Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Review: 'Just the Facts, Ma'am' by Greg Fallis

Just the Facts, Ma'am: A Writer's Guide to Investigators and Investigation Techniques by Greg Fallis, 1998, Writer's Digest Books, $16.99, softbound, 246 pages. Category/Genre: writing reference. Cover: not a stand-out, but it works. Where we got it: bought it. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

From the qualities of a good investigator to undercover work, this book covers a lot of ground. The clientele, autonomy, and functions of both public and private investigators are explored, and in this section, the reader gets the low-down on federal, state, county, and municipal agencies. Crime scenes are examined, both from a police detective's and a private detective's perspective. There are chapters on interrogation and interviewing, surveillance, and tailing, as well as information on sources from where your characters can get data. 

Undercover work, including sting operations, decoy operations, and the physical and emotional danger of undercover work, is likewise dissected. The author also goes into vision and hearing enhancement devices, along with the interpretation of facts. 

Well done. A go-to book for writers interested in investigative techniques.

If you like this one, try: Private Eyes: A Writer's Guide to Private Investigators by Hal Blythe, Charlie Sweet, and John Landreth; How to Solve a Murder: The Forensic Handbook by Michael Kurland; and Police Procedural: A Writer's Guide to the Police and How They Work by Russell Bintliff.

No comments:

Post a Comment