• Crime in Fact and Fiction by Brian P Block - book cover

Crime in Fact and Fiction

by Brian P Block


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This intriguing book highlights differences in how crime is portrayed in the arts compared to reality, focusing on the roles of the police, courts and forensic investigators. Of interest to criminologists, sociologists, lawyers and other criminal justice personnel, it will also appeal to anyone interested in crime and punishment. What we see or read in the media follows a formula inviting suspension of disbelief. It is a long way from what happens in real life and the book contains vivid examples, contrasts and comparisons. As the author points out, from Shakespeare to Harold Pinter, Dickens to P D James and as between authors, dramatists and filmmakers of all kinds the rules are frequently broken by dramatic licence, structural demands, the need for a good ending and entertainment. A book to read, enjoy and learn a great deal from: whether it is Agatha Christie Dixon of Dock Green, Patricia CornwellKavanagh QC, Kathy Reichs, Sherlock Holmes, Waking the Dead, García Márquez, A Touch of FrostEdgar Allan Poe, Heartbeat or lesser known writers, works or fictional creations.

A closely observed account by someone who served at a senior level as a magistrate and scientist which highlights differences between real life and fiction concerning criminal processes. Contains instructive and entertaining examples making it readable, accessible and ideal for seasoned practitioners, students and beginners.


‘Highly readable’: Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers.


Brian P Block was a justice of the peace for many years and spent his professional career testing medicines. He holds degrees in criminal justice and pharmacology among others. A Fullbright and post-doctoral scholar at Yale University, USA he has been a frequent contributor to legal journals. He is the author of three previous Waterside Press publications: Hanging in the Balance: A History of Capital Punishment in Britain (1997), Famous Cases: Nine Trials that Changed the Law (2002) (both with John Hostettler) and The Pain and the Pride: Tales from the Colorado Boot Camp (2000).

Additional information

Weight257 g
Dimensions234 × 156 × 10 mm


Waterside Press




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United Kingdom

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