Book Review: The Private Investigator’s Handbook

I’ve just finished The Private Investigator Handbook: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Protect Yourself, Get Justice, or Get Even by Chuck Chambers, P.I.

The book’s subtitle is the key. The Do-It-Yourself Guide… I’ve been thinking of getting my P.I. License, it’s required to do Digital Forensics in the state I live in. I figured if I was going to do that, it would probably be a good idea to read up on the subject.

This book isn’t a how to be a private investigator, it is a book about doing a lot of the leg work that the P.I. is going to charge lots of money for, yourself before hiring a pro. Some of it, you may get lucky and working with your lawyer not need a Private Investigator for. For the most part I was disappointed with the book.

My disappointment stemmed in part about the book not being what I was expecting. The first several chapters on finding and hiding assets, creating case files, social engineering, and the like, I think the areas are covered better in other books (See Michael Bazzell).

However, the book really comes through in the last couple of chapters and the appendixes. Chapters Seven and Eight are Surveillance and Counter Surveillance. Again, while I think other books cover this better (see Antonio Mendez), this one breaks it down so anyone can learn it. Where as the other books you have to think about what they’re telling you.

Lastly the chapter on missing persons was pretty good as well. There were things he didn’t go in to deep details on, but there is enough information there to get a good jump on finding someone that is missing.

Over all I’d say this a a three out of five star book. As I said some of the topics covered are covered better in other books. There are several times in each chapter that Mr. Chambers is reminding you he’s not showing you everything, and you need to hire a professional. You can just save yourself some time and money first.

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