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Floaters Hardcover – May 1, 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A plot to sabotage New Zealand's entry in the America's Cup regatta forms the premise for Wambaugh's latest police thriller, a slow-moving affair that nonetheless features the author's usual rough-and-tumble prose as well as an intriguing examination of both aquatic police work and the world of competitive yachting. The prime conspirator is Ambrose Lutterworth, the "Keeper of the Cup," an aging real estate agent and yachting enthusiast. Ambrose hopes to prevent the trophy from leaving its temporary home at the San Diego Yacht Club by using expensive call girl Blaze Duvall to coerce the city's harbor crane operator into damaging the powerful New Zealand boat in dry dock, ensuring an American victory. Blaze's conspicuous trail is picked up by a pair of harbor cops, Fortney and Leeds, who receive some vital assistance from a couple of vice cops. Wambaugh takes too long to develop Lutterworth's unimaginative scheme and to link an eventual murder to the posh world of the America's Cup. The sparks fly, however, when the sabotage plan unravels and an attempted blackmail results in another murder. The author's trademark sardonic writing is in full force here, and the police material is, as always, authentic, with the harbor cops' antics particularly entertaining. This may not be Wambaugh's high water mark, but it's not his low tide, either.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In Wambaugh's (The Golden Orange, Morrow, 1992) latest, San Diego cops investigate murder during the America's Cup.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553103512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553103519
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 5, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is just another example of Mr. Wambaugh's extroadinary ability to capture the reader's mind & put them into the character's phych. One almost has to feel sorry for the killer in as much as his thought's regarding the killing, cup and social face is hiliarious. Keeep them coming Mr. Wambaugh!!! Sierra Schoffstall, Columbia, SC
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my second experience reading Wambaugh, the first being "The Golden Orange". Wambaugh's strength lies in his sharp, cynical, sarcastic and blackly humerous use of language. I laughed out loud at his witty and dark brand of humor. His command of the English language and cynical look at Americana seen through the eyes of cops and robbers is worth the price of admission alone. This novel works mostly through his style, and the plot is greatly enhanced through his wordplay. I learned more about Americas Cup racing than I ever wanted to know, yet was never bored throughout "Floaters". A lesser writer might not have been able to make such a plot work, since the finale is laced with coincedence and irony, yet Wambaugh's style more than makes up for any potentially lame plot twists. This is not to say that the plot is poor or predictable; it's neither. But the fact is that few writers would be able to pull off such a tale.
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By A Customer on August 13, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As an avid Wambaugh fan, I was again drawn into this book. His style of writing keeps the readers attention and prevents you from putting it down. Especially nice is the way he allows his readers to get to know the charactors so well. You will be be surprised, entertained, and amused as Wambaugh takes you through the world of sailing and the America's Cup regattas in San Diego
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Format: Hardcover
If the reader looks for intrigue, coupled with suspense, and . . . "The bums got what they deserved!" ending, including a bit of the "behind-the-scenes camaraderie and mystery" which surround the America's Cup international sailing regatta, Welcome! Street cop and vice squad squalor at its best. Wambaugh's a winner every time
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Great story as always. I read the whole "Hollywood" series , and needed to catch up to some older Wambaugh stories I have missed. A friend of mine and recommended this one. It did not disappoint.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wambaugh drifts away from his typical police stories, though it does have a crime angle. Most of the book tells a great ditty about the worlds most famous yachting race, but it also makes the law and order reader happy bringing in a couple of interesting cops to round out this cast.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The 1995 America's Cup sailboat racing matches in San Diego provide the dishwater backdrop for this plodding example of a fine writer wasting his skills.

The Cup matches mean different things to different people. For harbor cops Fortney and Leeds, it's a chance to watch the hi-jinx of assorted rich folk and "looky-loos" who gather to see how the event plays out. For Blaze the prostitute, it means some extra money if she's willing to take some more chances in an already risky life. For Ambrose Lutterworth, the "Keeper of the Cup," it means doing whatever it takes to keep the Cup out of Kiwi hands and show his dead mother she didn't raise a coward after all.

I wish I could say all this comes together with the humor or ruthless efficiency I associate with other Wambaugh books, both his other novels as well as non-fiction works. But I'd be lying worse than Blaze if I did.

"Floaters" takes about half of its nearly 300 pages just to introduce what passes for a plot, wiling away the pages on assorted one-liners on then-current events (the book was published in 1996) like the O. J. Simpson trial and Ross Perot's presidential candidacy. It gets to be too much fast, like eavesdropping on writers at the Arsenio Hall Show breakroom. "This conversation is like Roseanne in a chiffon teddy." "Easy, Simon, you sound like Sally Field at the Academy Awards." And so on, Wambaugh making his already slight characters thoroughly artificial by pushing too hard for a flip tone.

Then there's the plot, which kind of lurches into the story at the halfway point and never pulls in all the flotsam in its wake.
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By A Customer on March 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Being a fan of The Glitter Dome, Delta Star and his other works I was expecting a typical Wambaugh. This one wasn't. It struck me more as an Elmore Leonard with Wambaugh humor in it.
It was funny. It did make me laugh out loud causing stares for it seems America needs to get a good sense of humor. I would have been asking the title something like the woman in the Restaurant scene in Harry and Sally.
The plot revolves around saving the Americas Cup for the USA and the people that play a part in the crime and the people that effect the efforts of the police and the crime. The view switches between the leads. The cup itself is the main character not any one person. This can lead to thinking it is a slow plot or confusing. The talk of the cup and the racers reaches a point of boredom but Wambaugh himself writes into the book that no one else cares about this stuff just when you are about to say "Give the cup away."
Not your typical Wambaugh.
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