Wambaugh’s loosely constructed police procedural revisits all the characters from his popular Hollywood series and introduces several more in this light mystery centered around an art theft. Surfer cops Flotsam and Jetsam, wantabe actor “Hollywood Nate” and others work through the daily grind, trying to maintain order on their beats as art dealer Nigel Wickland plots how to best profit from the wealthy Widow Brueger’s upcoming trip to Tuscany. In a chain of entertaining antics and confrontation that proves any that can go wrong will, the men and women in blue follow trails that will reveal who was behind two deaths.
This lightening fast tale is told from the perspective of every character of which there are enough to leave readers reeling. Though the character development isn’t particularly deep, it does provide a window into the mindset and reasons for the things they do. Just hang on and enjoy the ride as Wambaugh flawlessly ties them together in such a way as to resolve the many subplots and provide a satisfying, light mystery in a city filled with broken dreams.