Joseph Wambaugh is the hard-hitting bestselling writer who conveys the passionate immediacy of a special world. He was a police officer with the LAPD for 14 years before retiring in 1974, during which time he published three bestselling novels. Over the course of his career, Wambaugh has been the author of more than 20 works of fiction and nonfiction, all written in his gritty, distinctive noir-ish style. He's won multiple Edgar Awards, and several of his books have been made into feature films and TV movies. He lives in California with his wife.
Wambaugh, best known for his books dealing with American crime and detection, here tells the engrossing story of two British sex murders and the police hunt for the killer. The title stems from a procedure of genetic fingerprinting detected by examining blood samples, and used by the police to catch the murderer. Armed with the new discovery for detection, the police launched a massive drive to ``fingerprint'' men in the Narborough village area. Wambaugh gives an inside look at the police and their intense and, at last, successful drive to catch the murderer. He also discusses the process, and some of its limitless possibilities. An excellent account of murder, detection, and this amazing scientific discovery. Recommended.-- Sally G. Waters, Stetson Law Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
"Wambaughs darkest nonfiction since The Onion Field. . . . A meticulous and suspenseful reconstruction . . . . A powerful and elegant police procedural."--Kirkus Reviews.
"Like that cop that he was, Wambaugh brings his English colleagues to vivid life, and like the instinctive reporter that he is, he makes Narborough seem more like Brigadoon than contemporary Britain. For this one, both thumbs up."--New York Daily News
In this latest venture into true crime, Wambaugh ( The Onion Field ; Echoes in the Darkness ) triumphs again. Here he turns to Leicestershire, England, and the slayings of two teenagers, Lynda Mann in 1983, and Dawn Ashworth three years later, killings that were eventually solved through scientist Alec Jeffreys's discovery of ``genetic fingerprinting.'' This discovery was made, ironically, at Leicester University, close to the scene of the crimes, and the technique may revolutionize detection. Wambaugh, ever a master of plotting, first leads readers into suspecting the wrong man and then switches to the actual murderer and the taking of thousands of blood samples in one of the more bizarre investigations ever conducted. Genetic fingerprinting was determined to be foolproof, and the real culprit, Colin Pitchfork, was identified without question. As Wambaugh's fans have come to expect, this is an eminently readable and most impressive book. 250,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection; author tour. (Feb.)