THE latest novel by veteran US crime writer Joseph Wambaugh finds him back on familiar ground – patrolling the mean streets of Hollywood.
You might expect the plot of his latest adventure – layabout longshoreman finds love and redemption when he falls for a Mexican stripper with a heart of gold – to be little more than a B-movie cliche, but the writing and the characters lift this tale out of the ordinary.
Wambaugh brings his crowd of cops to life and does the same for the supporting cast of petty criminals and illegal immigrants who are making a living from the bright lights and tourist traps of Hollywood Boulevard.
He does not rely on shocking twists and turns to keep the plot moving, but instead slowly builds up the tension, keeping the reader glued until the final page.
It’s a great read by a writer at the top of his game.