- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Days are anything but typical for harbor cops Fortney and Leeds when the America's Cup regattas come to town and San Diego swarms with sailors, schemers, spies, and saboteurs. It's a woman named Blaze who sets off a bizarre criminal trail that would be hilarious if it didn't wind up just as nasty as it gets, with a pair of murders right on the eve of the biggest sailing race of all. Ads in USA Today. Online promo. HC: Bantam. (Fiction--General)
Two stories intertwine to give Wambaugh plenty of rope for a sailboat suspenser set mostly on dry land. First come the adventures of redheaded Blaze Duvall, a call-girl masseuse who gets involved with snobby bachelor Ambrose Lutterworth Jr., a 63-year-old client who happens to be the Keeper of the Cup—now likely to go to the Australian sailing team, which clearly has the faster boats. Mother-haunted Ambrose loves the very costly Cup as if it were the Holy Grail and lures Blaze into helping him keep it: His plan is to wreck the swifter of the Aussie's two boats while it's in dry dock. Meanwhile, Blaze's speedballing buddy, street hooker Dawn Coyote, flees her pimp, Oliver Mantleberry, but not fast enough to avoid Oliver's knifeblade. When Dawn dies on Blaze's front walk and Blaze disappears, horny vice cop Letch Boggs and aging homicide detective Anne Zorn team up to nab the elusive Oliver. Mission Bay water cops Mick Fortney and his sidekick Leeds are seemingly meant to carry this tale, and they do come upon two bodies in the water (floaters), but their work on water or land has almost nothing to do with the plot's outcome—nor do they. Instead, these nonstop jokesters hang about bars where the Aussies blow off stress with booze and boasting. The author's descriptive powers get full play at last when the climax moves aboard a fabulous pleasure yacht.
No dimming of Wambaugh's storytelling skills or flow of smut. But his cop raunch, while amusing, has begun to pale.
"A master storyteller...Wambaugh dazzles." — Digby Diehl, Playboy
"Funny, exciting, and ultimately touching." —Chicago Tribune
"One of the best novels Joseph Wambaugh has written...Wambaugh is in rare form." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Wambaugh is at the top of his form here...raunchy and often hilarious." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"It won't killhim, but he'll have the mother of all hangovers."
"But he'll be okay, right?"
"Do I look like a murderer?"
Blaze hesitated, then said, "No, you don't look anything at all like any murderer I've seen lately."
"Actually it's a little more than a gram," Ambrose said. "I crushed eleven of the hundred-milligram tablets."
"What's in the other paper?"
"Same thing. Just in case something goes wrong with the first one. But, for God's sake, don't give him both!"
"And you have no fears about Simon Cooke?"
"None at all. I owe him."
"You didn't have to...do anything with him, did you?"
"Don't be silly, Ambrose. Can you imagine me in bed with someone like that?"
"No, of course not."
"Okay, I guess I'm ready."
"I'll have the money tomorrow afternoon. Twenty- five thousand. You know, I'm surprised Simon didn't make a demand of good faith. Didn't he ever ask for some money up front to prove our reliability?"
"I wouldn't have given him any front money. I don't trust him that much. But don't worry. I told you, I own him."
"You could own a lot of men, Blaze," Ambrose said.
"Wait up tonight, darling," Blaze said. "I'll phone you with a detailed report as soon as I get back to my hotel."
"Oh, didn't I tell you? Termites. Thirteen hundred bucks a month and I have to cope with termites. We've all had to move out for two days while they fumigate."
"Which hotel are you in?"
"That darling little place on Shelter Island. I selected it so I could be close to the sailor hangouts." Then she added, "And close to you. I like being close to you, Ambrose."
He was touched. He smiled and kissed her lightly, not wanting to smudge her lipstick. But he couldn't resist just touching her lips with the tip of his tongue. Blaze Duvall even tasted young.
Posted July 8, 2004
Floaters is not a bad novel, nor is it a memorable one. The plot is entertaining but far from original (you know, like a rerun of Miami Vice.) The best part is the ending. Wambaugh is one of the few authors who can actually write a plausible ending. It's the kind of book to bring on vacation or for a long airplane ride. That way if you happen to leave it on the beach or in seat B3, mourning the loss will only be temporary.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 15, 2008
Posted May 24, 2012
No text was provided for this review.