My personal library of digital forensics books has grown from two books to two shelves of books. All nonfiction. All technical. All specific to specific sub-topics in digital forensics. My fiction bookshelf is full too, but my nonfiction bookshelf is most important since I have dog-eared and marked up each one as references.
I have bought and read so many digital forensics books that when I see a good forensic book on Amazon, I have to double-check my collection to make sure I don’t order the same book twice. I’ve even published three digital forensics books and they also sit on my shelf because I even refer back to them as needed…and I wrote them!
When I first started in digital forensics, it was called “computer forensics”. This was in the days of yanking out the plug from the back of the machine, seizing every mouse and keyboard, and imaging every piece of media for full exams that took weeks for each one. Training was hard to come by unless you could afford to travel for weeks on end across country.
Luckily, I was lucky. My employer (a police department) sent me everywhere. West coast, east coast, and the mid west. I had in my collection about three forensics books because there weren’t any others I could find. These few books were so generic that as a reference in doing the actual job, they were mostly books giving a 10-mile high overview of what to do.
My very first forensic case was a child pornography and child rape case that involved “one” computer in a single-family residence. I was told it was “one” computer, but when the search warrant was served, I found a home network consisting of a server with 25 computers connected to it…plus more than 50 hard drives laying around EVERYWHERE in the house and probably no less than 500 CDs. Wires were everywhere, tacked to the ceiling, in the attic, and under the carpet. Some computers were running, others off. The case detective simply said, “Get to work.” And I had three books as a reference and training to rely on. I was also the only forensics examiner in the department…that was a long day and the three books were of no help.
After surviving that case, I have seen more books on sub-topics of sub-topics in the field of forensics get published month-after-month. With each book, I keep saying, “I sure wish I had this book a few years ago.” Three of the books I wrote were books that I was waiting for someone to write, but got impatient and did it myself (with help from two other co-authors). The books published today in the field of digital forensic and incident response are simply invaluable. Anyone starting out today in the field has a wealth of information to draw upon, which is a good thing.
On top of the nonfiction books I have already published (including ghost writing book projects), I have a few fiction books wrapped up and ready to go. Soon….hopefully soon…they will be published and put on my fiction bookshelf, and when they do, it will be something I’ll be talking quite a bit about. The value of a good fiction book is just as important as the nonfiction. Fiction may not be able to help you with your job like a good nonfiction book can, but it certainly can give you some good reading with a good story.