- Series: Howdunit
- Paperback: 404 pages
- Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (November 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582970157
- ISBN-13: 978-1582970158
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,423,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Howdunit: How Crimes Are Committed and Solved
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Since, happily, most writers don't have direct experience with the gory details of drug enforcement, forensic psychology, or hate crimes, they'll need to get the nitty-gritty for their screenplays and novels from a reliable source. This is where Howdunit comes in. Culled from a 14-volume series on crime writing, the book is a one-stop-shopping reference guide for writers in the genre or for those interested in learning the background of real police work.
Beginning with the fundamentals of modern cop life and the criminal justice system, Howdunit elaborates on murder variations (bizarre, mass, serial), forensic medicine and autopsies, crime-scene searches and surveillance, vice-related crimes, and special problems such as gangs and paramilitary groups. Stark illustrations are included where appropriate, such as black-and-white photos of Nazi paraphernalia and basic police gear, as well as simple anatomical drawings that are designed to illustrate common medical adjectives like lateral and posterior. Most chapters end with a short list of points to cover for character or plot development, turning each subject into a possible writing exercise. The editor, John Boertlein, spent 20 years on the police force, and he clearly knows his stuff. Each section is precisely detailed and extremely straightforward; tools, procedures, and personality profiles are recorded in a way that leaves little room for misinterpretation. If you've got your plot twists and big con all planned out, studying this book is sure to provide the final touches. --Jill Lightner
About the Author
John Boertlein has been in law enforcement for twenty years, serving as a police officer, undercover officer, and investigator for the police forces in Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. He has taught at the Ohio Police Academy and worked as a police recruiter. He has also written technical and procedural documents for the Cincinnati Police Division.
Top customer reviews
It is incredibly usefull whether you write from your criminals point of view, or the view of law enforcement.
Gives all but the story and dialogue. Chock full of ways to committ and, or solve.
This guide is a master compilation of the Howdunit crime reference series. You'll find 29 chapters, 20 from 14 volumes and nine brand new chapters.
Begin your own fictional investigation into these sample chapters:
* An Overview of Murder
* How the Body is Handled
* The Autopsy
* Crime Tools Guide
* Crime Scene Search
* Interviews and Interrogations
* Profiling the Criminal
Instead of spending all of your time interviewing police officials, simply add this book to your reference library. Everything you need to add realism to your novel is contained in one volume.
Passing on this book would simply be a crime.
Barbara E. Pugh, Ph.D.