Evidence from the Earth: Forensic Geology and Criminal Investigation
by Raymond C. Murray
Mountain Press Publishing Company (2004), Post Office Box 2399,
Missoula, Montana 59806 USA
240 pages, 30 B&W photographs, 14 illustrations
Paper US $20.00
Orders by telephone 406-728-1900
Toll Free 800-234-5308
Order online: www.mountain-press.com
Ray Murray’s new book is great; I would say perfect. It represents the best job yet describing and illustrating forensic geology. The title perfectly reflects the subject, and each topic is marvelously composed into a concise and coherent chapter summarizing the various aspects of forensic soil and other earth materials comparisons. The topics include: sands, soil, rocks, minerals, gems, glass, safe insulation, building materials, cleaning and face powders, abrasives, pigments, and geophysical survey methods. Both collection and examination techniques are discussed using historical accounts and case examples at every juncture to add to a better understanding of forensic geology.
Although written for a variety of audiences (geologists, forensic scientists, forensic investigators, and the interested public), the science seems impeccable everywhere too. A useful glossary is included to help those less knowledgeable in geology. The book is not intended to be a reference text for forensic microscopists responsible for comparing soil, rocks, glass, and other building materials, because there are many tried and true sources for more details, and some are referenced in the book. Evidence from the Earth is highly recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in forensic science, and, certainly, would be valuable to ground the forensic microscopist in the basic concepts of using evidence from the earth.