Review of How to Catch a Liar, by Steven David Lampley – 3rd Edition


I rarely review a book whose information I use almost every day – a book that has changed my life.  This book has.

Let me tell you a short story. I was at CrimeCon 2018 and went to the lecture on How to Catch a Liar by Steven Lampley.  He has trained law enforcement professionals on the techniques of spotting deception during interviews/interrogations.  I was stunned by how simple and practical the information was.  I went back to work on used it on a video conference call during my day job.  It worked!  I was able to tell when people were being deceptive.  Steven and I became acquaintances and I was so pumped when his third edition of the book was announced a few weeks ago. He was kind enough to shoot me an early edition.

To be blunt, I wish I had gone to his lecture or read his book when my kids were teenagers.  They would have been toast!  This is the kind of information that transcends true crime and applies in every aspect of your life, be it personal or professional.  To Steven’s point, this is also a book that can screw up a marriage if used incorrectly.  With great power, comes great responsibility.

It has also enhanced my ability to watch true crime shows on TV.  When you watch interrogations on The First 48, or when officers confront suspects on LivePD, you can spot the triggers with many of them and know when they are outright lying.  The stuff in Steven’s book works!  I shared the tips with my wife and when we watched the Netflix series, The Staircase – we could spot the lies and liars fairly quickly.  It has also applies when politicians are confronted by the press.  I cannot say enough positive things about the stuff crammed into this book.

The author dispels some of the myths (like arm-crossing) and provides concrete techniques that anyone can use.  I have used these on job interviews, discussions with people associated with crimes, and at work.  They are short, simple, and powerful tips.

There are some minor nits.  There are no page numbers, and I found two minor editing errors – no biggies.  In fairness, my copy was pre-release and complimentary, so such things are to be expected.

The book is a fast read – it took me less than two hours to devour.  It is not a dry read, Lampley has incorporated a very free form style to it.

Even if you are not a true crime fan, this book is a must-have.  I use the techniques constantly at work and when doing research for non-fiction books.  Steven also has a PDF that he offers on how to spot a liar when texting – which is also fabulous and useful.  If you ARE a true crime fan, you need this book.  It immensely changes and enhances your enjoyment of watching true crime TV.

If you want to be able to start identifying when people are deceiving you, (and who doesn’t?) it is worth it.  I haven’t seen the latest book on Amazon yet – but you can be sure he will have access to it at

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