Stuart Gibbon

Being a Detective

""...a valuable research tool... " "


The subtitle of the book is 'An A-Z Readers' and Writers' Guide to Detective Work Past and Present'. Anyone with an interest in crime fiction will find it a fascinating and rewarding look at how real-life detectives in England investigate crimes, from murder and drug peddling to computer scams and court procedure. The authors are Stephen Wade, crime historian and crime fiction writer, and Stuart Gibbon, a retired detective chief inspector and now a consultant who advises writers on police procedure and action for TV series and books. The entries are laid out in a logical, alphabetical fashion, and most have, as an added bonus - short entries on how particular procedures were used in real investigations. There are also entries on the history of detection, and the advances made in crime-solving over the years.

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Did you know that the 'battering ram' tool used by policemen to gain entry in to a house is called an 'enforcer'? And - much more interestingly for crime fiction devotees - did you know that police slang for the enforcer is 'The Big Red Key'? This is the kind of valuable information contained within the book, information that adds authenticity to a story. And in keeping with most professions, police officers have their own bewildering set of acronyms, such as CPIA, POCA and CHIS. These are explained, not just by explaining what the letters stand for, but by putting them in context during an investigation. This book is not written to be read from cover to cover, but it is a valuable research tool into which the crime aficionado can dip to gain information. It is a companion to Wade and Gibbon's 'The Crime Writers' Casebook'.

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