"When it comes to portraying life on the street from a cop’s perspective, no one tells it with more authenticity and flair than former L.A. Police Detective Joseph Wambaugh. Harbor Nocturne, the fifth in his Hollywood Station series, is proof positive that the master hasn’t lost his touch. This highly entertaining book, possibly his best fiction since The Choirboys, has it all: action, love, suspense, pathos, realism, quirky characters and especially humor—the dark, sarcastic, hilarious humor of cops trying to cope with the weirdness that is human nature. What a tale he tells, or rather what a series of tales, as each tour of duty is filled with incidents that are short stories in themselves. Many of the cops from the previous four books are back and as loveably loony as ever (Britney Small, surfer cops “Flotsam” and “Jetsam,” handsome “Hollywood Nate” Weiss), but with new and zany civilians to perk up or ruin their nights.
Wambaugh isn’t just relating a series of vignettes in the daily life of these men and women in blue, he has written a fully developed crime novel dealing with the sex and drug culture of present-day California. The action alternates between Hollywood and San Pedro, one of the harbor areas of Los Angeles. A young longshoreman, Dinko Babich, falls in love with Lita Medina, an illegal Mexican immigrant he helps after she witnesses a murder and is hunted by violent thugs. The contrasts between the longshoreman’s Croatian family background and the girl’s Mexican one are beautifully drawn and their love affair so gently portrayed that the reader can’t help but root for them. How these star-crossed lovers and the cops of Hollywood Division intertwine makes for one unforgettable, delightful reading experience."
---Mystery Scene Magazine