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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2002
Private Investigating by Steven Kerry Brown is a great resource for anyone wanting to be a Private Investigator, hire a private investigator or do their own investigating. The book is peppered with vignettes from Brown's expansive investigative career. What a life! By sharing his personal experiences as an FBI agent and private investigator, he has let the reader into a world few can imagine or experience. He is certainly the one to write this book. From practical information on understanding caller ID and what to do if your home is burglarized to more complicated techniques of interrogation and surveillance, this book has it all. I found the chapters on locating missing persons especially useful. Don't waste time or spend a cent trying to find someone until you exhaust the free search tools outlined in this book. Just the resources he lists are more than worth the price of the book. It's a great read and an essential reference tool.
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123 of 133 people found the following review helpful
As a licensed private investigator and college instructor of private investigation courses, I must commend Mr. Steven Kerry Brown for writing a book that is, in my humble opinion, the best book currently in print covering the basic techniques/procedures of the private investigation profession. This book is of great value to both the experienced and novice investigator alike.

While there are many great titles available for specific areas of the private investigation profession, there are few good titles that cover the general aspects of private investigation; of those, this one is the best I've had the pleasure of reading. This book also contains detailed explanations of how to effectively employ the aforementioned techniques/procedures, including: tools of the trade, skip-tracing, employing public records, performing background investigations, interviews/interrogations, surveillance, and more. For the price, you should not think twice about adding this title to your investigative library.

I would also like to personally thank Mr. Brown for taking the time to send me multiple signed copies of this book.

As always, check with your local library or bookstore to see if you can read/review this or any title before deciding to make a purchase. This method has effectively allowed me to make the most of my investigative library budget.

I hope you found this review helpful. [...]
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72 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2003
In 1992 my ex-husband took our daughter
and fled to Georgia. Of course leaving me in Washington state. I got the
child back but since then child support was hit and miss. In August of last
year the child support stopped all together. I would call my caseworker at
support enforcement every few months and finally realized that if you want
something done, do it yourself. Not knowing where to start I called a
private agency specializing in collecting child support payments. They
wanted 34% of what is owed to your child. I felt that was robbery, so I
bought The Complete Idiot's Guide to Private Investigating. I was on page
98 of the book when I started my hunt. It took me four hours and the only
thing I paid for was 2 phone calls at seven cents a minute. Not too bad for
my first try. I now have a lien against his property, drivers license,
hunting and fishing license, and his income tax return.
The amount owed to me was $7,566.62 as the author said in this book "not too
shabby for 4 hours worth of work"
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS BOOK .
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2002
Old detectives, like old magicians, rarely reveal their best tricks and techniques. I spent twenty-five years as a corporate security director and licensed private investigator and, dispite the fact that I am now retired, I would never have opened the door as wide as Steven Kerry Brown has for the readers of THE COMPLETE'S IDIOT'S GUIDE TO PRIVATE INVESTIGATING.
The information detailed in this book, with regards to sources and methods, would require semesters in college classes or years of experience to aquire. College classes are expensive and mistakes made on the street can cause bad things to happen.
This book is not only a good primer for people entering the private investigative field, it is a good desk reference for lawyers, insurance adjusters, and corporate security directors who frequently employ the services of a private investigator. Mystery readers will find this book illuminating. Mystery writers need to buy a copy now! Licensed private investigators should keep a copy of this book with dictionary and thesaurus.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2002
The following book review was released by the L.A. Times-Washington Post Service on November 24, 2002:
Title: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Private Investigating
Author: Steven Kerry Brown
Data: Alpha, 384 pps. [$$$] soft-cover
Review by Michael Pakenham
Brown, an experienced professional PI with offices in Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine, urges that this book really could guide the reader into a career. But its greatest charm - and I suspect its main utility - is as a truly entertaining, briskly presented, rundown on how the business is conducted. Or at least how it is done by Brown. One of the 24 topical chapters: "Moving Surveillance: How best to perform one-man and two-man moving surveillances, anticipating your subject's next move, communication between units, and dealing with stoplights."
The others involve public-records checking, access to ostensibly confidential information, electronic devices and their use, tracing missing or elusive persons. Any armchair gumshoe will find the details entertaining - sometimes debatable, often provocative.
L.A. Times-Washington Post Service
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2003
I'm a retired police officer from a major, metropolitan department who is now starting up a private investigations business. I've read other, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to..." books and have enjoyed their format, style and content. This volume is no exception.
The author, Steven Kerry Brown, does an excellent job of covering the basics and many advanced techniques for conducting private investigations. He also provides guidelines for starting and building a profitable business.
The book is informative, entertaining and comprehensive. I recommend it for any law enforcement personnel who are considering P.I. work. It will help focus your established investigative skills toward the private market with an eye on profitability. Plus, it's fun to read.
The book will also serve as an introduction and resource for anyone interested in working for a licensed P.I. It will give you a fundamental understanding of the principles and practices of the job and help you express yourself more precisely during employment interviews.
There are a variety of solid books on investigative topics available to help you hone your skills, but so far this is my choice for "Private Investigating 101."
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2006
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Private Investigating is so good that we made it required reading for all our investigators at Sherlock Investigations.

Whether you're simply interested in what PIs do, want to get into the field, or are an old pro, I highly recommend this books. I've been an investigator for 30 years, and I learned a lot from Steven Kerry Brown's book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2002
From locating missing persons, tapping phones, performing background checks to doing surveillance, setting up nanny cams and becoming a PI, this book has it all and is the only book a person could need on the topic. Not only has the author revealed fascinating details about a world most of us never know, he does it in a fun, lighthearted manner with a clear command of the topic stemming from his years of experience in the FBI and running his own PI firm. Particularly intersting for me was the section on background checks and nanny cams. Besides the basic meaty content of the book, it contains tips, defines PI lingo, discusses dangers, and shares interesting facts. It contains numerous resources, is easy to read, well organized with summaries at the end of each chapter, and fun. Don't waste any money on other resources until you've read this book-it's the only one you'll need.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2003
As an experienced Private Investigator in the State of Idaho I am always looking for reading material associated with my profession. More than a few associates recommended "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Private Investigating" but, I shied away because of the title. I've always considered myself an experienced professional not a newbie so I let my pride get in the way. Well, after a few more associates recommended the book I had to order it to see for myself if it was as good as everyone said. I must say I am very impressed. Lots of information laid out in such a way that anyone from beginner to experienced can comprehend. My suggestion whether you are an experienced investigator or just starting out is to read this book from front to back!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2004
"Yeah, right" is likely what you're thinking when you see 'this book made me money', but let me explain.

My first-ever collection industry job started June 16th, 2004. Aside from the very good in-house training I received, I knew nothing of skip tracing, and wanted to be better than the rank newcomer I was. Here's an except from an email I sent to the author, Steven Kerry Brown:

'"I just wanted to thank you for writing CIG To Private Investigating.

Shortly after I was hired for my first-ever skip tracing job at a debt-buying firm here in California, I found and bought your book. Without exaggeration, the 2 chapters on tracing, along with the tips and tricks section, very much helped me win Employee of the Month in only 3 1/2

months. I work with VERY experienced tracers and this was a tremendous honor for me. As was the $100 cash that went along with it!"'

I'm still working at this company and still using this book to make myself money. From June 16 when I started to September 2004 when I won my award totaled 104 days. This book's smooth, flowing, informative and fresh style delivers facts, tips, tricks and resutls. What more can you ask of $18.95?
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