The book is written in a sort of right-on, hip, American style, where detectives smoke Camels, have crew cuts and drive Impalas. It's a fascinating read, though in places, as Wilber himself admits, he has had to recreate certain events and conversations after interviewing the detectives involved, as he could never 'be everywhere at once'.
This is a book about people, and not about forensics. Twenty five homicide detectives worked for the Prince George's County Homicide Unit during the time Wilber researched this book, and though he didn't include every one, he certainly manages to give colourful accounts of the lives of some of them. Their principle food, for instance, seemed to be hamburgers (at least when they were on duty) and they were forever exiting the police building to light up a cigarette.
The most intriguing aspect of the book, for me was the suspect interviews and the methods used to extract information, or even an admission of guilt. I had always assumed that the 'good cop/bad cop' routine was invented by crime writers, for instance, but it was certainly a method used in Prince George's County.
If you want to get behind the professional mask of a US homicide detective, then read this book. Occasionally the mask slips, and that's when things get interesting.