THE public taste for amateur detective literature was largely stimulated during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and the one amusing factor was the unwarranted contempt poured upon the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard. In this book, however, Capt. Quirke (handwriting analyst to the Department of Justice, to the Attorney-General, and police headquarters, Irish Free State), whilst possibly somewhat patronising in his prefatory attitude to the police force, writes not as an amateur but as an official expert, mainly for the benefit of the legal profession and the police. From the individuality of handwriting he proceeds, by way of an extended consideration of analytical methods, to the details of materials and processes, arriving eventually at an illuminating exposition of the ultra-violet rays and the fluorescence test. The infallibility of this test in the detection of forgeries, as proclaimed by him, is supported by its practical adoption by the Bank of England. The author emphasises his views that not only are no two handwritings indistinguishably alike under test, but that this also applies to any two typewriters, even those of the same make and same age. The longest and perhaps the most abstruse chapter deals with a practical analysis of handwriting, a systematic study of which might prove to be beneficial to the public at large.
Forged, Anonymous and Suspect Documents.
. Pp. xii + 282. (London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1930.) 15s. net.