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The Principles of Kinesic Interview and Interrogation, second edition.

The Principles of Kinesic Interview and Interrogation, second edition. by Stan B. Walters, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2003.

Stan Walters' latest edition of The Principles of Kinesic Interview and Interrogation is an elegant and comprehensive contribution to the field of interviewing. Within the span of 360 well-indexed pages, he brings together the latest ideas and techniques on interviewing.

Clearly, the author understands the theater of the interview. And, while the title of the book may lead some to think that this work is strictly about nonverbal behavior (Kinesic Interview), this would prove erroneous. Perhaps, a more accurate title simply would be The Principles of Interview and Interrogation because this is squarely what the book is about.

Using his 25-plus years of experience conducting interviews, Walters has masterfully compiled a comprehensive book that delves elegantly into the field of interviewing, focusing accurately on the necessity to observe, understand, and catalog nonverbal behavior during interviews. Through the use of photographs from actual cases, the author vividly highlights behaviors that professionals should focus on to enhance their interviewing skills. If this were the limits of the book, it still would provide a considerable contribution to the study of interviewing. But, this book is so much more.

Readers, whether novices or experts in the field, will enjoy the refreshing sojourn through the complex dynamics of interviewing. The basics of interviewing and nonverbal behavior are, of course, central to this work. Readers will walk away from these chapters confident that the subject matter has been thoroughly covered and well supported by ample citations and a thorough bibliography.

The author follows the basics with a comprehensive overview on how to conduct the interview and how to effectively maneuver the interviewee while focusing on the emotions that the interviewee goes through leading up to a confession. The exploration of personality disorders and personality types is perhaps the best effort in the criminology literature to explain how these factor into the interview process and how interviewers can best deal with and use them. Understanding the personality of the interviewer, as well as the interviewee, is equally important. It is this understanding that often ensures the success of interviews. Drawing upon the works of giants, such as Freud and Jung, Walters weaves their theories into the process of interviewing without numbing psychobabble.

Walters also covers the verbal and written expressions of interviewees and how these need to be understood to capitalize on them. And, while the author admits that this work is not the final answer to issues within the realm of human communication, deception, and personality, it comes close. In fact, Walters, a true student of human behavior who possesses practical experience in interviewing, has produced a work that approximates the ideal of what an interview book should be about. As a teacher of interviewing and interrogation, he has well proven the Latin axiom qui doscet, disset: he who teaches, learns. Readers of this book will learn much from this great teacher.

Reviewed by Joe Navarro, M.A.

Retired FBI special agent and coauthor with John Schafer of Advanced Interviewing Techniques, Charles C. Thomas Publishers, Springfield, Illinois, 2003
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Navarro, Joe
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Words:521
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