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Harbor Nocturne Hardcover – April 3, 2012
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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
More About the Author
Understandably, then, Wambaugh, who lives in California, is known as the "cop-author" with emphasis on the former, since, according to him, most of his fantasies involve the arrest and prosecution of half of California's motorists. Wambaugh still prefers the company of police officers and interviews hundreds of them for story material. However, he is aghast that these days most of the young cops drink iced tea or light beer, both of which he finds exceedingly vile, causing him to obsessively fume with Hamlet that, 'The time is out of joint.' He expects to die in a road rage encounter. For more information please visit www.josephwambaugh.net or www.hollywoodmoon.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Wambaugh has written a suspense tale that was not an easy read. I could see the tragedy that was in the making but the surprise ending tripped me up. I never saw it coming! But oh, it took so long to get into this novel!
Wambaugh is clearly a masterful storyteller who causes you to care about his characters. In retrospect, I can see that I stuck with the book through its early sections only because Wambaugh is such a superb storyteller. Had he been otherwise I fear that I would have put the book away early on and would have been deprived of what turned out to be a rewarding novel.
From the moment I began reading, I felt that this was a unique style of writing ... a style whose only analog I can find is Nathaniel Hawthorne or Victor Hugo. Now, what in the world does this mean? When I have read works by Hawthorne or Hugo, I felt that I was going to, perhaps, some dark places of human experience, but that I was being guided by a wise, compassionate, and competent hand. I felt that maybe I would read of bad things, but that I would be safe through it all.
As I continued to read Harbor Nocturne, that feeling only continued. The places we went, frankly, could have been a whole lot darker. Wambaugh's style is a wry irony, a gentle touch, an almost report-like presentation. We don't need emotionalism and preachiness as we look into the worlds of human trafficking, prostitution, and amputation fetish. And we don't get them.
With minimal prose, Wambaugh creates characters so real, I could hear their voices as I read ... could see the stubble on their chins, the sun-bleached streaked hair ... could feel the ocean breeze of San Pedro and hear the accented voices of its people going about their activities. Dinko, the longshoreman stoner who finds love; Markov, the icy cold Serb thug who only plays a Russian cause they're the "in" crowd; Hector, the mullet wielding weasel whose bad choices cost just a life or two; and the real stars of the show (in a most underplayed way) ... the beat coppers of Hollywood Station. Of all the wonderful things Wambaugh has done in this book, weaving the mid-watch roll calls and service calls through the main plot is a masterful touch.Read more ›
While most of the familiar faces from the series are back - notably surfer-cops Flotsam and Jetsam, Hollywood Nate and his now gunslinger partner Britney Small - the story is set in LA's southern most part, the bustling port of San Pedro. Dinko Babich is a young and listless longshoreman of Croatian roots, living with his widowed mom and bemoaning San Pedro's ethic shift from Italian/Croat to Hispanic/black. While on a 30 day suspension for drug usage, Dinko runs into his old high school buddy Hector Cuzzo, now a low level thug trying to project an image of living large, while in reality a glorified errand boy for second rate strip joints and the Eastern European and Korean gangsters who run them. Through Hector, Dinko meets Lita Medina Flores, a beautiful 19 year old Mexican dancer smuggled across the border to entertain in the clubs where Cuzzo is employed. But a shipping container with 13 dead Thai's is discovered and Lita, fearing she knows too much, is taken home for protection by the naïve and love-smitten Dinko. Dinko's traditional mother, aghast at first, finds herself falling for Lita's innocence and charm, soon forming an inseparable threesome. Meanwhile, Hollywood station's midwatch ventures out each evening to keep the panhandlers on Hollywood Boulevard in check, and Flotsam and a one-footed Jetsam try their hand at undercover work with vice to try and break up a prostitution ring, all wrapped around sundry tales of domestic abuse, bizarre sexual perversions, and even a gypsy curse.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While not as good as the New Centurions, the Blue Knight or the Choirboys, this is a well written story that is both funny and sad at the same time. Read morePublished 4 days ago by MABryant
I bought 40 books to complete my collection by S. Cannell, M. Connelly, J. Patterson, & J. Wambaugh. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
One great book. Exciting storyline one of Wambaugh's best works & I've now read them all!Published 2 months ago by Gmcbob
Long time since I've read one of his books, but enjoyed this one. If you like his style of police and crime stories you should like this one too.Published 2 months ago by BeSmart
Have been a Wambaugh fan for many years. Used to live in Los Angeles and knew many LAPD officers. Wambaugh truly "tells it like it is. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Clayton J Stott
Like this story. The people are real the situations are crazy. Life has some odd twists that can be learning experiences with joy and pain.Published 3 months ago by Cathleen P