5 Worthwhile Books on Forensic Psychology

forensic psychology books

Forensic psychology books cover diverse topics like criminal investigation procedures, psychological assessments, profiling techniques, legal documentation requirements, and court proceedings. These books give a coherent view of how forensic psychology applies the science of psychology to the legal arena. Because these books deal with topics about real people in dramatic situations, both amateurs and professionals can enjoy them.

1. Minds on Trial: Great Cases in Law and Psychology

In this book, Charles Patrick Ewing and Joseph T. McCann discuss 20 important legal cases that influenced the field of psychology in the American legal system. The cases are chosen to shed light on various types of issues like juvenile delinquency, death sentence, insanity defense, profiling, and expert testimonials. Intended for both psychologists and lawyers, Ewing and McCann creates a narrative that is both informative and entertaining. Famous cases, like Patty Hearst, Mike Tyson, and Woody Allen, are analyzed with the same level of scrutiny as ordinary cases. This scholarly and engaging work will give the readers a better understanding of how psychological work unfolds in a legal environment.

2. Essentials of Forensic Psychological Assessment

This book focuses on forensic assessment tools for psychologists. The book is intended as a reference manual for practicing professionals. Marc J. Ackerman, a noted forensic psychologist, provides expert advice on how to administer tests. It covers psychological case studies of child custody cases, drug abuse victims, and mental health assessment of defendants and witnesses. It is designed like a textbook with highlighted key points, bullet points, and evaluation tests. Each case study comes with detailed interpretation of the guidelines for using the latest assessment tools.

3. Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

Dr. Robert D. Hare portrays psychopaths based on 25 years of research. This book delves into the mind of predators who traverse the whole spectrum of criminality. From con artists to white collar criminals, this book tries to figure out the root problem through creating profiles of known psychopaths. It tries to understand the psychopath’s relationship to society and the ethical reasoning behind their behaviors. This is one of the forensic psychology books that will leave a reader with insights into the core beliefs of a remorseless and terrifying person. It is important for forensic psychologists to understand the inner workings of such criminal minds.

4. The Jigsaw Man

In this book, forensic psychologist Paul Britton takes a pragmatic approach to the art of deduction. He has worked in high-profile cases like the murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common. He has experience in abduction and rape cases. Paul Britton explores his methods of psychological deduction to find criminals. Instead of physical evidence like fiber and blood-stain, he collects the mental traces left behind by the criminals. Readers get a first-hand account of Britton’s way of analyzing and evaluating the dark side of the human mind. The book treats the criminal mind with compassion and insight.

5. Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide And The Criminal Mind

This book is about famous profiler Roy Hazelwood’s work in the field of sexual violence and homicide. He is one of the pioneers of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit that creates criminal psychological profiles. The case studies provide the thought patterns of some of the most violent criminals. Also, Hazelwood recounts his personal experience to paint a vivid picture of what happens in real-life psychological investigations. The invaluable lessons will be an asset for any novice forensic psychologist.

Forensic psychology is a challenging field of study. Accumulating knowledge about various aspects of psychology, law, and procedures is the only way to become a master at it. The forensic psychology books mentioned will provide the readers with a deeper appreciation of the skills that make a professional stand out.


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