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Hollywood Crows
Sequel to Hollywood Station

by Joseph Wambaugh
Read by Christian Rummel

      Hollywood Crows, the sequel to Hollywood Station (also reviewed on, is the follow-up to the old detective characters with a new plot. This is my first Wambaugh mystery and I cannot compare it to his first, but I can say that it was intriguing. Both novels are set on the streets of Los Angeles. Hollywood Crows begins with your not so ordinary but usual fare of deadbeat crime stars, but, as the beat goes on, the story reveals an undercurrent of a plotting murder whenever detectives run into small time criminal action and find connections to big time names cropping up.  This leads detectives to investigate the reasons why these names keep surfacing. 

Author and former LAPD detective, Joseph Wambaugh, weaves an intricate story with many subplots and sideways jags.  I found the audio version a slow build to a table-turning ending.  Narrator Christian Rummel has an amazingly versatile range of character voices and much was demanded from him in this reading. 

The Hollywood Crows case is wrapped around Ali Aziz, a Boulevard strip club operator, and his soon to be ex-wife Margot. They both want the other one out of the way and are plotting to get the job done permanently, enlisting the services of the willing, and the unwilling, as it turns out.  Caught in the middle of their nasty divorce is their young son Nicky.  The Hollywood Crows force include some of LAPD’s finest... a suntanned surfing duo named Flotsam and Jetsam who speak the latest beach lingo, "Hollywood Nate" Weiss, a dutiful SAG card carrying cop, his friend and comrade, Bix, Ronnie Sinclair and Cat Song, LAPD femme fatales, and Sergeant Treacle or "chicken lips," to name a few.

In this audio version, Rummel’s voice-overs can be a little disengaging, but with Wambaugh’s masterful character analysis, no part of their personality was left to speculation. At times Crows was a little hard to follow because of so many character introductions at various times during the story, but as the plot thickened and the intensity grew I found myself following the storyline with greater interest and ease.  I enjoyed the Hollywood backdrop as it added a unique and interesting twist to the normal criminal lineup found in other cities.

Good story for a long road trip.

The Book

Hachette Audio
March 25, 2008
Unabridged Audiobook 10 Cd’s /11 1/2 hours
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The Reviewer

Nicole Merritt
Reviewed 2008
© 2008