The Black Marble Author:Joseph Wambaugh In his most tightly constructed and best-characterized novel to date, Joseph Wambaugh presents a major surprise: a novel in which crime is secondary to love, and dogs are sometimes more important than people. For here is the strange world of dog shows, the stranger story of a dognapping extortion scheme, and right in the middle of it all, the mo... more »st unusual of love stories.
The hard-hitting, hard-laughing qualities of The Choirboys are here in abundance, but this is far more than a police story: it is a marvelously varied picture of Southern California life, inside and out of show rings, country clubs, and police divisions.
And the characters are as special as the plot. For here is a detective sergeant who turns sometimes to the warmth and beauty of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and far more frequenntly to the warmth and solace of Russian vodka, an energetic woman detective determined to preserve the sanity and order of her division and to avoid at all costs the bad luck of the black marble, a “sustaining” member of the Junior League filled with memories of Old Pasadena and dreams of winning a dog show, and a master handler and groomer whose dreams have nothing to do with the dogs but whose schemes include them.
The funny and the moving, the caustic and the savage, the realistic and the tragic, are skillfully woven into a novel that is as human as it is dramatic.« less