Del Quentin Wilber is the author of A Good Month for Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad. From the author's Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: How did you get the Prince George’s County [MD] police to grant you so much access?--Marshal Zeringue
A: The police chief, Mark Magaw, is the son of a Secret Service agent in my first book, Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan. I sent it to him and asked if I could shadow his detectives. He was very open and transparent, giving me complete access to his squad. I was quite lucky.
Q: You describe Prince George’s County as “a microcosm of the new America.” How typical is the county, and how does its crime rate reflect that of other communities?
A: PG County is one of the most diverse and fascinating places I have ever visited. It's diverse in terms of geography -- spanning everything from farmland to gritty, inner-city-like neighborhoods. It's also diverse demographically -- it's a majority minority community. It also neighbors the nation's capital. It's a fascinating place.
It is more violent than the typical suburb, in part, because it has high levels of poverty and other social problems more often associated with cities than suburbs. It has your more typical gang- or drug-related homicides. But...[read on]