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Hollywood Hills: A Novel Hardcover – November 16, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (November 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031612950X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316129503
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #900,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The LAPD's Hollywood Station deals with some of the strangest lawbreakers anywhere, as shown in MWA Grand Master Wambaugh's amusing fourth novel to feature Hollywood Nate Weiss, surfer cops Flotsam and Jetsam, and the rest of the series' colorful police crew (after Hollywood Moon). In the main plot line, the paths of a pair of drug-addled thieves--high school dropout Jonas Claymore and his down-on-her-luck housemate, Megan Burke--converge and collide with those of snooty art dealer Nigel Wickland and sleazy part-time butler Raleigh L. Dibble with results both absurd and tragic. Meanwhile, Wambaugh diverts with smaller episodes about such odd Hollywood denizens as the Wedgie Bandit and the Goths, a couple whose dress and house channels the Addams family. Veteran police officer Della Ravelle's sage mentoring of young officer Britney Small lends some gravity to this deliciously convoluted caper. (Nov.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Critics compared aspects of Joseph Wambaugh’s latest novel to James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, Raymond Chandler’s noir classics, and—wait for it—the work of British historian Edward Gibbon (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire): an overstatement in all three cases, to be sure, though the kernel of truth in each is based on Wambaugh’s reputation as a crime writer’s crime writer. In fact, he’s a master of language, human nature, and narrative pyrotechnics rivaled these days only by James Ellroy, particularly in the dissolute-lifestyles genre that he commandeers in the Hollywood Station books. Wambaugh has not only managed to keep his edge; he’s continued to hone his craft. For a crime writer 40 years in the game, that’s cause for celebration.

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Customer Reviews

Great characters, great story development.
Edward H. Prenavo
Wambaugh's prose makes this a very funny sequence...I laughed out loud.
This book and the Hollywood Moon book are what Wambaugh excels at.
Clarence Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There are sparks of vintage Wambaugh in Hollywood Hills, the wry, sometimes poignant observations that gave his early work its authentic cache. Wambaugh made his bones in The New Centurions and The Onion Field, his later years inspiring a blend of humor, absurdity and real cop lore. I haven't been fond of the Hollywood series, often too stereotypical, but in this novel the particular camaraderie of law enforcement is a strong element in the plot. Familiar characters return, "Hollywood Nate" Weiss, Flotsam and Jetsam, the surfer cops, but with less absurdity and more of the in-your-face drama of the streets, the split-second decisions and bizarre threats arising from even the most innocent request for help from authorities.

Underneath the daily role calls, the crazy antics of a "Hollywood Moon" and the unpredictable residents of the city, the cops of Hollywood Division go on their nightly rounds prepared for any outrageous situation that comes over the radio. Hollywood Nate is temporarily paired with Lorenzo "Snuffy" Salcedo, Nate yet to realize his dreams of stardom in spite of the SAG card he carries in his wallet. A meeting with a B-list director, Rudy Ressler, offers an intimate encounter with the surgically-enhanced widow, Leona Brueger (shades of "Sunset Boulevard"), but the usual petty criminals and tweakers are busy ruining their lives and endangering citizens, including Jonas Claymore, who is obsessed with the Bling Ring and Nigel Wickland, an art dealer with a scheme to profit from the wealthy Widow Brueger's upcoming tour of Tuscany.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Philly gal VINE VOICE on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Joseph Wambaugh has been writing about police and police work since the 70s. He published his first work while still an LAPD cop. I can remember reading The Onion Field and the powerful impact it had on me. After the turbulent times of the 1960's, Wambaugh did more to build back the reputation of the police than any other writer. His work was dark (The New Centurions, The Blue Knight) but enthralling as he laid out the emotional cost of police work. I haven't read Wambaugh's books in a long time so I was surprised with Hollywood Hills. It is a police procedural but in a much lighter vein than I expected. It chronicles the stories of the police who work out of Hollywood division in Los Angeles. It is a fast moving story with a plot centered on an art theft. There are a myriad of characters - both cops and crooks. The story is told by alternating the narrative between the police and the criminals. It is funny and the dialogue is realistic (except for the two surfer cops who were unintelligible to me). Wambaugh's depiction of every day police work seems so real, cops get in fights with bad guys, and cops get their noses broken, no super heroes here, just everyday police work. No one character is the center of this novel, each character is lightly drawn and given a place in the story but the lack of character development for me, reduces my enthusiasm for the book. Hollywood Hills is part of a series (Hollywood Moon, Hollywood Station, Hollywood Crows) but is easily read as a standalone book. If you have read and liked the other books in this series I am sure you'll enjoy this one, if you are looking for a Wambaugh story from a previous era I think you'll be disappointed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By AC500Driver on December 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Regular readers are now friends and very comfortable with most of the characters working Hollywood Station. Read the Hollywood series in order if at all possible. No author can write about cops as Wambaugh can. The scene where the boot knife is searched for and the dialog right after gave me goose bumps. So real, so very real; and moving. Wambaugh is the real deal and the rest of those who write of cops are not even close; even Connelly and Connelly is good. Wambaugh's take on female cops is intriguing and must be right on as well. He takes a number of them to dinner, minus male cops, and gets the lowdown for plots and characters. He never stops being the investigator. And, we benefit.

I hate when I notice not many pages remain when reading Wambaugh novels, but keep in mind the years of 'jones-ing' during his writing hiatus for too many years and am thankful for what I can get my hands on.

The 'Oracle' during my tenure on the street was Sgt Richard 'The Hooker' Traylor. RIP Hook, and Semper Cop. Catch you at that really big roll call someday.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mary Gramlich VINE VOICE on November 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Every city has its story and is filled with every manner of character willing to tell you all about what makes them tick, the more personal the better. In Joseph Wambaugh's latest Hollywood Hills series he explores this theory and writes the story from every perspective possible in rapid fire succession. He starts with the police officer who wants to be a movie star, the struggling director that wants to be an Oscar winner, the drug addict trying to figure out how to get the money for the next score, an ex-con working a new angle, the art thief plotting his next idea, all the police officers on the beat dealing with all of this and still getting up the next day to do it all over again.

There are so many people coming and going in this book and the chapters are fast reads and come at you from every point of view. You are interjected with thoughts, feelings and desperate acts that you at times feel you need to be writing the characters down just to keep up but just as you are saying "who is that guy" Mr. Wambaugh pulls everything together so that you know what this character is up to, thinking and figuring out their next move along with them. It is fascinating reading and everyone in this book completes it and without each of them it would not work as well which is something this author is the master of.

Every person has a reason for being in the story and every reader will be mesmerized as they follow the plot of all these lives. As a fan of the police procedural book that Joseph Wambaugh writes this one stands out for me because he has taken the core characters and expanded them and pulled in new ones in such a way you can't put this book down until you figure out what is going to happen. I am thrilled to have read this and been able to hopefully sell a few copies with this review.
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