The department is still operating under onerous federal restrictions placed on it after the Rampart scandal. Gone are the days when crude, rude and obnoxious cops could be creative about their approach to their jobs. They now have to live up to a code of conduct and have less independence about how they enforce the law, which makes them less interesting as fictional characters. Among the men and women in blue working out of Hollywood Division are the obligatory seasoned veteran, the wannabe actor who has done a few bit parts in television movies, a pair of surfer dudes who speak gibberish even on the job, a bigoted trashmouth, a smoking-hot Asian woman, and a single mother.
In fact, the cast consists primarily of superficial stereotypes.
Wambaugh seems to have lost his interest in mining his officers to any significant depth. And, while Hollywood Crows has a slight story arc that carries through from the first page to the last, most of the book consists of vignettes that sound like amusing anecdotes Wambaugh gathered during visits with his old pals at the police department or over drinks at a cop bar. The emphasis isn't on police procedure, but rather on the daily grind.
The eponymous "crows" are members of the CRO, the Community Relations Office, devoted to handling quality of life issues. Illegally parked cars that block right of ways. It's a cushy job, free of many of the hazards of regular patrol, but it's not for everyone. The crows don't often get to do "real" police work.
While handling a parking complaint, Nate, who spends his off hours trying out for bit parts in made-for-TV movies and spying on a group of down-at-the-heels entertainment dinosaurs, meets Margot Aziz, a beautiful woman in the middle of an ugly divorce battle with Ali Aziz, a strip club owner who contributes freely to police charities in an effort to raise his standing in the community.
Margot's flirtatiousness addles Nate's mind. She has plans for Nate or his fellow officer Bix Ramstead, whichever she can get to first , but not the kind Nate is hoping for. She accuses Ali of threatening to spirit their five-year-old son out of the country.
Thanks for telling us about the problem. In fact I had a hard time sticking with the book. This is the sequel to Hollywood Station. He takes a reader into the job and also the life of a police officer. For example, the series by Craig Johnson set in Wyoming is quite good, but maybe that slower-paced story set outside of L.
I went back to this second in the "Hollywood Station" trilogy to see if I was being unfair in my earlier reading. The strong attraction to Wambaugh's tragic-comic characters from a precinct house was there. Perhaps not as fully realized as in "Moon" but certainly compelling. The big difference is that Wambaugh's weakness for plo I went back to this second in the "Hollywood Station" trilogy to see if I was being unfair in my earlier reading.
The big difference is that Wambaugh's weakness for plotting, though a distraction in "Moon" is very disconcerting in "Crows. You remember; it starts out in small steps -- "she swallowed the spider to catch the fly" - allowing you to move along with incremental suspensions of belief until she swallows a horse! Like the Little Ol' Lady, Wambaugh's plot is forgiven because you are enjoying the characters so much. Jul 27, Kathleen Hagen rated it really liked it Shelves: Hollywood Crows, by Joseph Wambaugh.
Produced by Hachette Audio, narrated by Christian Rummel, downloaded from audible. Hollywood Crows are the Community Relations Officers, the ones that talk to neighbors about turning down the volume, not parking i Hollywood Crows, by Joseph Wambaugh. Hollywood Crows are the Community Relations Officers, the ones that talk to neighbors about turning down the volume, not parking in the parking spaces of apartment owners, etc.
In this book the central plot involves two cops, Hollywood Nate, and Bicks, who find themselves bowled over by Margot Aziz. The usual gallows humor that makes me laugh hysterically was there. Also there was the poignant moment of loss that some cops will experience.
Ronnie Sinclair and Hollywood Nate Weiss join the Crows, the Community Relations Office who look after the 'sissy beat,' sedate quality-of-life complaints such as noisy neighbours, illegal parking, panhandlers, etc. The surfer dude cops Flotsam and Jetsam are back, they still talk exactly like Bill and Ted. Th Ronnie Sinclair and Hollywood Nate Weiss join the Crows, the Community Relations Office who look after the 'sissy beat,' sedate quality-of-life complaints such as noisy neighbours, illegal parking, panhandlers, etc. The overarching plot involves a pair of rich and sleazy devorcees conspiring against each other, but the real fun is to be found in the numerous quirky vignettes of routine patrol.
Wambaugh's one-liners would do Billy Wilder proud; a particularly messy blood-soaked crime scene gets reported in as "something that looks like a pizza topping without the crust. The one acronym that pervades every page and needs no interpretation is PC.
Working under a federal consent degree the officers of Hollywood Station always have to be wary of racial profiling, even when at the scene of a potential crime. As one of them warns, "We're white, he's black. We better not do something hasty. I can't afford a suspension right now. Jun 08, Jaime rated it really liked it Shelves: Margot and Ali Aziz are not the center of this book. The book is about the cops. Feb 05, Bookmarks Magazine added it. Apr 01, Bill rated it really liked it.
Aug 15, Barry Martin Vass rated it really liked it. Joe Wambaugh was with the LAPD for fourteen years, rising from the rank of patrolman to detective sergeant. So if you're looking for a realistic police procedural, Wambaugh has definitely been there and done that. His characters jump off the page in the way they talk and carry themselves, often in life-or-death situations. The title of this book is an acronym: Hollywood Police Station Community Relations Officers Crows are not actively involved in fighting crime like most of the o 4.
Rather, their job is to interact with the community, whether it means following up on chronic-noise complaints, Homeless Outreach programs, Police Explorer Scout programs, illegal parking, and other quality-of-life measures.
Most of the other police officers resent them to a degree, because they're not really doing anything to stop crime as it happens, but with Congress, federal judges, and politicians trying to tamp down the aggression and violence of police work over the years, the work of the Crows is seen to have real value from the higher-ups as policing moves forward. Wambaugh's sense of humor is wry and irreverent, and this is often hilarious, but Hollywood Crows gives you a realistic view of life on the streets. This is the second or third time I've read this book.
I love Wambaugh's character development. He brings them alive on the page. His plot lines are somewhat convoluted, but the unique characters make up for that. I just realized that his two patrol cops "Flotsam" and "Jetsam" names are never revealed. None the less, they are pivotal additions in all four of these books in the series "Hollywood Station" Great reading experience.
Mar 01, C Paul maggs rated it it was amazing. Just a quick, light, fun listen. Aug 15, Peter Metcalfe rated it liked it. Plenty of Police procedure in Hollywood and great one liners from the cops. Sep 01, Aynge rated it really liked it. I want more Flotsom and Jetsam, for sure. Now I'm diving into the rest of the series.
Jun 13, Jason rated it really liked it. I feel like this is a perfect example of a book that works so much better as an audiobook. May 04, Paul rated it really liked it. Jun 19, Scott A. Great read even though it was a little sad. I prefer the funny Wambaugh. Love this series though. Sep 12, Roger Barnstead rated it it was amazing. Sep 14, Farzana rated it it was amazing. Wambaugh, gone too soon, wrote some of the best cop books ever written by anyone, and this is one of the best that he wrote. Well worth the read. Aug 01, Christy P rated it liked it.
Good who dunit, interesting in the way Hollywood's PR team for the Police functions. Story moves along quickly. Oct 14, Mary Davidsaver rated it liked it. It took a while to get used to the many names, the cop lingo, and the vocabulary of California surfers.
I held on through multiple side stories, vignettes of a sort, and was rewarded with a solid ending. Apr 28, Michael Sova rated it really liked it. Joseph Wambaugh describes his novels as "character driven. I reviewed Hollywood Station several months ago, and I just finished Hollywood Crows, the second book in the series. In both cases, the reading experience was very similar. I was first drawn to the characters because they're so incredibly vivid and engaging. You've got surfer dude cops, alcoholic cops, actor wannabe cops, and any manner of bizarre bad guys, Joseph Wambaugh describes his novels as "character driven.
You've got surfer dude cops, alcoholic cops, actor wannabe cops, and any manner of bizarre bad guys, and gals, ranging from the L. With a cast like that, how can you go wrong? Except, with both books, I soon found myself wondering where the story was going. That approach, I now know, was entirely by design. Wambaugh once said, "I don't much care about the plot. My novels tend to be a series of episodes, loosely tied together with something resembling a plot.
I dare say most authors wouldn't be able to pull it off. Joseph Wambaugh spent years on the L. He chronicled his experiences on burger wrappers, napkins, and anything else he could find. Those scraps later became bestselling novels. He's retired now, but still has connections he relies on for new material.
Hollywood Crows is a work of fiction; but it, like the other books in the series, has the distinct ring of truth. Hollywood Crows will appeal to any fan of crime fiction or the mystery genre. However, if you've never read Wambaugh before, be prepared for something a little… different. Any agent or publisher will tell you a novel has to hook the reader within the first twenty-five pages.
That isn't Wambaugh's style. He'll draw you in for sure.
After a while, though, you can't help but wonder where the hell the story is going. It will seem like one entirely random event after another with no apparent rhyme or reason to any of it--just a bunch of cops going through their daily routines and trying to deal with a smorgasbord of Hollywood whackos. You'll keep reading as the various anecdotes toy with your emotions.
You might even get a little frustrated as you inadvertently fall in love with a luckless tweaker whose only goal in life is to score a little more meth. That tweaker, it turns out, is integral in the lives of a wealthy night club owner who wants to kill his wife, the drop dead gorgeous wife who's scheming to kill him, and an exotic dancer playing one against the other for as much money as she can get.
That sounds suspiciously like a plot. Yes, it's definitely a plot and it's a damn good one. You won't even see it coming until, out of the mist, it's there and you're suddenly unable to put the book down. Aug 25, Gary rated it it was amazing. If you didn't know it was Joseph Wambaugh, you'd swear that Carl Hiaasen took a vacation in LA, hung out with the LAPD, and wrote this cynically funny tale of cops and those they protect, and especially those who they are protected from.
But Hiaasen could never tell a police story with Wambaugh's authority, and only an ex-cop could render it with Wambaugh's sincere passion for the men and women in blue. In this outing, The Leopard Lounge, a Sunset Boulevard strip joint, it's oily owner, Ali Aziz, and his impossibly gorgeous soon-to-be ex-wife Margot combine to form the story's deliciously sleazy and very Hiaasen-like core of deceit, blackmail, sex and murder. Ali's problem is that Margot has custody of his beloved five-year old son and half the family fortune, and he'd prefer to see Margot as not only an ex-wife, but also an ex-person.
Not that Ali has any corner on the duplicity market: It is Wambaugh's knack for character development and an easy, natural dialog that takes "Crows" above the pack and again secures the author's well deserved accolades for capturing life-inside-the-precinct. Back from "Hollywood Station" are Flotsam and Jetsam, the surfing sleuths whose SoCal beach banter nearly requires a translator, and will find you chuckling out loud.
And while Wambaugh's dark and cynical humor dominates, the story takes an unexpected but well executed turn to poignancy by the end, proving that in LA there are few winners and even less redemption. In summary, well-paced and brilliantly crafted - a novel that captures LA life on the streets, at the same time highly entertaining and deeply sobering.
A highly recommended read. Apr 04, Maria Elmvang rated it liked it Shelves: Hollywood Crows is a literary version of "Crime Watch". Together with them we encounter lonely elderly women who sees crimes everywhere and who are sometimes right , unusual criminals and logic-defying situations constantly reminding the cops and the readers that "This is Hollywood. Here anything can happen and usually does. Like them or not, you can't remain indifferent to them.
The one story that ties it all together is the tale of to-be-divorced Margot and Ali Aziz. The cops only know Margot as a harmless socialite, dangerous to nobody but the libidos of the males she encounters. What they don't realize is that Margot is not the helpless victim she appears, but a femme fatale who knows exactly what she wants and won't scorn any methods to get it. Unfortunately, she's not the only one with a deadly plan, and through her scheming she manages to ruin the life of at least one very dedicated cop, who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
A clever man once said, "Write what you know". Joseph Wambaugh obviously took this advice to heart which shows in his writings.
Having worked for LAPD himself, he can draw from personal experiences to properly depict the joys and sorrows of a police officer. Because of Joseph's ability to draw the reader completely into the story, I found myself utterly unable to put down the book once I'd started it, even if there were parts of it that disturbed me, parts where I missed a proper resolution, and parts that I wish had been left out.
I'd have rated it higher if these parts hadn't been present.
Hollywood Crows is an interesting but depressing novel that reminds us that even the good guys aren't always good, and that things don't always end the way they should. Dec 19, Cheryl rated it it was amazing. They are different then your regular LAPD.