Description: To examine the phenomenon of "suicide by cop," the authors present clinical evidence by means of literature review on this and related topics, in an effort to more fully understand this devastating event.
Purpose: The authors suggest this book, "examines what we know about the phenomenon of suicide by cop and places this behavior in a broader context." However, it is likely meant as a precursor to stimulate further research about this method of suicide.
Audience: Primarily focused at those interested in this relatively uncommon (but not universally unknown) phenomenon, those in police organizations (those investigating such incidents or after direct involvement with them), and those in the mental health arena are reasonable audiences for this book.
Features: Separated into four slightly arbitrary sections, each one addresses a different aspect of these events to identify what is known, and what remains to be investigated, about these incidents. Each chapter contains factual information about specific cases and attempts to explain its relation to the global phenomenon. Particularly interesting are the chapters discussing hostage negotiation and assisting police officers after these tragic events.
Assessment: This book looks at a particularly disturbing phenomenon and offers the first compilation of data from those who have studied it. Due to the complex nature of this event, information such as this may provide others with unproved methods to gain further useful data in the hopes of preventing or decreasing the frequency of these incidents. While a reasonable effort, many of the questions for which readers want answers remain open, resulting in an unfinished air to the book. In addition, frequent misspellings (including one on the back cover) and other grammatical errors distract from the overall message. Future editions will prove more valuable as this behavior is studied more vigorously and thoroughly.