In January 1988, metro reporter David Simon left The Sun to spend a year with the Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit and then write a book about it. The result -- "Homicide: A
Year on the Killing Streets" -- is a fine book, a you-don't-want-to-put-it-down book, but it wasn't an easy book to excerpt for the magazine. The stories are too tightly xTC interwoven. What you'll find starting on Page 8 are the circumstances of two homicides -- perhaps a third of Chapter Four of the book.
Our excerpt ends with the murders of Lena Lucas and Purnell Booker still unsolved; to find out whodunit, you'll have to buy tomorrow's and Tuesday's papers. But if you miss parts two and three, our story still stands on its own as a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a homicide detective in a city where murders are being committed at the rate of about one a day. The gritty sense of being there is what's best about the book.