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Hollywood Moon: A Novel (Hollywood Station) Hardcover – November 24, 2009

98 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Hollywood Station Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Full of glimpses into the workings of low-level tech crime, bestseller Wambaugh's entertaining third Hollywood station novel (after Hollywood Crows) provides lots of laughs and gasps along with a few tender sighs. Trouble ensues after a husband-and-wife team of identity thieves, the weak-willed Dewey Gleason and his domineering mate, Eunice, cross paths with Malcolm Rojas, a creepy teenager with major anger-management issues. The heart of the story, though, comes from the vignettes of life on patrol among the cast of the station cops, including Hollywood Nate Weiss, the actor turned cop; Weiss's beautiful partner, Dana Vaughn; and the surfer duo, Flotsam and Jetsam, who at one point engage in a hilarious, extended dialogue of surfer-speak straight off the waves at Zuma. Spare and punchy prose fuels descriptions so on target that readers will feel they are riding shotgun, gazing out on Tinseltown's tawdry landscape. (Dec.)
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"Hollywood Moon has everything I love about Joseph Wambaugh--it's funny, then surprising, then suddenly shocking. This third installment in his Hollywood series is his best. The master of the police story just keeps getting better and better." (T. Jefferson Parker, author of The Renegades)

"Joseph Wambaugh's best book yet. Hollywood Moon is full of hilarious anecdotes that ring absolutely true, and the "through-story" about the Odd Couple computer thieves and the crazed stalker is especially strong. Most of all, I was deeply moved by the story of Dana Vaughn and Hollywood Nate. Re-encountering Nate and the surfer dudes and Compassionate Charley is like coming back to crazy but wonderful old friends. This book also made me eager to find a midget. And bowl with him." (Stephen King)

"[B]y turns hilarious, poignant and thrilling.... A meticulously realistic re-creation of cops' daily and, more important, inner lives.... One of the things that sets Wambaugh's cops and crooks apart from those in so many other mysteries and police procedurals is that he fixes both firmly in the same realistic social context.... The difference is that the cops, even in disillusion, retain something decent to which they can cling.... That constant is the spine that runs through Hollywood Moon as it has through all Wambaugh's LAPD novels. It's what allows you to find the black humor genuinely funny and to experience these masterful novels as something more than entertainment." (Los Angeles Times Tim Rutten)

"[W]hat other author could present cops, street people, and career criminals with such deadeye credibility? Or transpose slang up and out from the drug world into cop speak with absolutely perfect pitch? Only Wambaugh, former street cop and sergeant with the LAPD and author of 18 works of fiction and nonfiction..... In his latest, his fourteenth novel since the groundbreaking The New Centurions, the cops at Hollywood Station are trying to track a thug whose specialty is vicious attacks on women and various street criminals; in the process, the team sniffs out a high-tech scam. Crimes escalate and fun abounds." (Booklist)

"Full of glimpses into the workings of low-level tech crime, bestseller Wambaugh's entertaining third "Hollywood station" novel (after Hollywood Crows) provides lots of laughs and gasps along with a few tender sighs.... Spare and punchy prose fuels descriptions so on target that readers will feel they are riding shotgun, gazing out on Tinseltown's tawdry landscape." (Publishers Weekly)

"Hollywood Moon is the third novel in Joseph Wambaugh's series about the denizens of the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division--and it is by far the best.... The story is told in the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master's uniquely readable style.... The book has a fast pace, the mood swings pleasingly from tragic to darkly comic, and the characters are memorable and believable, making Hollywood Moon the most enjoyable Joseph Wambaugh novel in more than a decade." (San Francisco Chronicle)

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Product Details

  • Series: Hollywood Station
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316045187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316045186
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

More About the Author

Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant, is the bestselling author of eighteen prior works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Choirboys and The Onion Field. Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times' said, "Joseph Wambaugh is one of those Los Angeles authors whose popular success always has overshadowed his importance as a writer. Wambaugh is an important writer not simply because he's ambitious and technically accomplished, but also because he 'owns' a critical slice of L.A.'s literary real estate: the Los Angeles Police Department -- not just its inner workings, but also its relationship to the city's political establishment and to its intricately enmeshed social classes. There is no other American metropolis whose civic history is so inextricably intertwined with the history of its police department. That alone would make Wambaugh's work significant, but the importance of his best fiction and nonfiction is amplified by his unequaled ability to capture the nuances of the LAPD's isolated and essentially Hobbesian tribal culture."
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 or

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By quietstorm on December 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a young boy when I became aware of Wambaugh...a downtown movie theatre poster for an R-rated New Centurions I could not see, if memory serves. I started reading him when I was in my 20's, which was during the 80's. I have read them all, and re-read most of them starting in the late 90's. So I know this guy's books.

I love the three Hollywood books he put out in the past 2 or 3 years. I was not expecting them and I was pleased at how good they are. The second one was better than the first and this, the third one, is really dynamite and the best of the three.

Sometimes the wit and wisecracks from various characters and the humorous statements made in plot exposition sound like they come from the same person (which they do of course...the author). But if I had to chose, I'd leave all of it in because it's not a big distraction, and trust me, there are some priceless LOL lines.

The story is a page turner and towards the end I could not put it down. If you have any reason to think you might like it (e.g. liked one of his books) you probably will. You don't have to read the others to get anything in this book; it stands alone. If you like cop stories and cop dialog and weird but believeable street charactors you will enjoy it.

For Mr. Wambaugh: I vote the Hollywood series continue! It's a winner and just gets better and better. "We're gravy, bro!"
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"For you new people, a Hollywood moon is what the Oracle called a full moon, and tonight we're getting close. The team with the weirdest call gets an extra-large pizza with the works....of course, we'll share the pizza with the winners. Too much of that stuff is not healthy for you."

For the LAPD, it's the city streets that are not healthy. The officer known fondly as the Oracle has been "end of shift" for many years. It is now considered bad luck not to touch his picture when filing out of roll call. You won't catch the cops on the Middle Watch hitting the streets without indulging their superstition. No one knows better than they do that it takes more than training to keep them alive. A little luck can't hurt.

In this newest novel from former LAPD detective Joseph Wambaugh, fans will revisit some old familiar characters in new situations, along with fresh felons and a transplanted cop or two to spice things up. But, have no doubt, the streets of L.A. have gotten much uglier and filled with much bigger problems. The sheer amount of crime is overwhelming in the City of Angels.

One problem child, 19-year-old Malcolm Rojas, has serious problems with anger management. A very young teen named Naomi Teller has developing problems with an older boy named Clark Jones, also known as Malcolm Rojas. Identity thief Dewey Gleason has constant problems with Eunice, his wife of nine years. And his runners Tristan and New Jerzy have budding problems with Dewey and Eunice. It's a very tangled web.

But it's all nothing compared to the plethora of problems the Hollywood Division has. For days, you can ride along with "Hollywood" Nate Weiss and his partner as they try to catch what's shaping up to be a serial rapist.
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Format: Hardcover
As the story begins the reader is re-introduced to numerous characters from earlier Wambaugh novels such as cops "Hollywood Nate"... surfer dude/cops "Flotsam and Jetsam"... and the late great "Oracle" who was a legend in his own time... and who is still revered by current cops... who superstitiously touch his framed photo as they leave the precinct to go out on duty. The "Oracle" in days gone by had termed a full moon... a "HOLLYWOOD MOON"... the night when the craziest arrests would be made. In loving memory... there is normally a free extra large pizza with the works presented to the team that comes in with the craziest arrest on a "HOLLYWOOD-MOON-NIGHT". It's normally a closely competed contest... since as they say in the Hollywood precinct... HEY! THIS IS FREAKIN HOLLYWOOD!

As the reader is bedazzled with the normal daily chit-chat and insanity that the cops take as common sense and logic... simultaneously multiple criminal characters are developed and the author deftly shifts the characters and the cops from foreground to background... and then with a literary synergy they all... good guys and bad guys... merge and overlap like rivers heading to the sea. There is Ruben Malcolm Rojas (aka Clark) a nineteen-year-old who lives with his drunken Mother... has eyes on a fourteen-year-old girl... gets upset and boils when his Mother pets his hair... and one of the ways he "relieves" himself is to attempt rapes on older women. He has a job in a store where he has become handy with a box cutter as he unpacks boxes all day. Then we have Dewey Gleason (aka Jakob Kessler aka Ambrose Willis aka Bernie Graham) who runs multiple crews of lowlifes heavily populated by "tweakers" and minorities... that specialize in stealing mail... forging checks... counterfeiting checks...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schwinghammer VINE VOICE on December 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a blurb on the cover, Stephen King refers to HOLLYWOOD MOON as "Joseph's Wambaugh's best yet." That's stretching things a bit; it's not as good as THE NEW CENTURIONS or THE CHOIRBOYS or even THE BLUE KNIGHTS, but it is the best of the "Hollywood" trio he's written since he's been back on the scene.

MOON is better than the other two in that, here, Wambaugh is more focused on the story; If there's a drawback to the two previous Hollywood novels, it's that they're too episodic. There's some of that here: Flotsam and Jetsam stop a driver who isn't wearing pants, or underwear. But, for the most part Wambaugh centers on conman Dewey Gleason and his wife, Eunice, who are into stealing credit cards, real estate frauds and a thousand other hustles. Dewey feels unappreciated, and Eunice keeps comparing him to her former husband who is doing fifteen years in the clink. Dewey employs two "runners," Tristan and Jerzy. Tristan is a whole lot smarter than most of Dewey's runners, and Jerzy is a homicidal psycho. The three soon team up against Eunice.

The "B" story involves Malcolm Rojas, a handsome teenager with mother issues. He's been attacking women with a box cutter, but he's also a candidate for one of Dewey's henchmen and Eunice becomes enamored of the curly-haired Malcolm.

Meanwhile, the boys and girls at Hollywood station are hot in pursuit. They're not as quirky as they have been in the past. Hollywood Nate is now thirty-seven and beginning to realize that his acting career is pretty much a pipe dream. Flotsam and Jetsam, the surfer dudes, act more like cops. In the process of following the Dewey story, we learn a lot about how crooks steal credit cards. They steal the mail for one thing, and they use something called a skimmer, attaching it to gas station pumps.
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