“Hollywood Hills” portrays a cast of characters that mesmerize and dazzle, much as the Sin City of Hollywood itself. The third in a series, Wambaugh outdoes himself in “Hollywood Hills.” Each character portrayed comes fully alive, and we feel a part of the LAPD detectives and the insanity that encompasses Hollywood Hills. We are there; we are part and parcel of the LAPD family.
“Hollywood Nate” Weiss carries an SAG card, and at 38 he succeeds better as a cop than an actor. Flotsam and Jetsam, the surfer dude cops at the Hollywood LAPD precinct create hilarity and ride serious surfer waves, and are so human we can touch them. Nate’s partner, Mexican detective Snuffy Salcedo, breaks rank from driving police chiefs around town to partner up with Nate and the dynamic duo form a tight friendship. ‘Cover your back I’ll cover yours’ is more than a mantra at Hollywood Hills. It contains the life and death of each partner’s existence.
George Adams partners with Viv Daley, an Amazonian and a very beautiful woman who defines the words tough cop. And then there’s Britney Small, a boot still on probation who drives with Della Ravella, a 44 year old veteran who teaches Britney the ins and outs of LAPD survival on the streets where men rule.
The plot inhabits many rooms of cop incident after cop incident. The Goth House, where the theatrical becomes reality; the murder of a woman and child in Little Armenia, leaving a small sister who bonds with the policewoman who arrives at the call; tweaker Jonas Claymore and his ox’d out partner Megan; Raleigh Dibbles and his partner in crime Nigel Wickland – the novel interlaces itself into a communion of strange occurrences and even stranger crimes, both hilarious, intriguing and horrible. Wambaugh’s genius – and the novel’s genius – interacts in Wambaugh’s ability to give both cops and criminals total reality and three dimensionality. We fall into the lives, plots, human conditions and foibles of both cop and criminal.
This is Wambaugh at his best. With quirky, eccentric and complicated characters that face life and death daily, Wambaugh presents the goods. His characters have daily lives, flaws, emotions, and situations – none of them, even crazed bad guy Jonas Claymore – flat lines into any kind of stereotype. Like Carl Hiaasen at his best, Wambaugh’s cops laugh and fight, hard and humanly. His criminals are both compassionate, hard edged, insane and fearful. This ride careens across the screen like road cars lapping up highways, spewing brilliance like spilt gas, while the Hollywood Nights distend with the stench of carbon dusk.
A great read. A great Wambaugh.
Hollywood Hills: A Novel is available for pre-order at Amazon.com and booksellers around the country.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.
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