Book Reviews of Fugitive Nights

Fugitive Nights
Fugitive Nights
Author: Joseph Wambaugh
ISBN-13: 9780553295788
ISBN-10: 0553295780
Publication Date: 12/1/1992
Pages: 384
Rating:
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 30

3 stars, based on 30 ratings
Publisher: Bantam
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

7 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Fugitive Nights on + 159 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a bit of a change from Wambaugh. Instead of the gritty LAPD setting, this one is a tongue-in-cheek, satirical cop story set in sunny Palm Springs. It still displays his excellent writing and knowledge of police procedure. It's a lot of fun to read.
reviewed Fugitive Nights on + 328 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This novel is a comic story that depends mostly on coarse police humor, laced with deadly violance. Its a mystery that's not exactly what it seems, and characters that grow on you in spite of their faults.
reviewed Fugitive Nights on + 96 more book reviews
Compelling, fun read... July 7, 2002
Reviewer: Steven R. Harbin (Southeastern USA)

Lynn Cutter wants only to drink away the days in gorgeous Palm Springs while waiting on the possible arrival of his hoped for disability pension check. When smart, tough, sexy ex-cop turned P.I. Breda Burrows enlists his assistance for a case that she's working on, he agrees to help, against his better judgment. At first the case seems simple enough, socialite Rhonda Devon wants to know why her older husband has been to a sperm bank without her knowledge. Breda figures she can do surveillance on hubby while Lynn uses his police badge to ask some questions and open some doors for her. However, when Devon's husband is spotted meeting a mysterious man who's previously attacked a cop at an airport, then the focus of their case becomes as much about this mysterious "fugitive" as it is about wandering husbands and spousal secrets. Enter a young cop who is way too gung ho for his and everyone else's good, and you have the makings of a typical Wambaugh at his best story. Humor, laced with deadly violence, a mystery that's not exactly what it seems, and characters that grow on you in spite of (or perhaps because of) their faults and foibles.
All of Wambaugh's works tend to be both tragic and funny at the same time, and this one is no exception. However I would rate it as one of his better comic mysteries, using comedy in the old Greek sense of the opposite of tragedy. To tell more would spoil the ending of the book, but I would actually place this book with his less tragic works, such as FINNEGAN'S WEEK, or THE DELTA STAR, and less so with his more tragic tales, like THE SECRETS OF HARRY BRIGHT. Since I'm one of those who enjoys Wambaugh when he's not as much in the dark side of life, this is one of my favorites. Experienced Wambaugh readers should know what I'm talking about here, but I would easily recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery, be they long time Wambaugh fans or not. A five-star rating for suspense, a compelling story, sympathetic characters, and a fun read.
reviewed Fugitive Nights on + 35 more book reviews
For some, its the pleasure capital of the world. For others, its a city of last chances, a paradise on the edge of the desert. For soon-to-be-ex-cop Lynn Cutter, sweating out a disability pension, it could become a point of no return.
reviewed Fugitive Nights on + 37 more book reviews
Another great book by Joseph Wambaugh
reviewed Fugitive Nights on + 179 more book reviews
The plot centers around PI Breda spok Burrows, a former LAPD detective, and three cops: hard-drinking Lynn Cutter, waiting for approval of his disability pension and retirement; Jack Graves, whose life and career were ruined when he killed a 12-year-old boy by mistake; and Nelson Hareem, an ambitious and aggressively manic young officer hoping for reassignment from the county outskirts to Palm Springs. Burrows hires Cutter to determine why the wealthy elderly husband of her client has apparently made a donation to a local sperm bank. Meanwhile, as Graves works to redeem himself, Hareem tracks a mysterious fugitive--perhaps an international terrorist-- who beat up a cop at a desert airport, stole a truck and disappeared. An unexpected resolution to Burrows's case precedes a wild chase during a celebrity golf tournament and a bloody climax at a post-tournament party. While poking fun at the Palm Springs lifestyle, Wambaugh offers plenty of his trademark cop humor.
reviewed Fugitive Nights on + 67 more book reviews
From Publishers Weekly
Wambaugh's latest, following The Golden Orange , promises more entertainment than it delivers. The plot centers around PI Breda spok Burrows, a former LAPD detective, and three cops: hard-drinking Lynn Cutter, waiting for approval of his disability pension and retirement; Jack Graves, whose life and career were ruined when he killed a 12-year-old boy by mistake; and Nelson Hareem, an ambitious and aggressively manic young officer hoping for reassignment from the county outskirts to Palm Springs. Burrows hires Cutter to determine why the wealthy elderly husband of her client has apparently made a donation to a local sperm bank. Meanwhile, as Graves works to redeem himself, Hareem tracks a mysterious fugitive--perhaps an international terrorist-- who beat up a cop at a desert airport, stole a truck and disappeared. An unexpected resolution to Burrows's case precedes a wild chase during a celebrity golf tournament and a bloody climax at a post-tournament party. While poking fun at the Palm Springs lifestyle, Wambaugh offers plenty of his trademark cop humor, including a funny but essentially irrelevant prologue skewering President Bush and Sonny Bono. But in this case, the whole equals less than the sum of its parts. Author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews
Wambaugh (The Golden Orange, 1990, etc.) returns to a familiar venue: glittering Palm Springs, its cops, and nearby desert canyons. This is at heart a comic novel (though not as antic as a Donald Westlake) that depends mostly on vulgar police humor for its laughs. Wambaugh circles about one of his favorite recent heroes, the alcoholic cop who will strive for recovery before story's end. Detective Lynn Cutter has screwed up so heartily with the Palm Springs PD that he is awaiting his disability pension after 20 years in the service and, while nursing his busted and irreparable knees, house-sits the mansions of wealthy local owners and drinks up his earnings at The Furnace Room, a dingy hangout for faded actors and washed-out entertainment folk. Breda Burrows, herself an ex-cop with 20 years service and now trying to make a go of her newly opened private investigation office, hires Cutter to moonlight and help out with a fresh case that has too many leads for her to handle alone. That case, which takes up a lot of time, turns out to be a red herring in terms of much action or tension, while the hard villainy remains largely in the background until the last pages and then reverses itself to plead for the reader's sympathy. The first case is a domestic surveillance in which a postmenopausal childless wife wants her millionaire husband shadowed: She knows that the old guy has made a secret deposit at a sperm bank and is apparently thinking of in vitro fertilization with a surrogate. The second case is darker: A bald Mexican drug smuggler who's hiding out in Palm Springs somehow seems tied in with the millionaire. The two detectives are joined by Nelson Hareem, a legendary screw-up from a neighboring police force, who lusts to join the Palm Springs PD by solving the drug-smuggler case. The climax is a golf-cart chase during the Bob Hope golf classic. The thuggish jokery does not endear. Wambaugh cannot write a total wipeout but this is not among his strongest or more durable works. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.