Hollywood Station, video review

Hollywood Station, by Joseph Wambaugh is a wild ride through Holly-weird. This story is perfectly paced and draws you in through a series of vignettes that are alternately heart-breaking and comical. Here’s my video review:

This is the first book by Wambaugh that I’ve read. I look forward to several more in the same location and with many of the same characters. If you like you’re cop stories with heart, this is the book for you. Not all of it is pretty, but it is certainly realistic.

The Big Nowhere (video review)

James Ellroy is one of my favorite novelists and his book, The Big Nowhere is near the top of the list when it comes to detective/crime fiction. Here’s a brief video review.

If you’re looking to read one the great stories of the past century, look into Ellroy’s “LA Quartet” as it has come to be know. It begins with The Black Dahlia, moves on to The Big Nowhere, continues with LA Confidential, and wraps up with White Jazz. I’ll be reviewing the other books soon here at the video blog.

Published in: on October 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wicked Winds Down Under

Truth, by Peter Temple, is as much a character study as it is a crime story. At the center of a whirlwind of crime, family dysfunction, and political corruption is Inspector Stephen Villani. Villani is a well-schooled detective, capable of hunting down the bad guys. His wit and wisdom lend credibility to this side of his character. Then there are the added dimensions of his estranged wife, daughter on the streets, and varied affiars. Through it all, Villani makes tough decisions, weaving between the difficult and the impossible with varied results.

This being the second Peter Temple book I’ve read, I was ready for the clipped sentences, odd references to things not properly explained, and insider jargon. Temple does a fine job of authenticating his police dialog, but at times this can be challenging if one is not tuned in to subtleties. While I appreciate the desire to render things accurately, a bit more clarity would have gone a long way. And this book will take you a long way. From a guy who steps into multiple murder scenes, who juggles his emotionally inaccessible father, who wrestles with how to handle a drug addicted daughter, and who somehow manages to do his job. There’s a morality play in here, one that demonstrates how the world rarely forgets and less often forgives, but continues on, carried by people like Villani who never give up.

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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