Hollywood Station (Hollywood Station Series #1)

( 51 )


A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Joseph Wambaugh invented the modern police procedural thriller. Now in his long-awaited return to the LAPD, he deploys his bone-deep understanding of cops' lives—and a lethal sense of humor—in a stunning new novel.

For a cop, a night on the job means killing time and trying not to get killed. If you're in Hollywood Division, it also means dealing with some of the most desperate criminals anywhere. Now the violent robbery of a Hollywood ...

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A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Joseph Wambaugh invented the modern police procedural thriller. Now in his long-awaited return to the LAPD, he deploys his bone-deep understanding of cops' lives—and a lethal sense of humor—in a stunning new novel.

For a cop, a night on the job means killing time and trying not to get killed. If you're in Hollywood Division, it also means dealing with some of the most desperate criminals anywhere. Now the violent robbery of a Hollywood jewelry store quickly connects to a Russian nightclub and an undercover operation gone wrong, and the sergeant they call the Oracle and his squad of quirky cops have to make sense of it all. From an officer who dreams of stardom, to a single mother packing a breast pump, to partners who'd rather be surfing, they'll take you on a raucous ride through a gritty city where no one is safe. Especially not the cops.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Crime fiction icon Joseph Wambaugh's highly anticipated Hollywood Station -- his first novel in a decade (since 1996's Floaters) -- marks his triumphant return to the Los Angeles Police Department, the locale of some of his most memorable works, like The New Centurions, The Onion Field, and The Choirboys.

In an LAPD shackled by a federal consent decree, the officers of Hollywood Station spend as much time covering their butts from Internal Affairs henchmen, politically correct oversight committees, an overzealous media, and lawsuit-obsessed residents as they do patrolling the streets. The understaffed and overworked officers -- a misfit group that includes surfer dudes, aspiring actors, single mothers, and ornery old-timers -- do their best to combat the never-ending flow of drug pushers, prostitutes, crazed panhandlers, and roving gang-bangers. But a series of peculiar heists sets the officers of Hollywood Station on a collision course with some of L.A.'s most vicious -- and desperate -- criminals…

As a former LAPD detective sergeant, Wambaugh has a hard-nosed perspective on the unpleasant realities of police work, and that's what powers this addictively page-turning novel. The brilliantly authentic dialogue, the brutally realistic sequences involving a virtual parade of demented perps (the homeless guy who can defecate on cue, the flasher dressed as Darth Vader, et al.), and especially the profoundly moving insight into police officers' personal lives make Wambaugh's long-awaited return to the LAPD (it's been more than two decades since 1983's The Delta Star) an absolute triumph. It's fitting that Wambaugh was recently honored by the Mystery Writers of America as a Grand Master -- Hollywood Station is yet another masterwork. Paul Goat Allen
Kevin Allman
There's a plot here about the scourges of identity theft and crystal meth, but the backbone of Hollywood Station is a highly entertaining collection of macho (and macha) police stories that are too outrageous and hilarious not to be true, probably having been swapped among real officers over rounds of after-shift Budweisers…Wambaugh's anecdotes and observations make this a welcome return for the man whose sardonic view of police work was the bridge between "Dragnet" and "Hill Street Blues."
—The Washington Post
Marilyn Stasio
It's a serious pleasure to have Joseph Wambaugh back in Los Angeles and writing another blisteringly funny police procedural about the L.A.P.D. While it may have taken him a couple of decades to get his mojo back, after some half-baked books set elsewhere in Southern California, Hollywood Station has all the authority, outrage, compassion and humor of the great early novels (like The New Centurions and The Choirboys) this onetime cop wrote in the 1970s.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Wambaugh's outstanding new novel, his first in a decade, is not only a return to form but a return to his LAPD roots. Times have sure changed since the 1970s, the setting for some of Wambaugh's best earlier works such as The New Centurions and The Onion Field. Grossly understaffed, the officers of Hollywood Station find themselves writing bogus field interviews with nonexistent white suspects in minority neighborhoods to avoid allegations of racial profiling. Crystal meth rules the streets, and crackheads and glass freaks dressed in costume (Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Darth Vader, Elmo) work the tourist strip, bumming money for their next fix. With an impressive array of police characters, from surfer dude partners "Flotsam" and "Jetsam" to aspiring actor "Hollywood" Nate Weiss and single mother Budgie Polk, Wambaugh creates a realistic microcosm of the modern-day LAPD. Today's crop of crime writers, including Michael Connelly and George Pelecanos, obviously owe a debt to Wambaugh. The master proves that he can still deliver. 5-city author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Forbes Magazine
As any tourist can testify, reel Hollywood is a polar opposite of the real Hollywood. Wambaugh brilliantly brings the tawdry, pathetically delusional Hollywood to life through the eyes of a police department reeling from scandal, the 1992 Rodney King riots and a federal consent decree that could have been concocted only by a Justice Department inhaling Alice-in-Wonderland-like substances. (21 May 2007)
—Steve Forbes
Library Journal
Thirty-five years after the debut of The New Centurions, the grand master of cop fiction is back with another inside look at life in the Los Angeles Police Department. But whereas Wambaugh used the 1965 Watts riots as the backdrop to Centurions, here he chooses post-Rodney King Los Angeles to present a new set of challenges to today's Los Angeles cops. Handcuffed by a paranoid, stifling bureaucracy, Wambaugh's police characters are deeply flawed but intensely devoted to protect and serve the citizens of America's second-largest city. Holding the troops of Hollywood Station together is the Oracle, a sergeant who has been on the force for almost 50 years. Wambaugh removes the layers from the street-tough cops and exposes their unique blend of bravado and fallibility, but he has proven to be equally adept at examining the psyche of tweakers, scammers, pimps, and murderers. The realities of police work aren't glamorous, even in a precinct straddled by the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It's been more than 20 years since Wambaugh's last LAPD novel; let's hope the next one doesn't take as long. Recommended for all fiction collections. Ken Bolton, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Wambaugh's pleasing new police procedural (Floaters, 1996, etc.) is a series of comic vignettes featuring a particularly idiosyncratic and beleaguered division of the LAPD-the Hollywood Station. The Hollywood beat constitutes plenty of drug-addled nuts, panhandlers, erratic, unpredictable rich people and murderous elements of gangs and the Russian mafia. Covering it all in style is the jolly, motley mix of rookies and veterans that make up LAPD's Hollywood, taking their orders from the Oracle, a kindly old sarge who has a genius for coupling partners on patrol. There are the two youngish surfer types, nicknamed Flotsam and Jetsam, whose funny, natural, shoot-the-shit dialogue opens the novel. There's Vietnam vet and senior patrol officer Fausto Gamboa, who remembers fondly the days before the force was beaten by civil lawsuits, and when women didn't routinely work patrol assignments, and his 27-year-old partner, Officer Budgie Polk, just returned from maternity leave and regularly using her breast pump. There's Japanese-American female officer Mag Takara, athletic, diminutive and fearless, paired with extra-tall, black officer Benny Brewster; during a jewelry-store robbery, Mag picks up a grenade and tosses it aside-before they learn it's a fake. And there's Hollywood Nate Weiss, so-called because of his work as a cinematic extra, paired with rookie Wesley Drubb, son of real-estate developers, bored with his pampered life and eager to experience something real. Meanwhile, the petty criminals move in, including local crystal-meth dope, mailbox thief and two-bit counterfeiter Farley Ramsdale and his dimwitted girlfriend, Olive Oly; and jewelry thief Cosmo Betrossian, who tries to pawnstolen diamonds off on the Russian owner of the hot-spot The Gulag. Terrific characterization makes up for the sparseness of plot. Former LAPD detective Wambaugh returns to his roots for a hilarious review of today's police force.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600242434
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: Hollywood Station Series , #1
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 537,578
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 5.75 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen previous works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Choirboys and The Onion Field. In 2004, he was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in southern California.

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Read an Excerpt

Hollywood Station

By Joseph Wambaugh


Copyright © 2006 Joseph Wambaugh
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-06614-1

Chapter One

Wanna play pit bull polo, dude?" "What's that?"

"It's something I learned when I worked Metro Mounted Platoon." "It's weird thinking of you as a cowboy cop."

"All I know about horses is they're assholes, man. But we got the overtime there. You know my little Beemer? I wouldn't have that if I hadn't worked Metro. My last year in Metro I made a hundred grand plus. I don't miss those crazy horses but I miss that OT money. And I miss wearing a Stetson. When we worked the mini-riot at the Democrats convention, a hot little lobbyist with nipples big enough to pack up and leave home said I looked like a young Clint Eastwood in that Stetson. And I didn't carry a Beretta nine then. I carried a six-inch Colt revolver. It looked more appropriate when I was sitting on a horse."

"A wheel gun? In this day and age?" "The Oracle still carries a wheel gun."

"The Oracle's been on the job nearly fifty years. He can wear a codpiece if he wants to. And you don't look like Clint Eastwood, bro. You look like the guy in King Kong, except you got even more of a beak and your hair is bleached."

"My hair is sun-streaked from surfing, dude. And I'm even two inches taller in the saddle than Clint was."

"Whatever, bro. I'm a whole foot taller on the ground than Tom Cruise. He's about four foot ten."

"Anyways, those pacifist demonstrators at the convention center were throwing golf ballsand ball bearings at our horses, when twenty of us charged. And dude, when you get stepped on by a fifteen-hundred-pound animal, it sucks bad. Only one horse went down. He was twenty-eight years old, name of Rufus. That fried him. Had to retire him after that. One of those Jamba Juicers threw a lit trash bag at the one I was riding, name of Big Sam. I beat that bitch with my koa."

"Your what?"

"It's like a samurai sword made of koa wood. The baton's about as useless as a stalk of celery when you're up there on a horse seventeen hands high. Supposed to strike them in the clavicle, but guess what, she juked and I got her upside the head. Accidentally, wink wink. She did a loop de loop and ended up under a parked car. I saw a horse get stuck with a knitting needle by one of those tree fuckers. The horse was fried after that. Too much stress. They retired him to Horse Rescue. They all get fried sooner or later. Just like us."

"That sucks. Sticking a horse."

"That one got a TV interview at least. When cops get hurt, nothing. Who gives a fuck? When a horse gets hurt, you get on TV, maybe with that Debbie D-cup news bunny on Channel Five."

"Where'd you learn to ride?"

"Griffith Park. A five-week course at the Ahmanson Training Center. Only horse I ever rode before that was on a merry-go-round, and I don't care if I ever ride another one. Got the job 'cause my sister-in-law went to high school with the platoon lieutenant. Horses're assholes, man. An RTD bus can pass you three inches away at sixty miles an hour and the horse doesn't blink. A little piece of paper blows in his face all of a sudden and he bucks you clear over a pile of tweakers and base-heads sleeping on a skid-row sidewalk at Sixth and San Pedro. And you end up in Momma Lucy's shopping cart with her aluminum cans and refundable bottles. That's how I got a hip replacement at the age of thirty. Only thing I wanna ride now is a surfboard and my Beemer." "I'm thirty-one. You look a lot older than me."

"Well I ain't. I just had a lot to worry about. They gave me a doctor that was so old he still believed in bleeding and leeches."

"Whatever, bro. You might have progeria. Gives you those eyelid and neck wrinkles, like a Galapagos turtle."

"So you wanna play pit bull polo or not?" "What the fuck is pit bull polo?"

"Way I learned, they trailered ten of us down to Seventy-seventh Street on a night when they decided to sweep a three-block row of crack houses and gangsta cribs. Whole fucking area is a crime scene. Living next to that is what razor wire was made for. Anyways, all those Bloods and Crips have pit bulls and rotties and they let them run loose half the time, terrorizing the 'hood and eating any normal dogs they see. And the whole fucking pack of gangsta dogs flew into a blood lust the second they saw us coming in and they attacked like we were riding T-bones and ribeyes."

"How many did you shoot?"

"Shoot? I need this job. You gotta be richer than Donald Trump and Manny the plumber to fire your piece in today's LAPD, especially at a dog. You shoot a human person and you get maybe two detectives and a team from Force Investigation Division to second-guess you. You shoot a dog and you get three supervisors and four detectives plus FID, all ready to string yellow tape. Especially in the 'hood. We didn't shoot them, we played pit bull polo with the long sticks."

"Oh, I get it. Pit bull polo." "Man, I rode through them, whacking those killer bulls, yelling, 'One chukker for my team! Two chukkers for my team!'I only wish I coulda whacked their owners."

"Bro, a chukker is a period of play. I know 'cause I watched a special on the Royal Family. Horny old Charles was playing a chukker or two for Camilla with big wood in his jodhpurs. That old babe? I don't see it."

"Whatever. You down with that or not?" "Yeah, I'm down. But first I wanna know, did anyone beef you for playing polo with the gangsta bulls?"

"Oh yeah, there's always an ABM who'll call IA, his councilman, and maybe long distance to Al Sharpton, who never saw a camera he didn't hug."


"You ain't a 'hood rat, are ya? ABM. Angry black male."

"Spent my nine years in Devonshire, West Valley, and West L.A. before I transferred here last month. ABMs ain't never been filed on my desktop, bro."

"Then don't go to a police commission or council meeting. ABMs are in charge. But we don't have hardly any living in Hollywood. In fact, nowadays most of south L.A. is Latino, even Watts."

"I been reading that the entire inner city is mostly Latino. Where the fuck have the brothers gone to? I wonder. And why is everybody worrying about the black vote if they're all moving to the suburbs? They better worry about the Latino vote, because they got the mayor's office now and they're about one generation away from reclaiming California and making us do the gardening."

"You married? And which number is it?"

"Just escaped from number two. She was Druid-like but not as cuddly. One daughter three years old. Lives with Momma, whose lawyer won't be satisfied till I'm homeless on the beach eating seaweed." "Is number one still at large?"

"Yeah, but I don't have to pay her nothing. She took my car, though. You?"

"Divorced also. Once. No kids. Met my ex in a cop bar in North Hollywood called the Director's Chair. She wore a felonious amount of pancake. Looked too slutty for the Mustang Ranch and still I married her. Musta been her J Lo booty."

"Starter marriages never work for cops. You don't have to count the first one, bro. So how do we play pit bull polo without horses? And where do we play?"

"I know just the place. Get the expandable baton outta my war bag."

The Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha, aka MS-13, began at Los Angeles High School less than twenty years earlier but was now said to have ten thousand members throughout the United States and seven hundred thousand in Central American countries. Many residents of state prison displayed tattoos saying "MS" or "MS-13." It was an MS-13 crew member who was stopped on a street in North Hollywood in 1991 by Officer Tina Kerbrat, a rookie just months out of the LAPD academy, who was in the process of writing him a citation for drinking in public, nothing more than that, when the MS-13 "cruiser" shot her dead. The first LAPD woman officer to be murdered in the line of duty.

Later that evening a besieged Mexican resident living east of Gower Street called Hollywood Station to say that she saw an LAPD black-and-white with lights out driving loops around a dirty pink apartment building that she had reported to the police on several occasions as being full of Mara Salvatrucha gang members.

On the other occasions, the officers at the desk kept trying to explain to the Mexican woman about gang injunctions and probable cause, things she did not understand and that did not exist in her country. Things that apparently denied protection to people like her and her children from the criminals in that ugly pink building. She told the officer about how their vicious dogs had mauled and killed a collie belonging to her neighbor Irene, and how all the children were unable to walk safely in the streets. She also said that two of the dogs had been removed by people from the city pound but there were still enough left. More than enough.

The officers told her they were very sorry and that she should contact the Department of Animal Services.

The Mexican woman had been watching a Spanish-language channel and was almost ready for bed when she first heard the howling that drew her to the window. There she saw the police car with lights out, speeding down the alley next to the apartment building, being pursued by four or five barking dogs. On its second pass down the alley, she saw the driver lean out the window and swing something that looked like a snooker stick at one of the brutes, sending it yelping and running back into the pink building. Then the car made another loop and did it to another big dog, and the driver yelled something that her daughter heard from the porch.

Her daughter stumbled sleepily into the tiny living room and said in English, "Mamá, does chukker mean something very bad, like the F word?"

The Mexican woman called Hollywood Station and spoke to a very senior sergeant whom all the cops called the Oracle. She wanted to say thank you for sending the officers with the snooker stick. She was hopeful that things might improve around the neighborhood. The Oracle was puzzled but thought it best not to question her further. He simply said that he was glad to be of service.

When 6-X-32's lights were back on and they were cruising Hollywood Boulevard, the driver said, "Dude, right there's where my career with the Mounted Platoon ended. That's where I decided that overtime pay or not, I was going back to normal patrol."

His partner looked to his right and said, "At Grauman's Chinese Theater?"

"Right there in the courtyard. That's where I learned that you never ride a horse on the Hollywood Walk of Fame." "Bad juju?"

"Bad footing."

Sid Grauman's famous theater seemed somehow forlorn these days, dwarfed and sandwiched by the Hollywood & Highland Center, better known as the Kodak Center, containing two blocks of shopping and entertainment. It was home to the Kodak Theatre and the Academy Awards and was overrun by tourists day and night. But the Chinese Theater still held its own when it came to Hollywood weirdness. Even this late, there were a number of costumed creatures posing for photos with tourists who were mainly photographing the shoe and handprints in the famous forecourt. Among the creatures were Mr. Incredible, Elmo, two Darth Vaders, Batman, and two Goofys, one short, one tall.

"They pose with tourists. Pix for bucks," the driver said to his partner. "The tourists think the creatures work for Grauman's, but they don't. Most of them're crackheads and tweakers. Watch little Goofy."

He braked, making the nighttime traffic go around their black-and-white. They watched the shorter of the two Goofys hassling four Asian tourists who no doubt had refused to pay him for taking his photo or hadn't paid enough. When Goofy grabbed one of the two Asian men by the arm, the cop tooted his horn. When Goofy looked up and saw the black-and-white, he gave up panhandling for the moment and tried to disappear into the throng, even though his huge Goofy head loomed over all but the tallest tourist.

The driver said, "The subway back there is a good escape route to the 'hood. Dealers hang out by the trains, and the hooks hang around the boulevard."

"What's a hook?"

"A guy that approaches you and says, 'I can hook you up with what you need.' These days it's almost always crystal. Everybody's tweaking. Meth is the drug of choice on the Hollywood streets, absolutely." And that made him think of his last night at Metro, which was followed by the replacement surgery and a right hip more accurate than a barometer when it came to predicting sudden temperature drops and wind-chill factor.

On that last night in the Mounted Platoon, he and another mounted cop were there for crowd suppression, walking their horses along Hollywood Boulevard all calm and okey-dokey, along the curb past the Friday-night mobs by the subway station, moseying west, when he spotted a hook looking very nervously in their direction.

He'd said to his partner, who was riding a mare named Millie, "Let's jam this guy."

He dismounted and dropped his get-down rope. His partner held both horses and he approached the hook on foot. The hook was a sweaty, scrawny white guy, very tall, maybe even taller than he was, though his LAPD Stetson and cowboy boots made him tower. That's when it all went bad.

"I was talking to a hook right about there," he said to his partner now, pointing to the sidewalk in front of the Kodak Center. "And the dude just turned and rabbitted. Zip. Like that. And I started after him, but Major freaked."

"Your partner?"

"My horse. He was fearless, Major was. Dude, I'd seen him chill in training when we were throwing firecrackers and flares at him. I'd seen other horses rear up on their hind legs and do a one-eighty while Major stood his ground. But not that night. That's the thing about horses, they're assholes, man."

"What'd he do?"

"First, Major reared clear up tall and crazy. Then he bit my partner on the arm. It was like somebody cranked up his voltage. Maybe a tweaker shot him with a BB gun, I don't know. Anyways, I stopped chasing the hook, fuck him, and ran back to help my partner. But Major wouldn't calm down until I made like I was going to climb in the saddle. Then I did something very stupid."

"What's that?"

"I climbed in the saddle, intending to ride him back to the trailer and call it a night. I did that instead of leading him back, which anybody without brain bubbles woulda done under the circumstances."


"He freaked again. He took off. Up onto the sidewalk."

The moment would be with him forever. Galloping along the Walk of Fame, kicking up sparks and scattering tourists and panhandlers and purse snatchers and tweakers and pregnant women and costumed nuns and SpongeBob and three Elvises. Clomping over top of Marilyn Monroe's star or James Cagney's or Elizabeth Taylor's or fucking Liberace's or whoever was there on this block of the Walk of Fame because he didn't know who was there and never checked later to find out.

Cursing the big horse and hanging on with one hand and waving the creepy multitudes out of his way with the other. Even though he knew that Major could, and had, run up a flight of concrete steps in his long career, he also knew that neither Major nor any horse belonging to the Mounted Platoon could run on marble, let alone on brass inserts on that marble sidewalk where people spilled their Starbucks and Slurpees with impunity. No horse could trample Hollywood legends like that, so maybe it was the bad juju. And very suddenly Major hydroplaned in the Slurpees and just ... went ... down.

His partner interrupted the sweat-popping flashback. "So what happened, bro? After he took off with you?"

"First of all, nobody got hurt. Except Major and me."


"They say I ended up in John Wayne's boot prints right there in Grauman's forecourt. They say the Duke's fist print is there too. I don't remember boots or fists or nothing. I woke up on a gurney in an RA with a paramedic telling me yes I was alive, while we were screaming code three to Hollywood Pres. I had a concussion and three cracked ribs and my bad hip, which was later replaced, and everybody said I was real lucky."

"How about the nag?"

"They told me Major seemed okay at first. He was limping, of course. But after they trailered him back to Griffith Park and called the vet, he could hardly stand. He was in bad shape and got worse. They had to put him down that night." And then he added, "Horses are such assholes, man."

When his partner looked at the driver, he thought he saw his eyes glisten in the mix of light from the boulevard-fluorescence and neon, headlights and taillights, even reflected glow from a floodlight shooting skyward-announcing to all: This is Hollywood! But all that light spilling onto them changed the crispness of their black-and-white to a wash of bruised purple and sickly yellow. His partner wasn't sure, but he thought the driver's chin quivered, so he pretended to be seriously studying the costumed freaks in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater.


Excerpted from Hollywood Station by Joseph Wambaugh Copyright © 2006 by Joseph Wambaugh. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Absolutely arresting reading!

    I really enjoyed the characters and the gradual plot development in this book. You start out with seeming disconnected threads that this master writer weaves together into an exciting tale. The characters are fascinating, multi-dimensional and not mere caricatures of stereotypes. This was just a fun read that was difficult to put down. It's the kind of book you want to keep reading and yet hate to have end. Definitely worth your time and money!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not disappointed

    I have loved Wambaugh's stories since "The Onion Field", and this was so funny and exciting. The book is based on stories from actual policemen. There wasn't a bad scenerio in the entire book. Sorry when I finished it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Actor Adam Grupper's credits are impressive and varied. His Broadway appearances include Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme, 45 Seconds From Broadway, Guys and Dolls, City of Angels and Into the Woods. Film goers have seen him in Two Weeks Notice and Runs in the Family, while tv viewers watched him on The Sopranos, Law & Order plus numerous other programs. He brings his breadth of artistic experience to his narration of this compelling police novel, rendering a full throttle voice performance that keeps listeners on the edges of their chairs. With 'Hollywood Station' Wambaugh is back with all the hell for leather writing he produced some 35 years ago in 'The New Centurions' and 'The Choirboys.' His pen is as sharp as ever, but the L.A.P.D. is not at all what it once was. After the Rodney King brouhaha the department is now under an ever watchful eye, an eye that tends to keep a choke hold the force. Listeners also cruise the streets of a Hollywood very different from the one Wambaugh described in the past - it's stranger, more frightening, and peopled with the detritus of humankind. The police are led by a veteran officer called the Oracle. He tends to pair an experienced cop with a newbie as they're sent out on shifts. These pairs speak the language of the streets and are often a source of humor. There are Flotsam and Jetsam - you guessed it, surfers in their spare time. A 30-some wannabe actor rides with a wealthy fellow who wants some action in his life, and a miniature Japanese woman is paired with a tall black bruiser. Once deployed and cruising it seems to them that every nut in the world has migrated to the dark streets of Hollywood where meth addicts prowl and grisly crimes no longer shock. Wambaugh's characters are sharply etched, unforgettable. There's action galore ranging from a jewel heist to vicious fights to death around the corner. A former L.A.P.D. detective, Joseph Wambaugh knows his territory well his on target observations are both moving and frightening. He's in top form and we say 'Welcome back, you've been gone for far too long!' - Gail Cooke

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An excellent look at life in LAPD

    In Southern California between losing experienced cops to the military call up of the reserves and funding reductions by the same politicians who howl that the streets are unsafe, LAPD Hollywood Station cannot perform the mission. Learning from DC, however, no one in positions of leadership want to know any of that as all plans to fix shortages are strategic so that they come under someone else's future watch.------------- In that mess, the cops are forced to work with street gangs, meth heads, the homeless, the rich and famous, and the Russian mafia. To survive under the intense view of the community seeking (and hoping for personal gain) to find abuse and errors the cops fake reports of interviews whenever they racially or economically need to balance their worksheets. The only thing that keeps the station from total collapse is the Oracle, a veteran sergeant, who can make a gourmet dinner out of chicken salad (some might say chicken excrement) as he works the partnering and beats of a motley crew.------------------- More a series of vignettes than a cohesive novel, the tale focuses on how a police station copes with experience issues, money problems, and neighborhood mistrust in Joseph Wambaugh¿s excellent look at life in LAPD. The cast is top rate as the police run the gamut of characters from wannabe actors to wannabe surfers while the streets are filled with crazies and deadlies. Police procedural fans will want to read Mr. Wambaugh¿s fabulous tour of HOLLYWOOD STATION.----------------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012


    Loved it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    Wambaugh at his best! A must read

    This is the first in a four part series...and here is hoping there are many more. This is an excellent introduction to the author's patented combination of off-beat yet endearing characters, pathos, humor and gut wrenching "real-life" situations. I have been reading Mr. Wambaugh's books going all the way back, and I was especially excited when I discovered that he had decided to make "Hollywood" into a series, I truly look forward to each new chapter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012


    I loved this book. It was so real I could feel myself riding in the car with these Officers. The series is a MUST read. I WANT A BOOK 5!!!!!! The charactors are funny, sympathetic and REAL. Anyone who is in law enforcement HAS to read this. Ive been looking for another series to read since finishing Stephen Canells "Shane Scully" series and I was not disappointed. Please Sgt Wambaugh...make this on ongoing series. I WANT MORE HOLLYWOOD!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013


    What happened? *she tilts her head a little, concerned*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013


    Let me talk to him tails *pushes him aside* look dark sonic I wasn't calling you evil nor was I calling a freak show its just that when u were talking to me it was one of those wierd conversation that usually I dont have. It either some ine who is my best friend or someone who I would love to smash there face into ground many of times but I was not trying to be mean or hurt you in any other way im sorry if that whar you felt or though I was saying maybe my words came out the wrong way or you heard differently but it was nothing to be rude about. We all miss you and need you please come back I sorry that I hurt you I was not trying too dark sonic when I say this I mean it im sorry. *turns around and starts walking back*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013


    On it!!! And darksonic don't leave tails again. He aready loses amy he doesn't need you to go to.*runs off*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013


    *runs to res 1

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Just like old times.

    Compares favorably with Wambaugh's best, like The Glitter Dome and The Delta Star. Terrific characters, great cop talk and some gritty and other very funny vignettes wrapped around a somewhat slight tale of a jewel robbery and it's aftermath. Joe's still got it. Very enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2012

    Noik coarthouse

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    If you read mysteries to solve the puzzle before the author reve

    If you read mysteries to solve the puzzle before the author reveals the guilty party, save your money to buy another book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    Realistic and entertaining

    As a retired cop, I found this novel to be spot on in the realism that cops lives are full of. Dark humor, and well textured characters drive the theme of this book. This what has always put Wambaugh in a different class from other Police type novels. Since he was a cop himself, in LA, he has a unique perspective. I have read his books since the seventies. I am glad he returned to the LAPD novels. Good read.

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    Take a walk on the wild side of the LA streets! sandy

    Every one just wants to 'go home' at shifts end. Like the humor mixed with more serious ' street sorts'. The 'good luck' charms and the dark humor for sanities sake. Hop on this ride along dude!

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  • Posted August 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Hollywood's cops and criminals have never been funnier!

    Joseph Wambaugh craft an ensemble cast of cops and robbers (or rather, various criminals) that offer a new and interesting take on the police procedural. It was almost always funny stuff. There was drama and even romance. The humor was evident throughout with my only beef being the over the top Eastern European accents and verbiage from these characters. It was a little too corny and less real. The realism is everywhere else as you can tell that the author was LAPD. Overall, really good stuff.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another Wambaugh original

    What an author, what a Cop....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Great Crime Novel

    One of the best crime drama novels I have yet to read by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2007

    A reviewer

    After I picked up Wambaugh's latest book, I couldn't put it down. The characters, the dialogue and the stories drew me in, along with a look at the 'new' LAPD, operating under the federal consent decree. This is a department much changed from Wambaugh's previous works. I think the best part of Wambaugh's writing is his ability to make the story believeable, in this case, its the dialogue. The cops sound like cops, use the same words and terminology. That is what made the book so enjoyable for me. Its little things, like the certain words that really show that he has the unique ability and experience to know how officers think and what they say. I can't wait for the next novel.

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