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Hardcover Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets Book

ISBN: 039548829X

ISBN13: 9780395488294

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

"Remarkable . . . a true crime classic . . . a journalistic masterpiece. . . . (A) saga of a brutal, bloody, bewildering year in the Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit. . . . This is interior reporting at its finest".--"Associated Press". An Edgar Award winner and the basis for the popular television series of the same title. Copyright ? Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

David Simon gets me everytime

One of my favorite books ever.

Solid read.

I couldn't put this book down! If I had to complain about anything, it would be the incredibly small font. It is absolutely KILLER. It also is a little dated (1991), so the context can be skewed. A very good read!

Best Cop Book Ever

I will keep this short: I have been a city cop for almost eighteen years and I defy anyone to find a better book about policework than this one. This is the closest you can come to knowing what being a cop is all about short of actually wearing a badge.

Brilliant and readable

Here's a book that gets into the minds of homicide detectives like no other. The author is insightful and thorough, but his writing style is a celebration of brevity. Working within the law and sometimes around it or even in spite of it, the detectives are revealed as all-too-human but praiseworthy individuals. Read this with Randy Sutton's "True Blue : Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them" and you'll have the best writing on cops and crime available today.


Appropriately enough, one of the best cop shows in the history of television was based on one of the best true crime books ever written. Journalist David Simon spent a year observing Baltimore Homicide detectives and it is their poignantly true stories -- almost all as funny, heartbreaking, and memorable as any fiction -- that make up this book. While fans of the TV show will immediately recognize the initial templates for such beloved characters as Frank Pembleton, Bayliss, Munch, and others, this amazing book is much more than just a basis for a classic television show. It is, quite simply, one of the most insightful books about modern law and order ever written. All of the detectives live brilliantly on the page and Simon's prose reminds us what great writing actually is. Though this is a word I've probably overused in this review, there is no other way to describe Simon's achievement: amazing.

First Rate Journalism

I've always felt that the main problem with the TV show version of "Homicide" is that, good as it is, it just can't match the gritty realism of the book it is based on. Journalist David Simon spent a year as a fly on the wall observing the Balitimore Police Homicide Unit, and dutifully recording everything he saw by and large without editorial comment. The result is absolutely indespensible for anyone with an interest in law enforcement. Being a homicide detectives is a tough job both emotionally and professionally with many hours of tedium that can often result in the frustration of an unsolved case. Particularly poignant is the story of a unsolved child murder case that haunts one of the detectives to the point of endagering his mental well being. The value of this book to the nation's hard working law enforcement professionals simply cannot be understated.

The finest non-fiction book I have ever read

Simon's Homicide reads not as a murder mystery, not as a documentary, and not as a dramatic novel, but as a life lived in the Baltimore homicide unit. The reader does not feel passive, as though he were watching the goings-on through a filter like a television or even a bystander. The reader is there, with the detectives, sharing their experiences, sharing their very thoughts. This book is a masterpiece, a book that completely enthralls you to the point where during the time you are reading, nothing means more to you than the resolution of each case, each obstacle, each crisis. Please, do yourself a favor and read this remarkable book.

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets Mentions in Our Blog

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets in Our Obsession with True Crime
Our Obsession with True Crime
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • October 16, 2019

It may leave us sleeping with the lights on, but true crime tales are still a staple on our bedside tables. Why do we love these stories of grisly murders and twisted secrets? We came up with a few "benefits" of exploring the dark underbelly of human nature.

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