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Harbor Nocturne | [Joseph Wambaugh]

Harbor Nocturne

When Dinko Babich, a young longshoreman, delivers Lita Medina, a young Mexican dancer, from San Pedro Harbor to a Hollywood nightclub, their lives are forever changed. An unexpectedly tender and moving love story develops among the cops and criminals who occupy the harbor, and soon Dinko and Lita are caught up in terror and peril through no fault of their own.
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Publisher's Summary

When Dinko Babich, a young longshoreman, delivers Lita Medina, a young Mexican dancer, from San Pedro Harbor to a Hollywood nightclub, their lives are forever changed. An unexpectedly tender and moving love story develops among the cops and criminals who occupy the harbor, and soon Dinko and Lita are caught up in terror and peril through no fault of their own.

Some LAPD characters from Wambaugh’s acclaimed “Hollywood Station” series are here: the surfer cops “Flotsam and Jetsam,” aspiring actor “Hollywood Nate” Weiss, and young Britney Small, along with new members of the midwatch, all gamely coping with the wackiness of Hollywood. It’s a tale only Wambaugh could have told, with his trademark dark humor and unflinching eye for detail.

©2012 Joseph Wambaugh. Recorded by arrangement with Mysterious Press, an imprint of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (P)2012 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

“Razor-edged dialogue punctuates the vignette-filled plot. Realistic criminals are well matched by Wambaugh’s equally authentic police.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

“A very fast ride-along, enlivened by cop gallows humor, snarky street altercations, and an insistent pull to the dark side.” (Booklist, Starred Review)

“The legendary Wambaugh’s newest is chock-full of his trademark cop talk and offbeat side vignettes.” (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (89 )
5 star
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4.1 (77 )
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4.2 (74 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ryan Springfield, MO, United States 09-14-12
    Ryan Springfield, MO, United States 09-14-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
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    Story
    "This is a Hollywood Station novel."
    What did you love best about Harbor Nocturne?

    After initially thinking this was not in the Hollywood Station series, I was thrilled to realize that it was a continuation of the stories of the men and women I grew to love in Wambaugh's earlier novels. It was particularly nice to see what had happened to the surfer cops after the accident in the last book. I love all of these characters and was grateful for another chance to visit their world.


    Any additional comments?

    I felt that this reader did a great job, but I hate it when they change readers mid series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 11-15-13
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 11-15-13 Member Since 2010

    Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Hollywood Station Novel"

    Dissection of classes cultural and economic with a good story. I love Waumbaugh's ability to paint a picture. He doesn't flinch, isn't brutal for shock value, and won't give you a happy ending because everyone expects desset.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An entry in the Hollywood Station gang."

    This is another in the Hollywood Station series, which I find heart-warming and funny, especially the police dark humor. In this one, which is more of a love story than usual, Dinko, doing a friend a favor, takes Lita Medina to her home from a Hollywood nightclub where she is working. He finds that Lita, a young Mexican girl, is one of the young women tricked into coming to the U.S. for a new life but instead finds herself enslaved to a pimp, entrapped because he paid her fee to the “coyote” for bringing her out of Mexico, and because her English isn’t great, and she knows no one there. In order to “pay off this debt” she has to work as a prostitute for her “handler.” The trouble begins when a Korean mob boss loses 13 illegal aliens who were being smuggled into the U.S. in a shipping container. The Korean realizes he has lost a large investment and looks for someone to blame. In the meantime, Daisy, who is a sister to one of the refugees coming over, is so horrified by all of those people dying in the container, that she leaves and tells her roommates that she is going to the police. Lita is one of those roommates. When Lita finds out that Daisy is dead, she flees to the only person she has met in America not part of this mob group-Dinko. He takes her in, and they fall in love. Dinko is attempting to alleviate the danger Lita is in by knowing that Daisy was going to the police. In the meantime, the comic relief is provided by the surfer dudes. One of them, who lost a foot in the previous book but retained his place in the police force because his artificial foot works so well that people mostly don’t know he has it, are picked by a vice cop supervisor to run a sting on a Russian who has a strange fixation on people with artificial limbs. The idea of the surfer dudes working under cover is fairly hysterical, and Wambaugh makes us laugh out loud with this story. Eventually the two stories connect as relating to the smuggled refugees killed in the shipping container. A very good edition to the series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vic Graninger Murrieta, CA USA 05-30-12
    Vic Graninger Murrieta, CA USA 05-30-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "From the first paragraph Joseph Wambaugh had me"
    What made the experience of listening to Harbor Nocturne the most enjoyable?

    Joseph Wambaugh's story telling grabs you from the start and doses not let you go. He has a way of making his characters real and his fiction stories so real you would swear they were right out of the hidden Los Angles Hollywood never shows you.


    What about R. C. Bray???s performance did you like?

    R.C. brought depth and texture to all of the characters - this made the story even more real - I actually had deep feelings for the main characters thanks to R.C.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Dinko's mother finally accepted Lita with all of her baggage and short comings and Lita finally learned to trust someone and most of all how Dinko grew up and became the man his father would have been proud to say was his son.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Books-fly-2-me Cactus Forest, AZ 05-18-12
    Books-fly-2-me Cactus Forest, AZ 05-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great story, wonderful characters"
    Would you try another book from Joseph Waumbaugh and/or R. C. Bray?

    If R.C.Bray is reading it, I'll buy the print version gladly.


    What didn’t you like about R. C. Bray’s performance?

    He does a terrible job on Flotsum and Jetsum's voices. Listeners familiar with previous audio books about Hollywood Division will be disappointed. I am. The opening is rocky and uncertain. Hollywood Nate sounds overdone and smarmy like a bad toothpaste commercial announcer.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Scot Southampton, MA 05-10-12
    Robert Scot Southampton, MA 05-10-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Hollywood's Back, Baby!"
    What did you love best about Harbor Nocturne?

    I've always loved the grit, humor and realism of the Hollywood Station stories by Joseph Wambaugh. But of the several audiobooks I've listened to of Wambaugh's work, narrator R.C. Bray definitely got it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How true to human emotions it is; especially the use of humor. Humor helps aid in everything from sadness to loneliness to pure elation (obviously!). And Joseph Wambaugh is a natural master at it. The politically incorrect banter between the cops is incredibly refreshing. Nice to see that people aren't afraid to 'cross the lines' because they know that it's all in good fun and embracing our differences as well as our respective stereotypes - can be exhilaratingly hilarious and freeing.


    What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His tongue-in-cheek take definitely created a different vision of the Hollywood Station books for me. It's hard to bring a character to life more than Joseph Wambaugh, but R.C. Bray definitely held his own - he fleshed them out nicely. The accents were great too!!!

    This is one of my things that borders on a pet peeve but it'd be great if there was some consistency in the narrator for the 'Station' books. Not knocking the others by any means, but if I had my say I'd nominate R.C. Bray!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes - but having a full time job, and a family... kinda put the kaibash on that! HA!


    Any additional comments?

    A truly great listen - enjoy!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Wilson 04-26-12
    Greg Wilson 04-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "More fun with the boys of Hollywood Division"

    I really enjoy all of Wambaugh's novels following the cast of characters from Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police department. They are wacky, fun loving sometimes poignant but always effective keepers of the peace. You can't go wrong with this selection if you like a little humor with your drama.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Seattle, WA, United States 04-18-12
    Kindle Customer Seattle, WA, United States 04-18-12 Member Since 2007
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    "I liked it."

    His stories are all about Hollywood and vicinity and they are real.. You can go there and see the people he is writing about.. Since the LA Police have changed since the riots and
    Rodney King, so have his characters. I have been reading his books since theri beginning
    and I continue to await his next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John NORMAN, OK, United States 03-29-14
    John NORMAN, OK, United States 03-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Good story, interesting characters"

    I've been a Wambaugh fan for years, but this is the first one I've read in a while. There is a melancholy to the telling of the tale, and the characters are interesting ones you care about. The story is told with a lot of meandering side trips that just enrich the feeling of being in a real place. This is a good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike New Port Richey, FL, United States 09-15-12
    Mike New Port Richey, FL, United States 09-15-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another good one"

    Over the years, I have read all of Joseph Wambaugh's books and enjoyed everyone. This book is no exception. Well-developed, familiar characters, lots of cop humor and Hollywood wierdness, and a fast paced story make this book a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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