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The Blue Knight by Joseph Wambaugh

The Blue Knight (edition 2008)

by Joseph Wambaugh

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276141,007 (3.52)6
Title:The Blue Knight
Authors:Joseph Wambaugh
Info:Quercus Publishing Plc (2008), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Crime, Mystery, TBR

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The Blue Knight by Joseph Wambaugh



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This book was on a list of recommended mysteries, and was found in the mystery section--yet I don't think it really belongs there--both because this is no whodunnit, but also because it transcends that genre. We follow "Bumper" Morgan through the last three days of this beat in 1970s Los Angeles before he retires after 20 years on the police force.

And it's a great voice for a great character. Bumper is both cynical and idealistic--a knight with slightly tarnished armor--he feels very real. He's getting to an age where he can't do the job anymore that holds him in its grip--he's fat, he can't run, he has gas and his eyes aren't as sharp as they once were. And as his best friend and fellow cop Cruz Segovia tells him, the job is a whore, taking without giving, and his only hope is being able to accept love and a life beyond it.

I love how Bumper is not just allowed to make mistakes, but that those mistake have consequences. There's a bit of Don Quixote and Willy Loman in Bumper. In his introduction, Michael Connelly says a great work of crime fiction tells not of how a cop works his cases, but how the cases work him, and by any measure this is a great work of crime fiction on those terms that made me think all through about what it must be like to be a cop. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Dec 15, 2010 |
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To my parents
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Upton Birnie Brady

I often remember the rookie days and those who had discovered the allure of the beat. Then I thought them just peculiar old men. Now I wish they were all still here and that they might approve of this book.
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The wheel hummed and Rollo mumbled Yiddish curses as he put rouge on the glistening bronze surface.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446509191, Mass Market Paperback)

Ex-cop turned #1 New York Times bestselling writer Joseph Wambaugh forged a new kind of literature with his great early police procedurals. Gritty, luminous, and ultimately stunning, this novel is Wambaugh at his best--a tale of a street cop on the hardest beat of his life.

Twenty and two. Those are the numbers turning in the mind of William "Bumper" Morgan: twenty years on the job, two days before he "pulls the pin" and walks away from it forever. But on the gritty streets of L.A., people look at Bumper like some kind of knight in armor--they've plied him with come-ons, hot tips, and the hard respect a man can't earn anywhere else. Now, with a new job and a good woman waiting for him, a kinky thief terrorizing L.A.'s choice hotels, and a tragedy looming, Bumper Morgan is about to face the only thing that can scare him: the demons that he's been hiding behind his bright and shiny badge...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:57 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Bumper Morgan is a cop, a patrolman with twenty years' service under his belt and retirement is looming ominously close. His outlook is old-fashioned: he believes in justice - even when it doesn't conform to the letter of the law. If a judicious bit of violence will give him what he needs to solve a crime, so be it. That's the way the game's played. And it usually works. . .… (more)

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