What I meant to write about before Obama and other business seized my brain was that I just finished reading the best damned book I’ve read in years: Homicide Special: A Year with the LAPD’s Elite Detective Unit by Miles Corwin.
This book grabbed me, strapped me up and made me watch in delicious detail the goings on in LAPD’s elite homicide squad as they investigated a number of gripping murders, some right in my old neighborhood. Only three of the murders covered were headliners, like Cosby’s son and Robert Blake. The rest were just samples of the hundreds of cases they process every year, hampered at times by the department’s own resource shortages more than anything else. (Unless it’s a high-profile case or the suspect is a flight risk, it can take years to get a DNA analysis, for example.)
The saddest part of this book was that it ended on the Robert Blake case before the tragic conclusion. It ripped me up seeing how much evidence the detectives had against Blake and how stressful the investigation was for them, knowing that the jury later let the bastard walk away.
Corwin is such a talent. He’s also the bestselling author of The Killing Season and has a new book out that follows twelve exceptional South Central kids in a school program for the gifted. I have nothing but admiration for him.