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Homicide: av David Simon
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Homicide: (urspr publ 1991; utgåvan 2008)

av David Simon

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,925406,567 (4.32)40
"The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of men confronted by the darkest of American visions." "David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and his remarkable book is both a compelling account of casework and an investigation into our culture of violence. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator nearing the end of his career; Harry Edgerton, an iconoclastic black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl." "Originally published fifteen years ago, Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name. This new edition - which includes a foreword by Richard Price and a new afterword by David Simon - revives this essential, riveting tale about the men for whom murder is not an extraordinary act but the source of their calling."--BOOK JACKET.… (mer)
Medlem:thady
Titel:Homicide:
Författare:David Simon
Info:Canongate Books Ltd (2008), Paperback
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets av David Simon (1991)

  1. 20
    The Killing Season av Miles Corwin (gtown)
  2. 20
    Homicide Special: A Year with the LAPD's Elite Detective Unit av Miles Corwin (gtown)
  3. 00
    The Restless Sleep: Inside New York City's Cold Case Squad av Stacy Horn (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Both books get into the weeds of solving homicides, and also talk about the politics of a major city's police department.
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» Se även 40 omnämnanden

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This was the book that launched David Simon on his career, and it's just as good as you could ask it to be - dense, detailed, sympathetic, analytical, perceptive, and deeply immersing to the point where I read all 600 pages of the extended edition in 3 days. While I'm a huge fan of The Wire, Generation Kill, and Treme, I've never seen the acclaimed show this work spawned, although I'll probably have to eventually since this book is truly excellent. It's exactly what the subtitle promises: the true story of the year Simon spent embedded in the Baltimore Police Department's Homicide Division alongside a score of detectives doing what they can to investigate and solve the unending torrent of murder cases thrown their way by the good people of Baltimore.

The detectives are the heroes of the story, although they would probably be uncomfortable with the H-word. They're shown as a jaded, foul, exhausted, cantankerous, cynical lot whose chief respite from the grueling toil of police work is the type of black humor that could be called "gallows humor", except that the parade of criminals they're trying to get prosecuted don't end up on Death Row near often enough for their tastes. Simon is able to make each detective's personality vivid and present on the page, explaining the man's role in the ensemble of his department while also shedding light on what makes an otherwise intelligent person spend their life chasing what seems like an infinite carousel of depression and misery. Simon obviously cared deeply about these guys doing jobs that were basically guaranteed to destroy their marriages and leave them feeling like the cog in a vast and impersonal machine.

But the stories of the detectives are the melody, and the cases they chase are the true rhythm. Simon makes these real-life cases, which in the hands of a lesser writer might have felt like mere scene-setting, just as compelling and heartbreaking to the reader as they must have been to their loved ones, while also showing how the detectives' practiced emotional distance from these cases is essential for their ability to function. He's also upfront and honest about the fact that many of these cases, including some of the worst, don't have neat or happy endings; that same sense of realism obviously informed his later work on The Wire. Indeed, there are many easter eggs for Wire viewers, like the famous Snot Boogie story, plus names like Sydnor and Mouzone that got reappropriated as part of his general "stealing life" philosophy.

In between the men and their cases are some of his trademark rants/analyses of various aspects of America and its relationship to its crimes. There's one section in particular that struck me, about the debilitating effects of slick TV dramas on juries - citizens called to serve have gotten so used to the telegenic formula of conscience-stricken criminals, omnipresent witnesses, dramatic confessions, and smoking guns that it's become noticeably harder to get juries to follow the subtler and more complicated chains of logic that occur in real courtrooms to real-life guilty men they should be convicting. I can't help but remember scenes from The Wire like Clay Davis' acquittal and wonder if at least some of the motivation behind his creative work is an effort to present a more realistic depiction of life to TV viewers as a sort of antidote.

I can't help but feel like The Corner, his second book, hit me slightly harder, that's surely no slight to the man. This will always remain one of the greatest depictions of police work ever written, and for the fan of The Wire who's digging into the back catalog, this particular item is well worth it. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
From Novelist: An account of a year inside a city homicide unit focuses on three detectives investigating murders in Baltimore--a city torn by racial tensions and plagued by drugs and crime, in a new edition of the book that became the basis for the acclaimed television series.
  mackfuma | Oct 17, 2020 |
A very detailed view into the Baltimore police department's homicide unit. At times it is insightful, at times funny. Despite the subject, it is rarely sad.

I found the story interesting. But it would be twice as good if it were half as long. So much could be edited out without significant loss. Further, the story is amazingly one sided. Simon automatically takes the police side on everything, without even questioning it, as far as I could tell. For a story that clearly aims to be comprehensive, this is a huge blind spot.

I think Jill Leovy's "Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America", about a homicide investigation in Los Angeles, is a much stronger book. Leovy follows a single investigation, largely through the eyes of a heroic police officer, but she also delves into the surrounding community.

> Rule Number Two in the homicide lexicon: The victim is killed once, but a crime scene can be murdered a thousand times.

> On the other hand, the guidelines don’t require departments to include the crime itself in the current year's statistics; clearly, the crime itself actually occurred in a prior year. Theoretically therefore, an American homicide unit can solve 90 of 100 fresh murders, then clear twenty cases from previous years and post a clearance rate of 110 percent.

> both of them certain in the knowledge that Rule Six in the homicide lexicon now applied. To wit: When a suspect is immediately identified in an assault case, the victim is sure to live. When no suspect has been identified, the victim will surely die. … Rule Six had been up ended and Garvey arrived back at the office unable to contain his wonder. "Hey, Donald," shouted Garvey, bounding across the office and then waltzing Kincaid around a metal desk. "He's gonna die! He's gonna die and we know who did it!" "You," said Nolan, shaking his head and laughing, "are one cold motherfucker." Then the sergeant turned crisply on his heel and danced a jig into his own office.

> People who have been shot believe they are supposed to fall immediately to the ground, so they do. Proof of the phenomenon is evident in its opposite: There are countless cases in which people—often people whose mental processes are impaired by drugs or alcohol—are shot repeatedly, sustaining lethal wounds; yet despite the severity of their injuries, they continue to flee or resist for long periods of time.

> For a homicide detective, an arson murder is a special type of torture because the police department is essentially stuck with whatever the fire department’s investigator says is arson

> More often than not, Edgerton ventures into the high-rise projects alone and finds witnesses; more often than not, other detectives march through neighborhoods in twos and threes and find nothing. Edgerton learned long ago that even the best and most cooperative witnesses are more likely to talk to one detective than to a pair. And three detectives working a case are nothing short of a police riot in the eyes of a reluctant or untrusting witness.

> As a consequence, city juries have become a deterrent of sorts to prosecutors, who are willing to accept weaker pleas or tolerate dismissals rather than waste the city's time and money on cases involving defendants who are clearly guilty, but who have been charged on evidence that is anything less than overwhelming.

> Many detectives prefer to take the file onto the stand, but with some judges that can be dangerous. A typical case file contains notes and reports on potential suspects and blind alleys that were eventually discarded, and a few judges will allow a defense attorney, on cross-examination, to take hold of the file and go fishing … One detective, Mark Tomlin, makes a point of copying his trial notes onto the back of the defendant's computerized arrest sheet. Once, when Tomlin was testifying, a defense attorney asked to see his notes and began to suggest that they be admitted into evidence. He then turned the sheet over, looked at his client's priors, and returned it without another word.

> "Captain, I got good news and bad news." "Good news first." "The autopsy went well." "And the bad news?" "We dug up the wrong guy." ( )
  breic | Feb 2, 2020 |
Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon is a work of non-fiction about the Homicide Unit of Baltimore's Police Department during one year in the 1980's when he was a journalist for the Baltimore Sun. This book was actually the inspiration for the TV show Homicide: Life on the Streets so if you've seen that show you might recognize some of the characters (albeit with different names and ethnicity in some cases). Simon focuses on a few of the key cases that the unit investigated during the year he observed (although it was more like became entrenched in their cases and lives). He managed to both show the very best of what it means to be a sensitive, thorough homicide detective and the lengths that they were willing to take to close out their cases (it's often about the closeout rate). The dark underbelly of the city, its inhabitants, and the men (and lone woman) tasked with solving those most heinous of crimes is laid bare in stark detail. These men (and one lone woman who was rarely a focus in the novel) are distinctly human with foibles like all the rest. Vulgarity, racism, sexism, and a general callousness permeate the department. (Baltimore was none too pleased with the portrayal of their city by the way.) Simon shows that not all cases have a tidy ending and in fact could remain unsolved well past the detective's tenure with the unit. If you're looking for a neat police procedural then you'll be disappointed with this book but if you're interested in the investigative process itself you've hit the jackpot. 5/10

A/N: Keep in mind when this book was written because there are definitely some problematic issues such as racist slurs, derogatory attitudes towards people of color, sexist asides, and general ickiness that made me shudder. I can't be sure how much of this was a product of the times and/or how much is just a part of Simon's character but it was off-putting in the extreme. ( )
  AliceaP | Dec 16, 2019 |
this book begat _Homicide_ the TV show, which begat _The Corner_, which begat _The Wire_, the best television show ever.

this book is one of the best accounts of embedded journalism, ever, and it's of the Baltimore PD!

loved it. ( )
  Robert_Musil | Dec 15, 2019 |
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If a man is found slain, lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, your elders and judges shall go out and measure the distance from the body to the neighboring towns.

Then the elders of the town nearest the body shall take a heifer that has never been worked and has never work a yoke and lead her down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and where there is a flowing stream.

There in the valley they are to break the heifer's neck.

The pirests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings n the name of the Lord and to decide all cases of dispute and assault.

Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley and they shall declare:

"Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, O Lord, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent man."

Deuteronomy 21:1-9
In contact wounds, the muzzle of the weapon is held against the surface of the body. . .the immediate edges of the entrance are seared by hot gases and blackened by the soot. This is embedded in the seared skin and cannot be completely removed eithe rby washing or vigorous scrubbing of the wound.

Vincent J.M. DiMaio, M.D.,

Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics and Forensic Technique
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Pulling one hand from the warmth of a pocket, Jay Landsman squats down to grab the dead man's chin, pushing the head to one side until the wound becomes visible as a small, ovate hole, oozing red and white.
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"The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of men confronted by the darkest of American visions." "David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and his remarkable book is both a compelling account of casework and an investigation into our culture of violence. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator nearing the end of his career; Harry Edgerton, an iconoclastic black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl." "Originally published fifteen years ago, Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name. This new edition - which includes a foreword by Richard Price and a new afterword by David Simon - revives this essential, riveting tale about the men for whom murder is not an extraordinary act but the source of their calling."--BOOK JACKET.

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Utgåvor: 1847673112, 1847673120

 

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