Hollywood Hills (Hollywood Station Series #4)

Hollywood Hills (Hollywood Station Series #4)

by Joseph Wambaugh

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The legendary Hollywood Hills are home to wealth, fame, and power—passing through the neighborhood, it's hard not to get a little greedy.

LAPD veteran "Hollywood Nate" Weiss could take or leave the opulence, but he wouldn't say no to onscreen fame. He may get his shot when he catches the appreciative eye of B-list director Rudy Ressler, and his troublemaking fiancée, Leona Brueger, the older-but-still-foxy widow of a processed-meat tycoon. Nate tries to elude her crafty seductions, but consents to keep an eye on their estate in the Hollywood Hills while they're away.

Also minding the mansion is Raleigh Dibble, a hapless ex-con trying to put the past behind him. Raleigh is all too happy to be set up for the job—as butler-cum-watchdog—by Nigel Wickland, Leona's impeccably dressed art dealer. What Raleigh doesn't realize is that under the natty clothes and posh accent, Nigel has a nefarious plan: two paintings hanging on the mansion's walls will guarantee them more money than they've ever seen.

Everyone's dreams are just within reach—the only problem is, this is Hollywood. A circle of teenage burglars that the media has dubbed The Bling Ring has taken to pillaging the homes of Hollywood celebutants like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, and when a pair of drug-addled young copycats stumbles upon Nigel's heist, that's just the beginning of the disaster to come. Soon Hollywood Nate, surfer cops Flotsam and Jetsam, and the rest of the team at Hollywood Station have a deadly situation on their hands.

Hollywood Hills is a raucous and dangerous roller coaster ride that showcases Joseph Wambaugh in vintage form.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446584081
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Series: Hollywood Station Series , #4
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 635,487
Product dimensions: 4.00(w) x 6.78(h) x 1.24(d)

About the Author

Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant, is the bestselling author of 19 prior works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Choirboys and The Onion Field. In 2004, he was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in southern California.

Read an Excerpt

Hollywood Hills

A Novel
By Wambaugh, Joseph

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2011 Wambaugh, Joseph
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446584081


THE BUTT-FLOSS BUNNY’S busted, bro,” said the alliteration-loving, sunbaked blond surfer. He was already in his black wet suit, lying on the sand and ogling the photo shoot thirty yards farther south on Malibu Beach on a late summer day that made Southern California’s kahunas wonder why the rest of the world lived anywhere else.

“They can’t jam her, dude,” his taller surfing partner said, hair darker blond and also streaked with highlights, as he squirmed into his own black wet suit. “The ordinance says no nude sunbathing. Well, she ain’t sunbathing and she’s wearing a gold eye patch over her cookie and a pair of Dr. Scholl’s corn pads over her nibs. So she ain’t technically unclothed, even though she is, like, hormonally speaking, as naked as Minnie the mermaid who haunts my dreams.”

“Anyways, everybody can see she ain’t no surf bunny,” said the shorter surfer. “Even her toenails are way jeweled up and all perfectamundo. So if chocka chicks wanna go denuded for a professional photo op, they deserve a pass.”

“She deserves more than that for putting up with that met-sex woffie, for sure,” the tall surfer said, referring to the skeletal metrosexual photographer in a tight pink T-shirt, with a fall of so casual highlighted hair draped over his non-camera eye. The photographer was yapping orders to his perspiring young male assistant, whose gelled hair was combed up from the sides in a faux-hawk ’do, almost as fast as he clicked photos of the redhead.

“If she gets a ticket, it should be for littering a public beach with those two hodads in rainbow rubber, not for displaying her fabuloso physique,” the shorter surfer replied, alluding to the two male models sharing the photo session as mere backdrop.

One was wearing a cherry-red wet suit with a white stripe up one leg, and the other a lemon-yellow wet suit equally offensive to the observing ring of sneering water enforcers who claimed this part of Malibu as kahuna turf. They viewed anyone wearing anything but a solid black or navy wet suit as dissing surfing traditions, and as a legitimate target to be surfboard-speared if they dared enter the water to claim a wave.

That lip-curling judgment was further confirmed by the leashes attached to the spanking-new longboards being used as props, surfboard leashes being almost as objectionable as colored wet suits to the gathering group of surfing purists watching the goings-on. The longboards, one turquoise, one violet, were positioned directly behind the magnificent redhead, who kept changing poses for the photographer. He was carefully framing provocative body shots fore and aft, unfazed by the L.A. Sheriff’s Department black-and-white pulling into a parking space reserved for emergency vehicles.

“Here comes five-oh,” said the taller surfer to his partner when two uniformed deputies, a young man and an older woman, got out and strode across the sand toward the photo shoot.

“Never a cop when you need one, bro,” the shorter surfer noted. “And we don’t need one now. The last time the little scallywag jiggled, one of her corn pads popped loose, which was like, too cool for school.”

The taller surfer said, “Roger that. She is fully hot. Fully! But personally, right now I’m all dialed in to see what happens if the pair of rainbow donks actually hit the briny on their unwaxed logs. The surf Nazis’re gonna go all return-of-Jaws berserk when they smell that kooker blood in the water.”

“Get your happy on, bro,” his partner said. “Forget the two squids. Just wax up and enjoy the gymnosophical gyrations of that slammin’ spanker.”

“Gymno…?” said the tall surfer. Then, “Dude, I hate it when you take community college classes and go all vocabu-lyrical instead of speaking everyday American English.”

Just then, the woman deputy, a tall Asian veteran with her black hair pulled into a tight bun, moved ahead of her burly young Latino partner to confront the photographer, who reluctantly stopped shooting and faced her.

“This is attracting an unruly crowd,” she said. “It’s not the time or place for a photo session of this nature on Malibu Beach. I’d like you to shut it down and take it to a more private location.”

As the deputy said this, the redhead was performing splits on the yellow surfboard that one of the male models had placed flat on the sand as a pedestal for the next flurry of shots. But when the redhead got into the splits position, she lost control of her eye patch thong, attached by a string that rode over her hips and disappeared between the cheeks of her liquid-tanned buttocks. When the eye patch got crumpled against her upper thigh, her shaved genitalia was exposed, and a cheer went up from the raucous ring of twenty young men, most of them in wet suits, now completely surrounding the photo shoot. A salvo of lascivious commentary followed as the young men pushed in closer.

“See what I mean?” said the woman deputy to the photographer. “Shut this down now.”

“About her thong,” the photographer said. “If she puts one on that’s made of wider material, will we be all right? I mean, I’ve been told that if there’s a patch over her tulips and enough material in back so that her cheeks don’t touch each other, it cannot be considered nudity on a public beach.”

The giggling redhead, seemingly aroused by the male effluvium enveloping her like funky smoke, said to her boss, “You mean it’ll make my costume legal if my cheeks don’t touch?”

And with that, she arched her back, grabbed a buttock in each hand, and spread them slightly, all the while winking at her play-surfer colleagues in rainbow suits. Both of them had declined her offer to whiff a few lines just before the photo shoot and now looked unnerved by her coke-driven behavior.

The one in the lemon-yellow wet suit whispered in her ear, “Gloria, this is not risqué, this is fucking risky. We’re surrounded by testosterone-crazed animals.”

“That’s it,” said the woman deputy as the model rearranged her thong. “You’re in violation of the law. Get off this beach and stand by our car. Do it now.”

The photographer sighed in disgust, hands on his narrow hips, and gazed up, muttering to the vast cloudless sky over Malibu and the Pacific Ocean before reluctantly saying, “Okay, kids, it’s a fucking wrap.”

“I was just getting into it!” the redhead cried, snatching a towel from a folding chair.

And though alcohol consumption was prohibited on the beach, the grungiest of the nonsurfers were hammered, and an open can of beer was thrown from the back of the crowd. It soared over the heads of the nearest surfers, striking the deputy on the back of the head just above her bun of hair, splashing beer onto her tan uniform shirt.

“Owwww!” she yelped, whirling toward the mob.

“I saw which one did it!” her partner said, barging through the ring of wet suits, running down the beach after a fleeing teen in a torn T-shirt. As a result of having sloshed down two 40s of Olde English and a six-pack of Corona, the teen tripped over an obese, snoring tourist in plaid golf pants who was tits up and turning bubblegum-pink under the late afternoon sun.

The deputy wrestled the kid to the sand, looking as though he were trying to decide whether to grab handcuffs or pepper spray, when his partner, blood droplets wetting the collar of her uniform shirt, ran up and pounced on the thrashing teen, who yelled, “I didn’t mean to hit nobody! It was just a lucky shot!”

“Unlucky for you, asshole,” the Latino deputy said.

“I can hook him up,” the woman deputy said to her partner as they grappled, “if you’ll get his goddamn arm twisted back.”

“I’m suing you!” the kid hollered. Then to the milling crowd of onlookers, “You people are witnessing police brutality! Give me your names and phone numbers!”

After their prisoner was handcuffed, they jerked him upright and started dragging him toward the parking lot.

Then another of the grungier beach creatures, in board shorts, inked-out from his neck to his knees with full-sleeve tatts on both arms and missing an incisor and two bicuspids in his upper grille, yelled, “Let him go. He didn’t do nothing. Some nigger threw the beer and ran off.”

He drunkenly slouched toward the deputies, full of booze and bravado, holding the neck of an empty beer bottle like a hammer, and the young deputy drew his Taser and pointed it at him. The female deputy immediately talked into her rover and requested backup while she kept her eyes on the increasingly rowdy mob, at the same time trying to decide which of the half dozen nonsurfing sand maggots could be a real threat.

She didn’t realize that backup was much closer than she thought, and it arrived in a violent explosion of energy that stunned everybody. The tall blond surfer and his shorter partner issued no warnings, but running full speed, the taller one surged in low like a blitzing linebacker and slammed his shoulder into the lower spine of the guy with the beer bottle, who sailed forward, back bowed, and crashed hard against two surfers, knocking both of them flat on the sand. One of the other sleazed-out beach lice in ragged jeans instantly leaped on the back of the tall surfer as he was getting to his feet and tried for a stranglehold. He let go when the shorter surfer grabbed his hair, jerked his head back, and dug three piston punches into the guy’s kidneys, which made him drop to the sand, howling louder than his wounded mate.

“Get him to your car fast!” the tall surfer yelled to the deputies.

He picked up and brandished the beer bottle, standing shoulder to shoulder with his partner, facing off the jeering gaggle of now-hesitant surfers as the deputies continued dragging their handcuffed prisoner across the warm white sand of Malibu Beach.

The remainder of the surfing crowd suddenly had to rethink the whole business after seeing the two beach rats get cranked by the dynamic duo, whoever the fuck they were. And besides, since the wicked wahini and her crew were scampering to their SUV, the sexy rush was over. They figured that pretty soon there’d be more cops.

And anyway, they’d been out of the water too long. Adrenaline started gushing and synapses snapping when they saw half a dozen other surfers digging through the breakers. The surf was peaky and a young ripper came slicing in on a hugangus juicy while other surfers hooted him on. So what the fuck were they doing on dry land dicking around with these cops anyway?

Suddenly, as though on command, they all turned and began scrambling toward the ocean like a raft of clumsy sea lions, but once in the water and on their boards, they were transformed, and they darted, sleek as otters, through the shore break, with cops and even the redhead utterly forgotten. Their only concern was not getting cut off as they paddled from break to break in waves punchy and raw, waiting for a big one because this… this was what it was all about. They had discovered the meaning of life.

After the deputies got their handcuffed prisoner strapped into the backseat of the caged patrol unit, the tall surfer and his shorter partner heard the yelp of sirens as the LASD black-and-white units came roaring into the parking lot.

“Dude, I mighta rearranged a few disks in that sand maggot’s back,” the tall surfer said to his partner. “If we don’t wanna get bogged to the ass in paperwork and lawsuits and shit, I think we should, like, fade out at this point and maybe frequent Bolsa Chica Beach for the next few weeks.”

“I hear ya, bro,” his partner said. “The sleazed-out surf rat that I nailed is gonna be pissing blood for a few days, so I ain’t ready to answer a bunch of questions about why we didn’t ID ourselves and advise them of their rights and give them all a chance to kick the shit outta the deputies and us, too. I say, let’s bounce.”

The younger, Latino deputy was busy corralling the photo crew as witnesses for his reports, and the older, female deputy was gingerly touching her injured head and scanning the growing crowd of looky-loos, but she couldn’t find the surfing pair who’d decked the beach rats. She definitely needed them for the arrest and crime reports now that they were going to book their prisoner for the felony assault on a peace officer, but the arriving backup units caused a traffic snarl and she had to direct cars out of their way. This allowed the tall blond surfer and his shorter blond partner, hiding behind the throngs of beachgoers, to slip away, collect their boards, and scurry unobserved to their pickup truck in the parking lot.

They drove off and headed for the closest In-N-Out Burger, where they each devoured two cheeseburgers and fries. They arrived at work in time for a shower, a shave, an allowable application of hair gel, and a quick change into uniforms, ready for the 5:15 P.M. midwatch roll call.

All of the other police officers at Hollywood Station referred to this team of surfer cops as Flotsam and Jetsam.


Excerpted from Hollywood Hills by Wambaugh, Joseph Copyright © 2011 by Wambaugh, Joseph. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Hollywood Hills (Hollywood Station Series #4) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Every city has its story and is filled with every manner of character willing to tell you all about what makes them tick, the more personal the better. In Joseph Wambaugh's latest Hollywood Hills series he explores this theory and writes the story from every perspective possible in rapid fire succession. He starts with the police officer who wants to be a movie star, the struggling director that wants to be an Oscar winner, the drug addict trying to figure out how to get the money for the next score, an ex-con working a new angle, the art thief plotting his next idea, all the police officers on the beat dealing with all of this and still getting up the next day to do it all over again. There are so many people coming and going in this book and the chapters are fast reads and come at you from every point of view. You are interjected with thoughts, feelings and desperate acts that you at times feel you need to be writing the characters down just to keep up but just as you are saying "who is that guy" Mr. Wambaugh pulls everything together so that you know what this character is up to, thinking and figuring out their next move along with them. It is fascinating reading and everyone in this book completes it and without each of them it would not work as well which is something this author is the master of. Every person has a reason for being in the story and every reader will be mesmerized as they follow the plot of all these lives. As a fan of the police procedural book that Joseph Wambaugh writes this one stands out for me because he has taken the core characters and expanded them and pulled in new ones in such a way you can't put this book down until you figure out what is going to happen. I am thrilled to have read this and been able to hopefully sell a few copies with this review.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the Hollywood Hills, movie director Rudy Ressler and his fiancée wealthy Widow Leona Brueger meet LAPD cop "Hollywood" Nate Weiss. Rudy thinks Hollywood as the right look for the screen while Leona thinks he has the right "meat" for her boy toy. They ask him to keep an eye on their estate while they are out of town, which he agrees to do. Former convict turned butler Raleigh Dibble works at the Ressler mansion where he plans to stay legit. Leona's sleazy snobby art dealer Nigel Wickland also watches the mansion, but has different plans for what is inside and for the butler he placed inside. However, his scheme runs into problems when drug addicted losers Jonas Claymore and Megan Burke intrude on his game. As the rest of the Hollywood Hills cops deal with an assortment of crazies like the notorious Wedgie Bandit, the Bling Ring break and enter teens and the Addams Family clones the Goths, cop Della Ravelle guides rookie officer Britney Small as to how to properly surf (with a nod to Flotsam and Jetsam) LAPD and the dangerous streets worked by the LAPD Hollywood Station. The fourth Hollywood Station police procedural (see Hollywood Moon and Hollywood Crows) is a wacky jocular thriller due to the clash between the cops and robbers. Fast-paced throughout, the main plot has several folks crashing and clashing at the Ressler mansion, but not all are after a master art theft. Readers will appreciate Joseph Wambaugh's wonderfully amusing entry; as the great author places all the insanity and lunacy inside serious criminal and police activities. This is another winner. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is part four in the continuing series about the cops of Hollywood Station. If you liked the earlier books in the series, then you will like this one as well. Familiar characters, familiar locations and familiar narrative. Is it Wambaugh at his best? Probably not, but it is good Wambaugh continuing his series and that is not so bad.
nitzicat More than 1 year ago
I have been reading Wambaugh since the beginning. Still the best there is. I like the Hollywood station series and I hope he keeps it up. The Choirboys and the Onion Field are classic,read them if you havn't,and the Hollywood station series is keeping up the tradition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. I thought the integration of Hollywood Station cops throughout his series has been great. Of particular note: it seemed as if there was more of the supporting characters here and less of the main ones. The dodgy, tweaker motif seemed overused when compared to its use in other books of this series, but this is still a great read. Keep it up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A brown and black K9 sits in front of the police department sitting at attention, his black ears pricked for the slightest sound...
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FrankTX More than 1 year ago
As always, Joseph Wambaugh has produced another great work. I have yet to be disappointed with anything he has written, the action is always there and forward moving. And it was easy reading on my Nook Simple.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Say it ain't so Joe! While I didn't deserve to expect "the Onion Fields" quality, I didn't expect to get the 'feel' that here comes another ghost writer, attaching crap to a famous name on the cover and title page. The first couple of chapters give the reader hope, but then, after the development of several diverse and potentially interesting characters, the writer merely uses those characters typical days to basically present a DIARY of their days after days, into a daze! Boring not just because of the contrast from those high expectations that the Waumbaugh name in itself promises, but boring because that is what it is.
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OB-at-OTR More than 1 year ago
As usual Wambaugh gives the reader an excellent bit of entertainment that becomes only richer with each new book in the series.
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Oscar Campbell More than 1 year ago
LA to the max! Love the characters sense of humor. Time to have a laugh at the expense of hollywood div. cops. Like dude!