The ultimate reference on the dark world of criminals and those who oppose them! Readers will learn how crimes are plotted, committed, investigated and solved. This hefty reference includes chapters from nine of the books in the "Howdunit" crime series, as well as thirteen new chapters on key topics, such as property crime, gangs and the drug trade. Boertlein also offers a huge glossary of crime words and phrases, plenty of photographs, and new chapter sections that give writers the sensory details and real-life perspective they need to write not only accurately, but vividly about crime. In the final section of the book, readers will find prompts and advice to guide them in plotting, committing and solving their own fictional crimes. They can create floor plans of crime scenes, follow leads and catch their criminals. Using the information in this book - and any other Howdunits they own - readers can put what they've learned into action and on the page.
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