Customer Reviews for

Harbor Nocturne

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Harbor Nocturne

Joseph Wambaugh and a new LAPD novel – not much more needs to be said, does it?

But I will anyway.

The characters in this novel fall into two groups: The cops [primarily in what used to be called the Hollywood Division, now Hollywood Station, a name more sensitiv...
Joseph Wambaugh and a new LAPD novel – not much more needs to be said, does it?

But I will anyway.

The characters in this novel fall into two groups: The cops [primarily in what used to be called the Hollywood Division, now Hollywood Station, a name more sensitive to the societal reaction to the old name - - typical of the sensitivity-training-filled culture imposed on the various precinct houses], and the denizens of Hollywood, mostly a mixture of various ethnicities – Asian, Hispanic, Eastern European – the majority of whom, it would seem, brought their less-than-honest proclivities with them from their native lands.

The cops with whom readers will be familiar from past Wambaugh novels are, happily, still here. As the book opens, the surfers, “Flotsam” and “Jetsam” [the latter now having a prosthetic leg following a recent incident], are discussing with 28-year-old Sergeant Thaddeus Hawthorne [nicknamed “Sgt. Edgar” for his resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe] his scheme designed to bust a particularly gruesome criminal enterprise headed by a man with a sexually-based fascination with amputated limbs, aided by the aforementioned surf rats.

Much of the action takes place in the town of San Pedro, whose churches offer Sunday Masses in Croatian, Italian and Spanish, where we meet Dinko Babich, who describes the town as one “where the ocean meets the ghetto.” Sitting out a suspension from his job at the docks as a longshoreman, he picks up money where he can, primarily doing odd jobs for “facilitator” Hector Cozzo [known as Hector the Collector] tonight entailing picking up a stunning 19-year-old Mexican girl, Lita Medina, from a strip bar near the harbor to a similar enterprise in Hollywood. Dinko is immediately smitten with the girl, ultimately acting as her protector when a series of events [including a couple of murders] threaten her and, by extension, Dinko.

The author’s extensive knowledge of, familiarity with and affection for the cops of LA is made very apparent. The non-PC and, one must assume, realistic terms of reference are abundant throughout. Anything weirder than usual and otherwise inexplicable is explained as simply “this is f****** Hollywood!” and “the insanity of Hollywood will eventually overwhelm you.” Despite the fact that it starts out in low gear, the pace picks up as it goes along, and the book packs quite a wallop. Recommended.

posted by gloriafeit on April 3, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

A very poor example of a police novel. Joseph Wambaugh has becom

A very poor example of a police novel. Joseph Wambaugh has become the type of "dime store trash novel" authors that are so ubiquitous today that his novels just seem to run together as one big, hazy blur. It has become very difficult to distinguish any of his ...
A very poor example of a police novel. Joseph Wambaugh has become the type of "dime store trash novel" authors that are so ubiquitous today that his novels just seem to run together as one big, hazy blur. It has become very difficult to distinguish any of his last 3-4 novels from each other. Joseph Wambaugh is also very convinced that he is the only person in the world who "understands" the cop culture. Mr. Wambaugh uses far too much "cop specific jargon", "gang specific jargon" and "teenage specific jargon" that he thinks is funny but is just so much "ho hum" humor that add very little to the character of the book. Mr. Wambaugh seems bent on defending the LAPD for the rest of his life despite the arrogance, hubris and outright contempt displayed by that organization towards all of society [even towards other police agencies] except for their own kind.. Mr. Wambaugh has spent the better part of the last 2 decades writing dime store type novels that depict and portray the male police officer as a weak, sniveling, drunken, suicidal degenerate and naively portrays all female officers as a "gift from heaven"..Writing this critique from someone who has been in the police profession for the past 30 years, Wambaugh's approach to police work in his low grade novels has become hopelessly simplistic and is fast becoming his standard for his novels..His latest novels seem to be "cut, copy and paste" cookie cutter versions of his previous novels...He would be better off spending his time researching a real life true crime story and doing some real investigative work writing the story on that subject, rather than churning out cheap novel after cheap novel that might take a couple of months to write and publish...However that would take some real journalistic effort on his part and frankly I don't see him up to the task....Save your money and buy a much better book that just came out entitled "Killing The Messenger" by Thomas Peele, a true crime story about the murder of Oakland CA Journalist Chauncey Bailey several years prior. This book was written by a real journalist who spent alot of painstaking years researching his subject before writing an excellent true crime story....

posted by CaligulaMP on April 6, 2012

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    Why is this still selling for $14.85? The hard cover is only $1

    Why is this still selling for $14.85? The hard cover is only $15.84, and the paperback is $9.99. Amazon is $12.99. If you consider printing, shipping, and inventory and personnel costs of selling books in the store. why isn't the ebook version a lot less expensive?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    A very poor example of a police novel. Joseph Wambaugh has becom

    A very poor example of a police novel. Joseph Wambaugh has become the type of "dime store trash novel" authors that are so ubiquitous today that his novels just seem to run together as one big, hazy blur. It has become very difficult to distinguish any of his last 3-4 novels from each other. Joseph Wambaugh is also very convinced that he is the only person in the world who "understands" the cop culture. Mr. Wambaugh uses far too much "cop specific jargon", "gang specific jargon" and "teenage specific jargon" that he thinks is funny but is just so much "ho hum" humor that add very little to the character of the book. Mr. Wambaugh seems bent on defending the LAPD for the rest of his life despite the arrogance, hubris and outright contempt displayed by that organization towards all of society [even towards other police agencies] except for their own kind.. Mr. Wambaugh has spent the better part of the last 2 decades writing dime store type novels that depict and portray the male police officer as a weak, sniveling, drunken, suicidal degenerate and naively portrays all female officers as a "gift from heaven"..Writing this critique from someone who has been in the police profession for the past 30 years, Wambaugh's approach to police work in his low grade novels has become hopelessly simplistic and is fast becoming his standard for his novels..His latest novels seem to be "cut, copy and paste" cookie cutter versions of his previous novels...He would be better off spending his time researching a real life true crime story and doing some real investigative work writing the story on that subject, rather than churning out cheap novel after cheap novel that might take a couple of months to write and publish...However that would take some real journalistic effort on his part and frankly I don't see him up to the task....Save your money and buy a much better book that just came out entitled "Killing The Messenger" by Thomas Peele, a true crime story about the murder of Oakland CA Journalist Chauncey Bailey several years prior. This book was written by a real journalist who spent alot of painstaking years researching his subject before writing an excellent true crime story....

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2012

    Amazon is selling this Ebook for 12.99?

    Amazon is selling this Ebook for 12.99?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    NOT "THE CHOIR BOYS"

    I have been a devoted reader of Wambaugh. His non-fiction work is great. This piece of fiction is not up to what I know as Wambaugh's work. Slow, complicated character development.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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