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The Wire: Truth Be Told, By Rafael Alvarez

Fans of the HBO drama who, five series later, are not ready to let go, will find this brick of a book, complete with film stills, cast lists and Baltimore city map, a good way to decompress.

A prologue by its creator, David Simon, describes his attempt to invoke a new TV sensibility: "The first thing we had to do was teach folks to watch television in a different way, to slow themselves down..."

The proceeding analysis is a study of the city's social-economic backdrop and its main characters, including Detective Jimmy McNulty, who one professor likens to an 18th century literary hero.

Dominic West (the actor who plays him) recalls how a beautiful fan once approached him to declare "I love you". The woman in question? Zadie Smith.