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Harbor Nocturne Mass Market Paperback – 20 Dec 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press; Reprint edition (20 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802120547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802120540
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 2.9 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 659,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Joseph Wambaugh has been one of those necessary voices through the years--sometimes angry, sometimes illuminating, often wise, always funny and fascinating--and without him, the lives of many readers would be smaller. Including mine." -Stephen King

"Joseph Wambaugh took crime fiction to a whole new level, to something beyond classification. These are stories with depth of character and humor and a cold, hard honesty that rings true with every read. I'm one of the few lucky enough to have already read a copy of Harbor Nocturne. It's Wambaugh at his best!" --Michael Connelly

"Highly entertaining... Razor-edged dialogue punctuates the vignette-filled plot. Realistic criminals are well matched by Wambaugh's equally authentic police...in this darkly comic, gritty look at life on the streets." -"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)

"Wambaugh embeds the stories he hears from cops within fiercely and ingeniously plotted mysteries...A very fast ride-along, enlivened by cop gallows humor, snarky
street altercations, and an insistent pull to the dark side." -"Booklist" (starred review)

"The sideshow acts Wambaugh presents mix legal justice and rough justice, laughter and tears, so inventively that it's hard to tell until the very end who'll come out on top." -"Kirkus Reviews"

"The legendary Wambaugh's newest is chock-full of his trademark cop talk and offbeat side vignettes. His ability to weave a complex story together out of seemingly disparate elements lightens up some of the grittiness of big city police work." -"Library Journal"

About the Author

The son of a policeman, Joseph Wambaugh (b. 1937) began his writing career while a member of the Los Angeles Police Department. He joined the LAPD in 1960 after three years in the Marine Corps, and rose to the rank of detective sergeant before retiring in 1974. His first novel, "The New Centurions" (1971), was a quick success, drawing praise for its realistic action and intelligent characterization, and was adapted into a feature film starring George C. Scott. He followed it up with "The Blue Knight" (1972), which was adapted into a mini-series starring William Holden and Lee Remick.Since then Wambaugh has continued writing about the LAPD. He has been credited with a realistic portrayal of police officers, showing them not as superheroes but as men struggling with a difficult job, a depiction taken mainstream by television s "Police Story", which Wambaugh helped create in the mid-1970s. In addition to novels, Wambaugh has written nonfiction, winning a special Edgar Award for 1974 s "The Onion Field", an account of the longest criminal trial in California history. His most recent work is the novel "Hollywood Moon" (2010).


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not read a Joseph Wambaugh book for many years and then I saw an ad for Hollywood Nocturne and thought I would see if he was still on the button for crazy, meandering tales, great characters and poignant stories. Yes he is still operating. Well on top of his game. I really enjoyed this tale from start to finish and as a result discovered some more zany police officers to add to the history. I looked forward to every reading session and derived enormous satisfaction. I would recommend this highly to any reader that likes their police stories and thrillers. Wambaugh is a top class author.
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Format: Hardcover
"Harbor Nocturne." This can, I guess, be considered a new mystery/police procedural standalone from noted best-selling American author Joseph Wambaugh. Although it interlocks with the Los Angeles native's acclaimed and popular HOLLYWOOD STATION police series.

LA's southern-most district, San Pedro, actually one of the world's busiest harbors, serves as the setting for this fictional outing. Dinko Babich, a youngish longshoreman, delivers Lita Medina, a young Mexican dancer/whore, from a local topless harbor dive to a Hollywood nightclub. As Wambaugh tells the finely calibrated, ultimately sad story of the unlucky pair's developing love affair and unfortunate involvement with Hollywood gangsters, their paths cross with colorful characters introduced in his Hollywood Station series: the surfer cops known as "Flotsam and Jetsam", aspiring actor "Hollywood Nate" Weiss, young Britney Small, and various new members of the midwatch.

The author here delivers a credible romance, intertwined with a satisfyingly multi-layered crime novel, laced with his habitual sardonic humor. Few writers can match his eye when it's at its sharpest, catching station house routines and the flavor of that auto-dependent mega-city on the West Coast. He does a particularly good job at capturing the styles and rhythms of the white, ethnic working class, and that's quite impressive to me, as he's been a bestselling author for many years now.

Wambaugh is a former LAPD detective, who has mined his on-the-job experience into a prolific, highly successful writing career. He has had many New York Times best-sellers, is a two-time Edgar winner, and is a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. He has been called "the father of the modern police novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Another great story from an author who just doesn't seem to lose his powers through the passage of time. If you are a fan of his definitely get it and if you haven't read him before you have a lot of catching up to do.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
this book was a present for my partner.he said the book was really good and likes the author .he sat there all day christmas reading over and over again.so yes this book is well worth it and a good read
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By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you liked Wambaugh's previous "Hollywood" slice-of-Los-Angeles-police-life books, beginning with Hollywood Station then you'll certainly enjoy this. It has all the same elements - the familiar characters (with the two surfing cops, Flotsam and Jetsam, and their incomprehensible jargon, well to the fore again), bizarre incidents, tragedy, camaraderie and convincingly frazzled lowlifes, all portrayed against a seething multiracial background featuring Russians, Koreans, Serbs, Croatians, Mexicans and Italians (to name only a few nationalities).

All very enjoyable and well worth reading, and by rating it 3 stars I don't mean to suggest it's not good, it is. However, for me, this didn't fizz along quite so well as the earlier volumes. The sections describing the police officers on their night-time patrols were as good as ever, but the subplot, or rather the plot, featuring unlikely love in LA's harbour district, did drag rather and the two elements came together less successfully than in previous books.

I don't know whether the formula is perhaps getting a little tired, or Wambaugh's well of LA police anecdotes might finally be running dry, but I don't think this is the best in the series. Readers of the earlier books will always welcome more of these stories, they're like old friends, but if you're new to them this might not be the best one to start with - I'd suggest reading "Hollywood Station" first, at least.
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