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Private Investigation Methods and Materials.

By Frank Machovec; published by Charles C. Thomas, 217/789-8980; 121 pages; $27.75.

Rather than being an overview of the private investigation field, this book provides insight into specific topics of private investigation. Machovec limits the book to five chapters, which focus on important aspects of an investigation but not the nuts and bolts of good investigative work.

The first two chapters are written as an instruction booklet. He also makes a statement in the first chapter that some private investigators might challenge: "Private investigators are often useful to police as undercover operatives because they are less likely to be recognized."

Not many private investigators I have met have been used by local police departments in major investigations. Who would the client be, the local police department? In smaller municipalities this concept may be true, but in larger municipalities it is rarely the case.

The author includes 31 thought provoking exercises that the reader can participate in. However, only college students who are instructed to do these exercises will actually take the time; most private investigators will not find or make the time to do the exercises.

The author excels in the chapter titled, "Understanding Behavior: Yours and Theirs." He writes in detail of negative influences that investigators encounter every day but never think about.

In this chapter he also lists 11 laws of emotion that investigators will find interesting and informative. The author does his best to explain emotions and how they can impact an investigation and the individual under investigation.

The author has broken down the vocabulary throughout the chapters, making the reading easy and enjoyable. Readers can continue reading without stopping and checking the glossary in the back of the book for definitions of unfamiliar terms.

Security managers and supervisors will find this book interesting, but unless they have performed an investigation or are in charge of investigations, they may get lost in certain terms and phrases.

The author also explains cost factors of an investigation as well as pricing of equipment and materials.

Unfortunately, the author makes one critical assumption--that the investigator is an experienced detective with a wealth of clients. Many investigators would like to find new clients and focus their investigations on one specific field. Private investigators are businesspeople who constantly seek to increase business. The book should have discussed this marketing strategy.

Reviewer: Kevin A. Cassidy is vice president of Summit Security Services Inc. of Long Island City.NY. He is a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Cassidy, Kevin A.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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