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3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  231 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
An uncensored view of the inner workings of a homicide detective team shadowed by a crime reporter for a summer follows seasoned veteran Pete Razanskas and his partner, Marcella Winn, through three months of cops, killers, victims, and their families. 25,000 first printing.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 6th 1997 by Simon & Schuster
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David This book is about homicide detectives in South-Central Los Angeles so the murders that this book covers tend to have more to do with gangs and drugs…moreThis book is about homicide detectives in South-Central Los Angeles so the murders that this book covers tend to have more to do with gangs and drugs while Homicide Special is about another, and more elite, division of the LAPD which covers homicides across Los Angeles so its stories tend to cover a broader type of crimes. There is overlap between the books when he talks about the history of LAPD and Los Angeles which he seems to copy word by work between the two books.(less)
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Patrick Lum
A well-made journalistic, researched account from Miles Corwin. The decision to focus on a pair of detectives - the scrappy, determined rookie Winn and the experienced old-timer Raz - gives the book a well-honed sense of continuity and familiarity which carries it through the hectic, almost random assortment of cases and background information any good look at a homicide department should give. Unfortunately, much like Corwin's other book Homicide Special, this book suffers by comparison to the ...more
Louise Mullins
A very well presented memoir depicting life inside LAPD. The author has written a fantastic series of case studies alongside the procedural aspects to demonstrate how these atrocities affect the average working class citizens whose lives are completely torn apart suddenly by the murder of their spouses, children, and family members.

I read this title to understand the way in which homicide investigators in the US differ from those in the UK and feel I now have a more intimate knowledge.

I highly r
Jun 20, 2011 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read a non-fiction cop book, and I chose a good one. The author profiles a detective team in L.A.'s South Central neighborhood, one of the most notorious for homicides, especially during the summer, hence the title 'The Killing Season'. The two detectives are Razanskas ('Raz'), a multi-ethnic light-skinned male veteran of the Homicide Division, and Winn, a black female detective trainee who has worked her way up through the ranks of the LAPD. The race is important, as S ...more
Melissa McClintock
I found this book in the Teen Section. I really liked the fact that the motive for the book was that the LA reporter couldn't believe no one really cared if people died in South Central LA or not.

Also, it is refreshing that he doesn't tend to "have a drum to beat" in this. He doesn't sugar coat the touchy issues like the Rodney King incident. He is able to reflect things as they are. Compassion for gangsters, especially young ones, and still who they are is hardened killers. That is the paradox?
A decent true crime book following two detectives assigned to South Central over one summer in the mid-nineties and showing what an uphill battle both they and the residents of South Central face in relation to the violence that affects the lives there. In an environment where a couple of homicides can occur an evening, in addition to the over-abundance of cases and mountains of paperwork the detectives are struggling through they also face scared witnesses refusing to cooperate, young people im ...more
May 31, 2012 Raven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After becoming hooked on the brilliant Southland - Season 1 [DVD] [2009]it was only natural that this book would appeal. Miles Corwin expertly documents the world of the LAPD detective and the senseless killings that define the South-Central area of Los Angeles. Following a veteran detective- the wonderful Pete Razanskas- and his feisty new partner Marcella Winn- we gain a real insight into the crippling hours, an severely under-funded police department and the physical and emotional effects of ...more
Angus McLean
Nov 17, 2016 Angus McLean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read for anyone wanting an inside view into homicide investigation.

A few fundamentals are pretty different to how we do it in NZ, but many of the basics are the same.

Really interesting to read up on one of the first homicides handled by the rookie detective, Winn, which was overturned years later and resulted in the alleged offenders being paid out big money.

Looking at the massive pressure these detectives operate under, it is easy to see how mistakes can be made-they simply didn't have
Oct 29, 2013 Eliza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this because I enjoyed the book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, and this is similarly written by a journalist who embedded himself into a homicide department ... this time in the LA South Central Homicide department for one summer. This is not as good as Homicide, but I do highly recommend it. It mainly follows around two detectives, so it is more narrative and easier to follow than Homicide, which is a plus. In the shadows of the Rodney King incident this gives a comprehensive y ...more
Nov 21, 2010 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I was annoyed to buy this and find that it was about fifteen years old, focusing on the LA gang culture and following two detectives who were involved in trying to solve the cases spilling out of the annual summer murder spree in the city. Cashing in on the success of "The Wire", it didn't live up to the TV series as far as I was concerned, although I felt that had it been even remotely contemporary I would have persevered with it.
Sep 27, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miles Corwin takes a closer look at crime in South Central LA, an inner-city neighborhood filled with gang violence and grieving families. He joins homicide detectives Razanskas and Winn on their investigations and interviews many victims. He writes about the crimes in a national context as well--Rodney King, the prison system and the Watts riots. It's a fast read, as well as a fair representation of socio-economic issues.
Wilde Sky
Jun 15, 2015 Wilde Sky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reporter follows two LAPD detectives through one summer in South-Central LA and recounts the numerous murders investigated.

It took some time to get into this book, the number of different crimes / criminals was confusing at the start, but overall a very effective / thought provoking / depressing piece of reporting on the violence in an area of LA that no ones seems interested in. The stories of the victims and perpetrators were mostly very sad – a tale of wasted lives.
Apr 15, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Took me a while to get into the book, but then once I got around to figure out what was happening, I really enjoyed the stories and the cases. It wasn't just any case, but actual cases and the lives of the detectives. Would be interesting to have a follow up book of the recent happenings of the LAPD and see how detective work has changed or remained the same.
Jan 08, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again another book for research but the author does a great job of revealing the human side of law enforcement, the victims, the defendants, the witnesses and the family of the victims. It's very bittersweet and heart breaking at times. But he throws in the humor along with the struggle of solving and convicting crimes.
Jun 04, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An alternate title might be, "Hardworking Cops Cleaning up Destruction Caused by Thugs," or, "Depressing Results from Neglecting Children."
I loved and respect the two cops featured in the book. The unrelenting cycle of senseless violence is incredible and disturbing, and there's no easy solution. A glimpse into another world that's too real for many people.
God bless our homicide detetives!
Sarey C
Aug 28, 2015 Sarey C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written docu-drama about life as a homicide detective in south Central, US murder hotspot. I particularly liked the way the author balanced his investigation of 'black-on-black' violence by also writing about 'black-on-black healing' which supports the families of victims and helps communities stand up against gang culture
Patrick O'Neil
Jul 14, 2012 Patrick O'Neil rated it liked it
There's a whole bunch a murders in South Central L.A.? Go figure. Decent, well written account of homicide detectives at work. Interesting interaction between partners, old school meets new school etc.
Sep 17, 2012 Sue rated it it was ok
Shelves: crimen
I lose interest when one of the character's names is repeated 1-5 times on EVERY SINGLE page. In this case it was the word Razanskas. I think the author might have improved this book by using the short version of it, "Raz," as mentioned when it first appeared. Wouldn't have been so aggravating.
Dec 31, 2013 Ford rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
mid 90's police book. good read but dated.
364.1523 Sub-titled: A Summer Inside an LAPD Homicide Division. The summer of '94 as experienced by South-Central LA homicide detectives Pete 'Raz' Razanskas and Marcella Winn.
Jan 24, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a raw look at police work in the LAPD.
Feb 06, 2012 Dolores rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping for a broad range of homicide cases since it deals with the LAPD homicide division--sadly most of the cases encountered by the two detectives followed were gang-related.
Nov 14, 2015 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book following a veteran LAPD homicide investigator and his trainee and the cases they investigate.
Apr 28, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book about a summer following 2 homicide detectives in South Central. Informative and interesting but not as good as The Wire
Vanessa Patrick
Mar 30, 2013 Vanessa Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad, disturbing look into the reality of LA killings in '95.
Oct 21, 2008 Wendy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A summer in South Central LA amongst the gangs and the crimes they commit, feels like you are riding along
Michael Matthews
Superb true crime book. Not just focussing on the crimes but also on the detectives who investigate the murders. A real eye opener.
Viking Litespear
Viking Litespear rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2011
Sean rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2010
Helen Yates
Helen Yates rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2013
Robert rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2017
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Miles Corwin, a former Los Angeles Times reporter, is the author of three books. The Killing Season (1997) was a national bestseller. And Still We Rise (2000) was awarded the PEN USA West award for nonfiction. Homicide Special (2004) was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara and received his M.A. at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
More about Miles Corwin...

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