When it comes to books I’m really bad about stepping outside my comfort zone. I discover an author or genre I enjoy and tend to stick with it, devouring every book I can find. Founding a book club has helped me expand my horizons but I know if Heather McElhatton released a book tomorrow I’d drop everything, except a baby, to go buy it. I’m still waiting patiently for the sequel “Jennifer Johnson Is Sick Of Being Married.”
A few months ago my friend Stacie and I decided we wanted to get nutty and read a crime drama. She has a cool job as a crime scene investigator so she was ready for all the gore and grime but I can’t even watch Shark Week on Discovery channel without cringing so we had to compromise. Winner winner chicken dinner: Joseph Wambaugh and the Hollywood Station series.
Joseph Wambaugh is a seasoned writer who published his first book about the time I was toddling around in diapers. Over the years he’s proven himself to be a master storyteller with over fifteen crime novels under his belt. He may be writing fiction but as a former Detective Sergeant for the LAPD he comes by his subject matter honestly.
Hollywood Hills, published November 2010, is the fourth installment of the popular Hollywood Station series that debuted in 2006. Each book, centered around the daily adventures of the LAPD, includes a casting call of drug addicts, thieves, murderers and general ne’er do wells. Throughout the series Wambaugh continues the story of Hollywood’s genuine and sometimes zany police officers including “Hollywood Nate” Weisz, a veteran officer trying to simultaneously catch criminals and become the next Brad Pitt.
Wambaugh has a brilliant knack for character and plot development. He lets you get comfy while he tells you about new criminals and elaborates on the lives of previously mentioned characters. Then before you know it, you’re running lights and sirens through the Hollywood hills as he connects lives and solves crimes before the exciting finale.
Material for the series came from “dine and drink” sessions with “coppers” and Wambaugh’s time on the force. The conversation between the LAPD characters is authentic and Wambaugh peppers the story with just the right amount of humor, crime and grit.
The Hollywood Station series proved once again how good it is for me to step outside my comfort zone. Except now all I can think of is Heather McElhatton writing a book titled, “Jennifer Johnson Is Sick Of Petty Criminals.” *Shrug* It could happen.