Hollywood Moon is the third in Joseph Wambaugh’s Hollywood Station series. For the uninitiated these twisted tales of the city follow the high wired exploits of LAPD beat cops in L.A.’s most decadent precinct.
As a former a detective sergeant himself, Wambaugh knows a thing or three about life on the mean streets of Los Angeles, unsurprising then that this tale is heavy laden with delicious anecdotes that bear the characteristic traits of stranger than fiction beat cop lore.
Wambaugh is no stranger to such anecdotes, his 1971 bestseller, The New Centurions and his legendary1975 book The Choirboys established Big Joe as a crime writing legend—a reputation cemented by his nonfiction book The Onion Field, a work compared by many to Truman Capote’s literary classic In Cold Blood.
But it is in black in comedy and a deft understanding of the criminal underworld where Wambaugh reins supreme. Yes, he knows cops. But he just LOVES writing about criminals—especially low-rent criminals, and that makes him our kind of guy.
The novels in the Hollywood Station series are standalone works in their own right, but many of the LAPD characters recur throughout the series. We get “Hollywood” Nate Weiss, the aspiring actor, and his partner, the daunting Dana Vaughn, she might be tough, but is she tough enough for Hollyweird? We also get the dudetastically retarded Flotsam and Jetsam, the “surfer cops” who regard police work as something of a sideline to their world of babes and pranks.
Then there are the crooks, and it is here that Wambaugh excels, because he has an almost disturbing understanding of tweakers and trannies and the myriad miscreants drifting along the shabby side streets of tinsel town. In this installment of the series, we meet Dewey and Eunice—a pair of high-tech scammers who are almost as desperate to rip each other off, as they are the public at large.
Interwoven with this sordid little story we meet Malcolm Rojas a chilling mommy’s boy with a penchant for sexual deviance. We don’t know how it will end, but we know it is going to be ugly… guaranteed.
Overseeing the carnage is Sgt. Lee Murillo who tells his troops—There is a real Hollywood moon tonight. As you know, a full moon over Hollywood brings out the beast rather than the best in our citizens. The car that comes back with the weirdest encounter of the night will get an extra-large pizza with the works.
As can be expected in the weird world of Wambaugh, it is a tough call to find the winner, will it be the case of double necrophilia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery? Or the salacious shenanigans on Sodom-Monica Boulevard? If you want to find out Crimeziners, you are going to have to get weird and bark at the Hollywood Moon. Owwwwwwwwwwwwww!