanation on a specific matter. Advanced Interviewing Techniques is an essential addition to the reading list of any attorney or law enforcement officer, as interviews and interrogations are constantly being challenged and analyzed in courtrooms across the country. A proper understanding of interviewing is vital and fundamental for those of us dedicated to ensuring that best practices are achieved during this critical part of the investigation process.

18 Tiny Deaths

The Untold Story of the Woman Who Invented Modern Forensics


Bruce Goldfarb, Author (Sourcebooks)

The fascinating biography and previously untold story of the woman, Frances Glessner Lee, who established the study of medico-legal investigation, otherwise known as legal medicine, and currently known as the incredibly popular and critically important field of Forensic Science. Frances Lee was born in 1878, at a time when unexplained deaths were investigated by coroners, most lacking any background in medicine or law. By 1944, just a few states had qualified medical examiners who had proper training to correctly identify cause and manner of death. It was then that the incredibly smart, yet self-taught, Frances Lee developed the first-ever seminar on the specialized knowledge needed to investigate unexpected and unexplained deaths. She taught the seminar’s curriculum herself at Harvard Medical School at a time when women were barred from attending medical schools. Just a few years later, she co-created the first seminar on modern scientific forensic methods taught to police officers. Lee’s primary method of teaching consisted of 18 small boxes, akin to pristine doll houses. Inside the boxes, she had created intricately detailed death scenes, later known as The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, which have been preserved and were displayed at the Smithsonian Institution as recently as 2018. 18 Tiny Deaths is the utterly engrossing story of Frances Lee’s groundbreaking transformation of the study of modern forensic science.


How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Loved Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free

True Crime

Sarah Weinman, Author (HarperCollins)

The astounding true story of convicted murderer, Edgar Smith, who managed to obtain his release from New Jersey’s death row by convincing an entire country of his innocence, just to go on to nearly kill again. In 1957, Smith was found guilty of the brutal killing of a 15-year-old girl in Mahwah, NJ, and was later sentenced to death. In prison, Smith, a former Marine, fostered relationships with several important people in the media. Using his intelligence and superficial charm, both believed to be innately characteristic of psychopaths, Smith managed to manipulate these people and their followers into strongly advocating for his innocence, which was secured in 1971 by a federal appellate court. Once released, Smith became a successful author and renowned expert on incarceration. However, his success outside prison was short-lived and ended abruptly when Smith was arrested again for the attempted murder of another woman. Scoundrel is the extraordinarily researched and recited historical tale of Smith’s exciting ability to masquerade and swindle several public figures (and the courts!) into believing in his innocence.

The Suspect


Fiona Barton, Author (Berkley/Penguin)

A fast-paced crime thriller that intertwines the lives of a journalist, detective, and survivors of a crime that comes straight out of every parent’s worst nightmare. Author Fiona Barton, a former journalist, takes readers through the investigation of the sudden deaths of two British college students as they traveled through Thailand. The difference in the investigation by the Thai police and the UK police is starkly eye-opening, as oftentimes is the case in death investigations conducted where foreigners are killed in another country. Detachment is a common theme portrayed throughout the novel, which is also often present in the lives of actual attorneys, police officers, and journalists whose cases involve the investigation of tragic crimes. For example, how detached should investigators and reporters remain from horrifying crimes? Because the media is allowed such involvement in crime news, what influence does the media have on the outcome of criminal investigations? On a more personal note, how detached should parents remain from their young-adult children’s lives, especially when the children are engaging in risky behavior? Finally, this novel represents the increasingly entwined relationship between social media and criminal investigations. For an utterly engrossing crime mystery likely to be devoured in just a few sittings, pick up a copy of The Suspect!

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.

Jolie Zangari

SUNY Nassau Community College

Jolie Zangari is a former prosecutor from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a full-time faculty member of the Criminal Justice Department of SUNY Nassau Community College.