Forensic linguist enters fiction / Forensischer Linguist als Romanfigur

Newsday reported on November 29 (when I first drafted this entry) that Kathy Reichs has introduced a forensic linguist called Rob Potter in her latest novel. He is based on Robert Leonard, an academic and private forensic linguist. It was news to me that he retired as a rock singer at the age of 21.

The newcomer is based on one of Reichs’ friends, Robert Leonard, 59, a real-life former rock star-turned-forensic linguistics professor. Leonard, in fact, heads the Forensic Linguistics Project at Hofstra University. Professionals in that field analyze written and spoken language – including grammar, word choice, dialect and structure – in contracts, confessions, ransom notes, spoken threats, undercover recordings, transcripts of interrogations and other correspondence linked to crimes.

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