Harbor Nocturne Mass Market Paperback – 20 Dec 2012
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"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
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
well up to his usual high standards,i continue to collect his work wherever/whenever i see it...recommendedPublished on 5 Aug. 2014 by jinx
What can I say? Joseph WAmbaugh is getting a bit 'safe' in his old age! His books used to be great reading...but this one wasn't that good!Published on 20 Jun. 2013 by Rosy-Posy
Tis guy is one of my favourite authors and this is one of his best . Its a very entertaining and involving book.Published on 13 Jun. 2013 by Moonlighter88
Not directly a Hollywood series book but with some of those characters. But still the great Wambaugh style, and the usual mix of lowlifes and craziness, great read!Published on 13 Mar. 2013 by Joann Timuoy