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The Cop Shop: True Crime on the Streets of Chicago

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As the crime reporter for the Chicago Tribune from 1988 to ’91, Robert Blau had the macabre task of deciding which murders warranted coverage. In The Cop Shop, he traces the trajectory of Chicago violence from the days of Al Capone to modern street gangs. Blau’s dialogue and descriptions can be strained, but he treats his subjects evenhandedly, recognizing that criminals don’t always come from the street—occasionally they wear uniforms and badges.