A National Bestseller
Gaining unprecedented access to the LAPD, Miles Corwin shadows two homicide detectives on the mean streets of South Central L.A. Pete "Raz" Razanskas and Marcella Winn were unlikely partners: one a twenty-two year veteran of the force; the other a street-smart woman from the 'hood. The Killing Season is shocking, uncensored, and full of real-life drama. Although it reads like a fast-paced novel, this is a work of nonfiction that offers readers a genuine sense of what life is like for the cops, the killers, the victims, and their families.
Random House, Paperback (March 1998), ISBN-13: 978-0345483003
"Moral, humane, and ultimately uplifting...These people too are flesh and blood, Corwin reminds us, halting his narrative periodically to examine, with a deft humanistic touch, what may have set a killer on his course and how the crime affected the victim's loved ones...Although society may have discarded South-Central like so much trash, Detectives Razanskas and Winn still care. And they make us care."
The New York Times Book Review
"A grab-you-by-the-throat page-turner..."
Los Angeles Times Book Review
"These detectives bear no resemblance to the LAPD officers who have become infamous over the last few years. Their compassion and their storyas told by a shadowing L.A. Times reporterare both compelling."
The New Yorker
"Miles Corwin has written an important book. Going where few writers dare to go, he has put a human face on the violence infecting our cities. This story of victims, murderers, and their tired go-betweensthe homicide copsis a telling treatise on the tragedy that tears at our society. Spend a summer with the LAPD's South Bureau homicide squad, and the resonance of the journey will stay with you for years."
"Haunting and thrilling, this is a beautifully told story of violence and courage, and an unforgettable look behind the yellow crime-scene tape."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"An ambitious and acclaimed book...Corwin tells everyone's story, the accused, the victims, and the two cops...That Corwin managed such intimacy and access is remarkable."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"A stunning piece of reportage full of necessary truths about L.A."
Los Angeles Magazine
Los Angeles is a town of dreamersand those who prey on them. The scene of innumerable bizarre crimes, it is also the home to an elite detective unit called Homicide Special, whose mandate is to take on the toughest, most controversial, and newsworthy cases. In this insider's account, Miles Corwin uses unprecedented access to narrate six of the unit's most dramatic cases.
When a call girl from Kiev dies in the line of duty, detectives Chuck Knolls and Brian McCartin seek her killer among a circle of Russian women who have been sold unwittingly into prostitution. When a gangster's daughter takes a bullet, veterans Jerry Stephens and Paul Coulter trace clues scattered across the country to a Manhattan real estate magnate. A cold case is reopened; a mother-daughter drowning and a baffling rape-murder are solved. And, finally, Corwin re-creates the investigation surrounding the late Bonnie Lee Bakley, allegedly murdered by her actor-husband, Robert Blake.
With an epilogue updating each of these cases, Homicide Special offers a riveting, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most high-profile units of homicide detectives in the country.
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc., Paperback (August 2004), ISBN-13: 9780805076943
"A terrific book: raucous and raconteuring. Homicide cops as you've never seen them before. A primer on the boredom and exhilaration of police worka must read of pit-bull dimensions."
"Combining a deft, elegant prose style with the acute eye of a veteran crime reporter, Miles Corwin has created a compelling portrait of seasoned homicide cops at work. This is L.A.'s darkest side: ironic, heartbreaking, stunningly violent, unfailingly human. Riveting."
"A literate, unfailingly interesting work of true crime...A revealing look at the real, deeply unpleasant work of murder investigators."
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Corwin means not only to explore the daily details of police work but also to use them as a window on Los Angeles...to have Homicide Special tell us something about the way we live. At first glance, it might seem a stretch for a book about a homicide squad to operate as a social metaphor. Yet, the further we read, the more apropos the idea."
Los Angeles Times
"While not recounting every homicide he observed, the author vividly renders a handful that exemplify the range of entrenched social fissures and seedy criminality that have long defined Los Angeles...With a touch of Chandleresque panache, Corwin's true crime reads like vintage noir, delivering taut dialogue sprinkled with off-color wisecracks and lyrical passages."
"Corwin is an honest writer and a deft stylist...Every twist, every detail hangs together. This is a book that is difficult to put down."
Miles Corwin spent a school year with twelve high school seniorsSouth Central kids who qualified for a gifted program because of their exceptional IQs and test scores. Sitting alongside them in classrooms where bullets were known to rip through windows, Corwin chronicled their amazing odyssey as they faced the greatest challenges of their academic lives. And Still We Rise is a compelling story of transcending obstacles that would dash the hopes of any but the most exceptional spirits."
HarperCollins Publishers, Paperback (April 2001), ISBN-13: 9780380798292
"An exuberant tale of South-Central kids...On every page, their voice ring as clear as church bells and make even a jaded reader feel inspired."
"The real story here is the students, and Corwin wisely keeps them front and center. His detailed and unabashedly sympathetic descriptions are riveting...And Still We Rise manages to be both engrossing and heartbreaking at the same time."
"An impressive, important work of narrative journalism...A more gifted reporter can barely be imagined."
San Francisco Chronicle
"Readers have to be grateful for the abundance of classroom dialogue that is unexpected, fresh, and interesting, and fine portraits, as good as fiction."
New York Times Book Review
"Compelling and beautifully constructed...In And Still We Rise...all the complexities of a carefully chronicled reality coalesce into art."
"If you put no other book on your summer reading list, you should definitely share Corwin's journey through the lives of these students in And Still We Rise."
Los Angeles Times