The study is about homicide patterns in Finland in 1988 and 1999. The data is from a database which covers all the crimes reported to the police. The data includes numerical and narrative material. Kivivuori presents the age, sex, socio-economical etc. data of the offenders and victims, as well as weapons used, place where the body was found etc. Kivivuori writes that "the fundamental fact of Finnish homicide is that it is, in the overwhelming majority of the cases, committed by and against male members of what can be called a class of male social pariahs or outcasts. "
As police data do not include the motives of the homicide, Kivivuori has classed the homicides into conflict types. A conflict type includes aspects of the victim-offender relationship, the interaction preceding the offence, and the "stakes" in the conflict. Kivivuori's classification is: sexual conflict, drinking group conflict, conflict resolution, masculine confrontation, mental health problems, other type of crimes, victim <2 years, and other cases. This coding was based on the open-ended narratives in the police reports. Kivivuori also suggests two directions for further research: measuring the number of males living in the marginalized social milieu; and an ethnographic analyse of that milieu. The author also discusses the developments of violence, such as the increased number of homicides committed by women.
Other comments: Includes English summary.