I'm currently reading Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon (the wonderful person behind The Wire). It's a very explicit non-fiction account of a homicide unit in Baltimore in 1988 (not that it feels like anything has changed since then). It sounds pretty dry, I guess, but this IS from the guy who brought us The Wire. I've mentioned it here before and someone said they'd read it and that parts of it had become unforgettable... I can totally understand why, it's a pretty harrowing book in many ways -- but perhaps not in the ways you'd think.
The book does an incredible job capturing the mindset of a homicide detective (an unusual and not particularly desirable thing, really) that I can feel myself becoming emotionally distant from the things I read about, in the same way they have to. If series one of The Wire piqued your interest into how things like homicide units actually work in real life, then I would seriously recommend it. (Hint: CSI isn't anywhere near close to reality.)
I've been very surprised at just how good a writer Simon is. I mean, I love The Wire, but writing for TV is very different than writing a non-fiction book. In The Wire it's mainly about how brilliantly the characters have been captured, but in Homicide: AYotKS there isn't much dialogue, so the people and the situations have to be captured in different ways. It turns out that Simon is just as good at this as he is at writing for TV. He manages to make you feel precisely how the detectives felt on each case. From cold indifference to shocking tragedy -- you feel it exactly the same way the people in the book do.
I can't exactly recall how I imagined murders, murderers, police and detectives actually operated before I starting reading this book, but I'm pretty sure my perspective has been changed forever. I can remember I used to think that CSI and Law & Order represented moments of grim reality... but now I see them for what they are: Sensationalistic bullshit for the masses.
So that's something
Edit: Forgot to menton, the book is non-fiction!
Edited by ThunderPeel2001, 31 March 2009 - 05:48 PM.