Reprinted paperback copy of Homicide by David Simon
This book falls more into the "Cool" category than any of the others heading this site, but it is definitely that. Journalist David Simon spent a year in the late 1980's with the Baltimore Police Department's homicide division at the height of a major crime surge—this book recounts his experiences shadowing homicide detectives as they worked their cases that year. It is an incredibly vivid and in-depth account of how police and detective work are done for murder cases, and can at times be slightly disturbing but definitely worth reading. This book of Simon's reportage later served as a partial basis for the HBO series The Wire, and anyone reading it after seeing the show should be able to spot the origins of certain things.