cover image Hollywood Hills

Hollywood Hills

Joseph Wambaugh, read by Christian Rummel. Hachette Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 11 hrs., $34.98 ISBN 978-1-60788-974-8

Wambaugh once again delves into the life of his quirky LAPD officer, "Hollywood Nate," and the surfer dudes, officers Flotsam and Jetsam. It would be enough to merely follow these cops on their patrol as they encounter all the odd, comic, and at times tragic characters that "Hollyweird" has to offer, but Wambaugh ties in smart complications: two drugged-out kids who quite by chance become involved in a perpetually troubled art theft attempted by a pretentious art dealer and the ex-con turned house man that he enlists as his partner in crime. Christian Rummel offers a well-thought-out, nicely rendered performance, shifting in tone from the wry and humorous to the pragmatic and heartbreaking. His characterizations are simple and effective, never overreaching in execution but still giving each character a distinctive and individual voice. Fans of Wambaugh will not be disappointed. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Feb.)