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Review: Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

Homicide: A Year on the Killing StreetsHomicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
written by David Simon is a non-fiction account about the time he spent with Baltimore police department homicide squad.

For a detective or street police, the only real satisfaction is the work itself; when a cop spends more and more time getting aggravated with the details, he’s finished. The attitude of co-workers, the indifference of superiors, the poor quality of the equipment—all of it pales if you still love the job; all of it matters if you don’t.

David Simon joined the Baltimore Police Department’s homicide unit as a “police intern” in 1988. During that year 234 cases of homicide took place in the city of Baltimore. This book provides a frank, detailed insight into the city’s murders and the homicide detectives who solve them. The character of each detective is portrayed brilliantly as they all have their personalities and flaws and approaches to how an investigation should be run. This book also notes how TV has skewed jurors’ perception of what evidence is required for a guilty verdict. These real-life cases are compelling and heartbreaking and also show how the detectives’ practiced emotional distance from these cases is essential for their ability to function.

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