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Understanding Homicide

Understanding Homicide

Second Edition

Other Titles in:
Homicide | Violent Crime (General)

December 2021 | 296 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In this engaging and accessible book, Brookman draws upon several decades of her own research on homicide and violence, including ethnographic research on homicide investigation in the UK and USA and interviews with violent offenders, in order to unravel the characteristics and causes of homicide, how police and forensic scientists investigate it and how it can be prevented.

Synthesising bespoke new analysis of the Home Office Homicide Index with case studies of homicides and international debate and literature, this comprehensive textbook will be a valuable resource for students studying homicide, violence, its investigation and responses to it, as well as researchers and practitioners interested in homicide and violence.

Part One: Placing Homicide in Context
Chapter 1: Deconstructing Homicide
Chapter 2: Patterns and Characteristics of Homicide in the UK
Part Two: Explanations of Homicide
Chapter 3: Biological Explanations of Homicide
Chapter 4: Psychological Explanations of Homicide
Chapter 5: Sociological Explanations of Homicide
Part Three: Making Sense of Particular Forms of Homicide
Chapter 6: Homicide Amongst Males
Chapter 7: Femicide
Chapter 8: Women Killing Men
Chapter 9: The Killing of Children
Chapter 10: Corporate Homicide
Part Four: Dealing with Homicide
Chapter 11: The Investigation of Homicide
Chapter 12: Preventing Homicide

Criminal homicide has long been a topic of morbid fascination in the public imagination. With this book, Fiona Brookman has assembled a fascinating tour of all the key themes and topics needed to understand how, when and why fatal violence occurs, and what can be done about it.

Martin Innes
Cardiff University

Fiona Brookman is one of the world’s leading experts on homicide. In this comprehensive but accessible book, she helps readers separate fact from fiction about homicide. This is a fascinating and invaluable book for anyone wanting to learn more about homicide.

Edward R. Maguire
Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice Arizona State University

Understanding Homicide is a beautifully written and well-organized textbook for college students interested in murder; it is also an invaluable reference for scholars and practitioners who work in this area. Professor Brookman has done a masterful job discussing controversial issues related to homicide in a balanced way, synthesizing different theoretical approaches in explaining lethal violence, dissecting types of murders within the lens of gender, and tackling thorny issues involved in the investigation and prevention of homicides. This treatise is a must read for those seriously interested in understanding homicide.

Kathleen M. Heide
Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, University of South Tampa and author of Understanding Parricide: When Sons and Daughters Kill Parents

Professor Brookman’s book, Understanding Homicide, offers a comprehensive set of sociological explanations for the phenomenon of homicide, introducing students to the historical roots while helping them focus on the most contemporary tests of theories. Especially useful are the varied examples from around the world, adding a comparative element that helps students understand concepts and illustrates theory in action. Covering all of the heavy hitters of sociological thought at both the macro and micro levels, Understanding Homicide also introduces students to ideas that have been tangential in previous discussions of understanding violence but are vital in homicide research and becoming a more important part of mainstream criminological understanding in general, such as bystander effects. Professor Brookman doesn’t steer away from criticisms either, giving students a well-rounded understanding of the ways in which we understand homicide and the places where there is room for improvement. The “Pause for Thought” interludes offer useful ideas for individual reflection and class discussion and are targeted to help students apply their learning in meaningful ways, which will be useful to instructors of first year and advanced students alike. This is the perfect book for a class on homicide in particular or violent crime in general. Understanding Homicide would be good companion reading for traditional theory classes, given its comprehensive theoretical framework. 

Nadine Connell

This latest version of the book will help students to understand the many theoretical explanations that have been provided to try to understand why people commit homicide. This is a very useful book on this topic.

Dr Jeane Gerard
Department of History, Sociology & Criminology, Westminster University
July 6, 2022

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ISBN: 9781526487452
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