Along the way, Burke offers humorous trial anecdotes, thoughts on race and policing, stories about the fatal toll stress took on fellow officers, and, perhaps most movingly, details about the three fatal shootings of police officers – one of them one of his first friends on the department, another the son of his sergeant – that he had to investigate.
Part memoir, part police procedural, and part true crime anthology, Death as a Living reveals the inside world of homicide and death investigation—the triumph, tragedy, humor, and truly bizarre situations one finds when working that beat.
A Note From the Publisher
NOTE TO READERS: An early version of this ARC contained a fiction disclaimer on the copyright page. This book is a work of nonfiction. This error has been corrected in the current version.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 21 members
A stunningly good book. Required reading not only for true crime fans but for anyone that loves a good story. The writing itself is nothing short of masterful. Unlike the typical memoir, the storytelling is non-linear but the stories flow from one to the next and, at the end, you have the author's whole story. One of the best books I've read this year and one of the best true crime books I've ever read.
A detective (a real detective with twenty-two years of experience in Homicide) writes memoirs. Thus, the first line of a true-crime TV series is born. 'Death as a Living' by Doyle Burke and Lou Grieco is a captivating book, one that could be both entertaining and horrifying at the same time. Wrapped in an everyday casual language, stories from different years - without strict order but with their inner logic - tell us a story of a man who dedicated his life to hard, stressful work. Doyle Burke spent 29 years in police and 22 of them in Homicide in a small town in Ohio. His work was of a particularly high-risk category. It involved quick decision-making, routine background checks, and hours of interacting with people, both innocent and guilty of crimes. There were terrible times when despite all efforts, the bad guys got away from the prosecution. There was a relief when justice prevailed, and the victim's relatives could get the answers to what happened to their loved ones. There were times for personal joy and times for grief over dead friends. The book contains all details that true-crime lovers anticipate seeing in this kind of narrative. What's the difference between CSI TV series and real life? How is the detective work organized? What units do work together on a homicide? What evidence is needed to put a killer under bars for a long time? In what cases and how does a killer gets the death penalty? Though the book is fun, the cases described in it are far from the definition of entertainment. Fictional vampires and werewolves are little sheep, compared to the killers that detective Doyle Burke had encountered during his career. The saddest thing is that motives to kill always, except for self-defense, seem senseless in comparison to the scale of destruction. Some cases changed the detective. After reading his book, I will never forget these victims, too. I would recommend the book to those who love well-written memoirs and those who want to see the insides of detective work. The book deserves its own TV show. For me, it is the most remarkable nonfiction book of this year. Thank you, Netgalley and the author, for an ARC of the book, in exchange for an honest review.