Hollywood Hills Review
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The eccentric cops at author Joseph Wambaugh’s Hollywood Station are used to taking the crazy cases. After all, in Hollywood, anything can happen—and, in Hollywood Hills, it does.

Ex-con Raleigh Dibble is surprised when posh art dealer Nigel Wickland helps him get the perfect job as wealthy widow Leona Brueger’s butler/chef/caretaker. But he doesn’t suspect that Nigel is hatching a plot to steal some of the late Mr. Brueger’s valuable paintings. It’s a pretty simple plan—and Leona pays so little attention to the paintings that she’d never notice if they were replaced with forgeries—but Raleigh isn’t sure that he wants to risk more jail time.

At the same time, two desperate young addicts are hatching a plan of their own. Jonas Claymore and his girlfriend, Megan, have been casing out homes in the Hollywood Hills, looking for easy prey.

Someone’s going to make a killing at the Brueger mansion, but only the smartest crooks will survive.

Wambaugh’s usual cast of quirky characters is back for this fourth Hollywood Station novel—and, once again, they face all of the drama, the comedy, and (of course) the action of a big-budget blockbuster. This time, they’re called in to break up hefty domestic disturbances, pick up costumed criminals on the Walk of Fame, and wrestle angry Goth giants. Yet, mixed in with the random chapters detailing their most bizarre calls, there’s also a bigger, more involved story to be told—and it’s just as twisted and amusing as any of the cops’ other adventures.

From unlikely crime duo Raliegh and Nigel to LAPD’s own SAG member Hollywood Nate Weiss and surfer cops Flotsam and Jetsam—and even the minor characters, who only get a page or two of print—the characters make Hollywood Hills a light and enjoyable read. If you’ve read one of Wambaugh’s Hollywood Station books before, you’ll enjoy reading more about your old favorites—but even if this is your first experience with the cops at Hollywood Station, you’ll get to know (and like) them almost instantly, thanks to Wambaugh’s expert character development.

Hollywood Hills is definitely an entertaining read—but isn’t all about the laughs. The cops also face difficult situations that give the book its honest and emotional moments. It also makes the characters feel even more like real people.

While some readers may still struggle with Wambaugh’s random, scattered storytelling, the amusing cop anecdotes are well worth it. Crime stories this quirky could only happen in Hollywood—and nobody writes quirky Hollywood crime stories quite like Joseph Wambaugh does.

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