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Life on the Screen

Tod Hoffman

236 pages
Ecw Press

Go past the Police tape.

Were it merely another run-of-the-mill cop opera, Homicide: Life on the Street would hardly warrant the attention of a book. But it is much more than that. Celebrated for the consistent quality of its writing, the unprecedented cinematic feel it brings to television, and the excellence of its ensemble cast, Homicide is unique. Its detailed and chilling stories of murder and justice hold up a mirror to urban America in the 1990s; they make it accountable. Along the way, the drama gives viewers the most realistic glimpse of big-city policing you can get from a safe distance.

Homicide: Life on the Screen is the first comprehensive account of the series on screen and behind the scenes. Benefiting from the cooperation of Baltimore Pictures and NBC, Tod Hoffman’s book makes use of unprecedented access to the set and exclusive interviews. Hoffman spent time in Baltimore absorbing a feel for the city that is such an important character on the show. He spoke with each member of the cast, several writers, and Executive Producers Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. He met with the real Baltimore homicide detectives upon whom many of the stories are based. With all of this in hand, he critically evaluates the series’ content.

This book promises to appeal to all those readers who loved David Simon’s book — Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets — fans who watched all seven seasons of Homicide on NBC, as well as those who will discover it in syndication. It’s also essential reading for those with an interest in policing and its treatment in popular culture.

Author Bio
Tod Hoffman is a Montreal-based freelance writer and critic who has contributed several articles about Homicide to magazines and newspapers. A former investigator for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, he has firsthand knowledge of the mind set of the detective and is in a unique position to judge the realism that Homicide strives so hard to achieve.