"It’s harder to lie than to tell the truth."

This useful guide contains a concise step-by-step analysis of the truth or deception inherent in verbal and written statements based on forensic linguistics, the science of determining a person's unique communication pattern. The author is a fraud examiner and retired Michigan State Police officer with investigative experience in a range of crimes, including homicides, financial fraud, narcotics violations, and public corruption. He describes this book as "a digest; a compilation of over 40 years of experience, education, and research." On a practical level, the principles of discerning truth and falsehood in written and verbal communication, as outlined in this volume, allow both professionals and laypeople to learn to "identify and follow… tracks to get the truth, the deception—the real message." Koenig's clear analyses cover many factors of interest to both trained observers and others interested in the business of discerning "between truth, partial truths, and fiction."

Koenig painstakingly analyzes statements, interviews, and written notes by notable public figures such as O.J. Simpson, Woody Allen, Patsy Ramsey, Tim Cook, and others. Amateur sleuths and fans of true crime stories will appreciate the entertainment factor inherent in revisiting these cases through excerpts and commentary offered in various chapters. Koenig makes it clear that if interviewers in some of the cases above had asked the right questions and not contaminated the process—or not allowed the interviewees to contaminate the process by asking the wrong questions—that verdicts likely would have differed. Koenig supports his thesis by revisiting a financial fraud case in which the written communication pattern differed. The interviewee's handwriting changed during a written statement, demonstrating his possible guilt. The subject consequently confessed. The principles of linguistic forensics also help distinguish between good and poor denials, a useful point to determine truth or deception in everyday verbal exchanges. This book was a 2016 Indie General Non-Fiction finalist.

A 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Montaigne Medal Finalist

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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