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Hollywood Hills
Hollywood Station Series, No 4
Joseph Wambaugh

Hachette Audio
November 16, 2010/ ISBN 1607889749
Mystery / Police Procedural / Audio CD

Reviewed by
Jo Rogers

Joseph Wambaugh returns to the Los Angeles crime beat with Hollywood Hills, the sixth visit to Hollywood Station. The story begins on the beach at Malibu. Off duty Officers Flotsam and Jetsam, engaging in their favorite pastime, surfing, noticed a photographer at work down the beach. The girl wasn’t completely naked, but close enough to violate the law against nude sunbathing. As they debated the situation, two sheriff’s deputies drove up in their patrol car. As the female deputy told the photographer he would have to move his operation elsewhere, beach bums gathered around. One of them threw a can of beer, hitting the female deputy in the head.

A battle ensued, in which the perpetrator got away from Flotsam and Jetsam, but they managed to inflict some injuries. Meanwhile, at Hollywood Station, things were normal, which means they were weird. One man, Nigel Wickland, got his friend, Raleigh Dibble, a nice job as butler, chef, and general flunky, for a wealthy woman in Hollywood Hills. He was to look after her elderly brother-in-law while she was in Tuscany. While she was gone, Nigel talked him into helping him steal two of the paintings in her art collection. Add to the mix a junkie named Jonas Claymore and his girlfriend, Megan Burke, who steal the paintings from Nigel, and things get totally out of hand.

Except for the excessive use of profanity, Hollywood Hills is a great comedy of errors. There’s the main plot, the theft of the two paintings from the art collection, but there are interesting side stories as well. Why was the drunk pouring drinks into a vase and talking to himself? That’s only a small sample. Listen to Hollywood Hills and have some laughs.

Reviewer's Note: Contains violence, profanity

Hollywood Station Series

Reviewed 2011
© 2011