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

Crime in Fact and Fiction

by Brian P Block


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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. 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.

Crime in Fact and Fiction highlights differences – with vivid examples, contrasts and comparisons – in how crime is portrayed in the arts compared to reality, focusing on the roles of the police, courts and forensic investigators. Whether it is Agatha Christie, Dixon of Dock Green, Patricia Cornwell, Kavanagh QC, Kathy Reichs, Sherlock Holmes, Waking the Dead, García Márquez, A Touch of Frost, Edgar Allan Poe, Heartbeat or lesser known writers, works or fictional creations, the book contains instructive and entertaining illustrations making it readable and accessible for seasoned practitioners, students and beginners alike.

A closely observed account by someone who served at a senior level as a magistrate and scientist. Of interest to criminologists, sociologists, lawyers and other criminal justice personnel, it will also appeal to anyone interested in crime and punishment.


‘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, Famous Cases: Nine Trials that Changed the Law (both with John Hostettler) and The Pain and the Pride: Tales from the Colorado Boot Camp.

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Weight257 g
Dimensions234 × 156 × 10 mm


Waterside Press




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United Kingdom

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