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Monday, May 10, 2004

Watching the Detectives

This interesting article in the NY Times Magazine profiles Michael Connelly who "writes successful crime novels because he succeeds at getting inside the heads of L.A.P.D. investigators."

What may distinguish him most is his interest in the psyche toll of police work: not how a cop works a case, 'but how a case works a cop.'

...recent technology has turned police work upside down. Once it was the job of detectives to identify a suspect and then take fingerprints and blood samples from him to compare with evidence at the scene. Criminalists, that is, forensic experts, played a subservient role. Now, Detective Lambkin says, with the establishment of data banks for fingerprints, ballistics and DNA, "the criminalists can come to us and say, 'This is your guy.' So you can't do the job anymore like we used to."

...there are nearly 11,000 unsolved murders since 1960 on the books in Los Angeles, and the seven detectives on the cold-case squad are sifting through them to decide which ones might benefit from the application of techniques that were unavailable when the crimes were committed...
Books by Michael Connelly:
The Narrows (May, 2004)
Lost Light
Chasing the Dime

Watching the Detectives [NY Times Magazine, 9-May-04]
Michael Connelly/“The Narrows” [Digital Nation]
Michael Connelly website

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