David Simon's Homicide won an Edgar Award and became the basis for the NBC award-winning drama. Simon's second book, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood, co-authored with Edward Burns, was made into an HBO miniseries. Simon is currently the executive producer and writer for HBO's Peabody Award-winning series The Wire. He lives in Baltimore.
The city of Baltimore saw 234 murders in 1988. Allowed unlimited access to a shift of the city's homicide unit, police reporter Simon chronicles that year. The sociopaths, the crackheads, and their crimes are horrifying, but equal horrors are found in the attitudes of jurors in a case of the shooting and blinding of a policeman and in statistics showing the ultimate legal fates of those apprehended by the unit. Immersing his readers in cases, procedures, politics, and the detectives' personalities, Simon risks being sabotaged by the sheer scope of his account. Still, for those with strong stomachs and the willingness to work to keep the characters and dramas straight, he has produced a riveting slice of urban life. Recommended.-- Jim Burns, Pompano Beach City Lib., Fla.
Baltimore Sun reporter Simon spent a year tracking the homicide unit of his city's police, following the officers from crime scenes to interrogations to hospital emergency rooms. With empathy, psychological nuance, racy verbatim dialogue and razor-sharp prose, he offers a rare insider's look at the detective's tension-wracked world. Presiding over a score of sleuths is commander Gary D'Addario, ``connoisseur of survival'' who grapples with political intrigue, massive red tape and ``red balls'' (major, difficult cases). His detectives include Tom Pelligrini, obsessed with solving the rape-murder of an 11-year-old girl; Rich Garvey, whose ``perfect year'' is upset by a murder case that collapses in court; and black, cosmopolitan Harry Edgerton, a lone wolf, son of a jazz pianist. This hectic daily log reveals the detective's beat on Baltimore's mean streets (234 murders in 1988) to be brutal, bureaucratic and, occasionally, mundane. (June)
"Simon does an extraordinary job of getting under the skin and
into the minds of the police officers." --The New York Times
Book Review "We seem to have an insatiable appetite for police
stories . . . David Simon's entry is far and away the best, the
most readable, reliable and relentless of them all." --The
Washington Post Book World