In a profession dominated by logic, law, evidence, and science, are there some things you can't explain? Join a veteran crime scene...

Review of Fingerprints and Phantoms

In a profession dominated by logic, law, evidence, and science, are there some things you can't explain? Join a veteran crime scene investigator exploring 26 chilling experiences spanning two decades. His true stories will leave you wondering if it is a criminal, or something else, going bump in the night. Meet a young girl who receives a visit from her mother...the day after her mother is murdered. Find out whether spirits follow those investigating their deaths home . . . and then stay. Discover whether it is possible for someone who is not dead to be haunting his own office, and investigate a child's toy telephone acting as a link to the other side. Can you believe in something incredible? This collection of strange and frightening tales is perfect for any campfire experience!

Frightening? Not really. Strange? ...possibly. 

I think the blurb is horribly misleading. I wish that the forward would have been the blurb for Fingerprints and Phantoms instead of what the publisher put on the back. I think it does a better job of summarizing and expressing the feel of the book.

The forward from the editor reads: “The author’s light hearted insights into and experience in the world of crime scene investigation make this read doubly fascinating. He is a sort of James Herriot for the CSI world.” It also states that the reports “make few claims” and “sometimes they poke fun at themselves.”

I love that she calls him a James Herriot of CSI. If you don’t know, James Herriot was a British veterinary surgeon. He wrote compilations of stories about his practice, experiences, and the people and animals he encountered along the way. Self-depreciating and humorous, his works were a great example of folksy storytelling. 

Fingerprints and Phantoms follows this same style. It's not really a scare-you-silly kind of book. It's a collection of stories taken from various people that the author has worked with in his many years of being a crime scene investigator. It presents word of mouth experiences and very little evidence. That doesn't stop it from being a fun read though.

Each chapter begins with a peek inside the CSI world. Filled with a lot of paperwork and standing around, it's not the thrill a minute excitement that you see in TV dramas. The author dispels these notions and then uses this to segue into the actual story. Each story is given its' own chapter, which makes for a quick read.

Sometimes silly, sometimes weird, the stories aren't necessarily paranormal in origin. Even so, the stories are quirky and fun. The author does a superb job of narrating and sets an easygoing conversational tone. The chapters are short so you can chop up your reading time if needed. It's a terrific read for days where you know you'll be interrupted often: doctor's appointments, commutes, etc. 

3 Paws Up!

About the Author

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Paul Rimmasch graduated from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science and a minor in Photography. He has worked as a crime scene investigator for Weber-Metro CSI for the past 19 years and is a three-time recipient of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office Medal of Merit. Paul has certifications through The International Association for Investigations in latent fingerprint examination and forensic photography. He is currently serving as Utah’s representative to the Western Identification Network Latent Fingerprint Committee. 
Paul’s first novel, The Lost Stones, was published in 2011, followed by a sequel The Lost Mine in 2015. Paul has also published scientific papers in The Journal of Forensic Identification and Ancient American magazine, and is also a contributing writer to He is an adjunct professor at Weber State University and is active in the training of law enforcement officers and crime scene investigators.