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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Floaters by Joseph Wambaugh | LibraryThing

Fortney and Leeds are two harbor patrol cops in San Diego.  Blaze is a hooker enlisted by Ambrose, the Keeper of the Cup, to engage in a scheme to thwart the New Zealanders likely win of the America Cup. It’s a complicated plan involving making one crane operator sick so another can arrange for the boat with it’s slick design to fall as it’s being lifted into the water.  Dawn is another hooker who happens to know Blaze and arranges to leave town before she can be murdered by her pimp.  Then there are a couple of really smart cops, “Letch” (you can guess how he got his nickname) Boggs, and Annie Zorn formerly Bartlett and Sullivan, a homicide detective.

All of these characters come together.

Lots of humorous and cynical dialogue and scenes.  I love the one where Fortney and Leeds see what is apparently a man walking on water (it *was* Easter Sunday so it might be allowed) only to discover it was a man walking on the top of his motor home at the boat ramp, screaming, “You fucking bitch.  I told you to put it in gear.”

Leeds is a practical joker. “Two years earlier he’d gone to the trouble of capturing a ground squirrel and putting it in the bottom drawer of the sergeant’s desk. Recapturing it after it scared the crap out of the guy had nearly destroyed the entire office...These days Leeds was preoccupied with politics rather than practical jokes. A hobnailed Republican, he’d dedicated himself to purging the nation of President Clinton, whom he called the dude with the world’s worst taste in babes. Anything could bring on a political diatribe. When they cruised past the Youth Camp area on Fiesta Island and a boozy bunch of teenagers playing volleyball on the beach flipped them off, Leeds said, “I wanna retire to a place where everyone waves at cops with all their fingers.”

Humorous scenes abound with lots of biting social commentary and ridicule of the America’s Cup culture.  Lots of fun.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Wambaugh and will now work (hardly work) my way through more of his books.


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