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Publisher's Summary

A fascinating examination of the world of private investigators by a 21st century private eye.

Today's world is complicated: companies are becoming more powerful than nations, the lines between public and corporate institutions grow murkier, and the internet is shredding our privacy. To combat these onslaughts, people everywhere - rich and not so rich, in business and in their personal lives - are turning away from traditional police, lawyers, and government regulators toward a new champion: the private investigator.

As a private investigator, Tyler Maroney has traveled the globe, overseeing sensitive investigations and untying complicated cases for a wide array of clients. In his new book, he shows that it's private eyes who today are being called upon to catch corrupt politicians, track down international embezzlers, and mine reams of data to reveal which CEOs are lying. The tools Maroney and other private investigators use are a mix of the traditional and the cutting edge, from old phone records to computer forensics to solid (and often inspired) street-level investigative work. The most useful assets private investigators have, Maroney has found, are their resourcefulness and their creativity.

Each of the investigations Maroney explores in this book highlights an individual case and the people involved in it, and in each account he explains how the transgressors were caught and what lessons can be learned from it. Whether the clients are a Middle Eastern billionaire whose employees stole millions from him, the director of a private equity firm wanting a background check on a potential hire (a known convicted felon), or creditors of a wealthy American investor trying to recoup their money after he fled the country to avoid bankruptcy, all of them hired private investigators to solve problems the authorities either can't or won't touch. In an era when it's both easier and more difficult than ever to disappear after a crime is committed, it's the modern detective people are turning to for help, for revenge, and for justice.

©2020 Tyler Maroney (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Using his superb reporting and writing skills, journalist-turned-gumshoe Tyler Maroney has produced one of the best books to take us behind the scenes into the fascinating world of private investigation. I found The Modern Detective riveting.” (William Cohan, best-selling author of The Last Tycoons and House of Cards)

“Part charming memoir, part gripping thriller, The Modern Detective offers a fascinating look at a secretive and deeply influential industry.” (Sheelah Kolhatkar, best-selling author of Black Edge

"A modern-day shamus, Tyler Maroney operates as a one of the good guys in an industry of shady operators who hack, pretext, and impersonate others to get their information. Taking us from Mombasa to Beirut, into a prison and then into the hard drive of a hedge fund's computer, Maroney explains how he operates as a principled intelligence gatherer, ferreting out corruption and even serving the public good. His tale is a how-to for dogged and ethical sleuthing. It's also a hell of a lot of fun." (Jesse Eisinger, author of The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives

What listeners say about The Modern Detective

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A Textbook (Not a compliment)

Bought this after glancing at a WSJ article about it. After listening to the book, I’m wondering what the Journal actually said about it. The subject matter could have been interesting but is written in the fashion of a priggish, hard-to-follow textbook.

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Really Good

I almost didn’t buy this book because of the reviews - which I now feel are not accurate. The book was well written - by a former professional journalist - and presents an informative and enjoyable overview of the industry and type of work performed by investigators. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the field.