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Publisher's Summary

A highly acclaimed journalistic masterpiece and true crime classic, Homicide illustrates a year in the life of the detectives of the Homicide Unit in the city of Baltimore. David Simon, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, spent 4 tears on the police beat before taking a leave of absence to write this book. By persuading the Baltimore Police Department to allow him unlimited access to the city's homicide unit for a full year, Simon shadowed one shift of detectives as they traveled from interrogations to autopsies, from crime scenes to hospital emergency rooms.

Baltimore recorded 234 murders during that year, and the homicide unit investigated dozens of those murders. Homicide, a harrowing, sometimes brutal, and always fascinating look at the dozens of murders investigated by these detectives, is the book that sparked the critically acclaimed television series.

©1997 David Simon; (P)1997 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Edgar Award Winner
    Anthony Award Winner

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    284
  • 4 Stars
    169
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    218
  • 4 Stars
    101
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    227
  • 4 Stars
    97
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    9
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Larry
  • El Paso, TX, USA
  • 01-10-04

As real as it gets

Starkly shows life inside a police homicide unit. Brings a realization of how cheap life is to many people in our society. Great read for anyone wanting to know the inside story of the workings of a police department.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Spoils you for other mysteries

This book, and the show based on it, are such an unbeliveably realistic, complex, clever, and engaging way of telling a 'mystery story' that I can no longer enjoy pat mysteries where the killer reveals all at the end. This is a phenomenal book, and read superbly by the narrator.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Chris
  • los angeles, CA, USA
  • 09-09-08

It's abridged!

I didn't realize it was abridged. Ok... my bad, but it was a bummer to realize that I have to buy it all over again to get the missing parts.

The reader is good, but the generic "creepy" music that's piped in at the ends of the chapters is laughable. I think David Simon would scoff at that shiz.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ray
  • Wyoming, MI, USA
  • 02-07-03

A great listen--

This is a superb book on tape. The book is about one year in the Baltimore homicide division. It follows a few detectives as they go about their job.

The book is excellent, but the reader puts it over the top. He does a great job of imparting feeling to the characters and the story.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Darn!! Abridged...

I think I missed that this was an abridged version because I purchased it on my smartphone app - feeling very disappointed about that, as it certainly explains why there is a relatively few number of stories included (as I listened I kept thinking "How did they keep the TV series going so long with so little here to work with). The narrator is fantastic, however, and the writing style is great.

I agree with another reviewer about the musical interludes - silly, and don't add to the listening experience at all.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Patti
  • Louisville, CO, USA
  • 11-27-09

David Simon is a Master

As an ardent fan of the show "Homcicide: Life on the Streets", I was fascinated to listen the story that started it all. The narrator, Reed Diamond, was also a character in the show "Homicide." This journalist-turned-author and screen writer has a crystal-clear understanding of the underside of Baltimore crime, politics and corruption. The best part: much of this book and its characters eventually became the fantastic TV series "The Wire," also written by Simon.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Rochester, NY, USA
  • 02-10-05

Better than the show

This book was a joy to listen to. Simon's writing goes far beyond the critically acclaimed television show, and highlights what it could have been. Diamond's narration is flawless. This is the best of the true crime genre I've come across. I laughed out loud and recoiled in horror at different points. This is a fascinating look inside the world of Baltimore homicide detectives.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

abridged

great performance and great story but unfortunately this is an Abridged version and there does not seem to be an unabridged version

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

the standard

audio does not cover the entire book, but it's the absolute best material out there on murder police

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great "Slice of LIfe" Crime Writing

Would you listen to Homicide again? Why?

Yes, I really enjoyed the writing and the narration. Simon has an amazing way to bring the homicide detectives of Baltimore to life without inserting himself into the story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Detective Donald Worden. A super smart, resourceful, honorable and world weary detective.

Which character – as performed by Reed Diamond – was your favorite?

Detective sergeant Terry McLarney. Diamond chose a great voice for this character.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Having watched Homicide and the Wire I was familiar with a lot of the subject matter in this book, but getting some of the firsthand details made it more real. It gives you a real appreciation for what homicide detectives have to go through each day.

Any additional comments?

To me, this is a great example of literary journalism used to tell a story in bold and vivid detail. The storytelling tricks used by Simon never seem too heavy handed, but give a lot of weight to the story. Highly recommended. {Just wish it wasn't abridged}

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • John
  • 09-25-11

short changed

the first part of this audiobook does not work. I've told audible and they haven't responded. It didn't work on my PC, it didn't work on my iPod and it didn't work on my iPad. after the usual audible description at the start, it skips to your next audiobook. the other parts worked fine, production seemed professional and well read, but I had no idea what was going on really as the first part didn't work. Please sort it out because I really wanted this book.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Przemyslaw
  • 10-15-17

Memories of Homicide - Life on the Street

Where The Wire and Homicide came from. Great listen to intriguing cop tales from Baltimore's streets.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Valmai
  • 04-19-15

Not for the faint hearted

A compelling insight into the ugliest side of humanity. At times disturbing at times amusing. Well worth the listen.