Monday, June 6, 2016

A Good Month for Murder By Del Quentin Wilber

"Rawhide Down" Author Reveals Police Like Never Before

Award-Winning Journalist Goes Inside One of Our Nation's Busiest Homicide 
Units to Portray the Men and Women Who Handle Police Work's Most 
Demanding and Consequential Job

"Superb! One of the best real-life cop books ever written!" --Lee Child

In A GOOD MONTH FOR MURDER: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad, bestselling author Del Quentin Wilber pulls back the curtain to reveal what it's like to be a cop in today's turbulent climate, politically and socially.  Being in the midst of a national conversation about the role of the police in American communities, there is no better time to discuss what it takes to be a good cop and why it matters, especially as homicide rates spike across the country. This book is not a work of sociology; it's pure reportage. Del wanted to experience police work up close and personal - to smell the suspects in the interrogation rooms, go out with cops who haven't slept for days, and watch as they try to solve some of the worst crimes in history.  He found that these are dedicated cops - some of the best in their profession - who fought their way through patrol, specialized units, and are now responsible for the most critical investigations done by any police agency.

In A GOOD MONTH FOR MURDER, Del Quentin Wilber will tell you:
  • About his years covering the D.C. police for The Washington Post;
  • How detectives solve, or try to solve, murders, shootings and burglaries;
  • All about community policing - whether they should be warriors or guardians;
  • How he spent time with homicide detectives, shooting detectives, burglary detectives, officers on the beat, and auto theft investigators;
  • What it was like working with the son of a Secret Service agent who was in Rawhide Down;
  • About being embedded with Prince George's County's homicide squad in suburban D.C. and how he rode with the 25-detective unit for many months;
  • How he watched the interrogations of suspects via a live video feed on a small computer monitor in a closet; and so much more...
In A GOOD MONTH FOR MURDER, Del Quentin Wilber writes about how one particular homicide squad - a dedicated, colorful team of detectives in Prince George's County, Washington, D.C. - does its almost impossible job. For these men and women, February 2013 was a good month for murder, with twelve homicides, three police-involved shootings, and the furious hunt for an especially brutal killer.  Mr. Wilber was there to see it all. Having gained unparalleled access to the homicide unit in Prince George's County, which borders the nation's capital, he begins shadowing the talented, often quirky detectives who get the call when a body falls. He rides with a hard-charging investigator who pops diet pills while devouring cheeseburgers; he stands over a corpse with a hulking detective who moonlights as a security guard at a cemetery; he spends hours in the interrogation room, a.k.a. the box, with a hyper-competitive, chain-smoking vegan.

After a quiet couple of months, all hell breaks loose: suddenly every detective in the squad is scrambling to solve one shooting and stabbing after another. The body of a young man carrying nothing but a bus ticket in his pockets is found in a deserted park; an ailing 71-year-old woman is killed in her home during an apparent robbery; a high school freshman is gunned down by thieves hoping to snatch the shoes he'd just purchased for his girlfriend. Meanwhile, the entire unit is obsessed with a stone-cold "red ball," a high-profile case involving a seventeen-year-old honors student whose killer kicked down the door to her house and shot her in her bed.

Murder is the police investigator's ultimate crucible: to solve a killing, a detective must speak for the dead.  More than any recent book, A GOOD MONTH FOR MURDER shows what it takes to succeed when the stakes couldn't possibly be higher.  Prince George's County is a lot like many others in America grappling with these same issues.  It's the new America - a microcosm of Ferguson, Baltimore, the south side of Chicago and other communities where the forces in blue put their lives on the line every day to keep their citizens safe.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Del Quentin Wilber is the New York Times-bestselling author of Rawhide Down, an account of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. An award-winning reporter who previously worked for The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, and Bloomberg News, he now covers the justice department for the Los Angeles Times. 

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