Monday, April 23, 2012

Started The Ball Rolling

Image Detail
The Onion Field Murder, 1963
Detectives re-enact the scene. Jimmy Lee Smith on the right.

Well, I was going to write about Blood on Blood a little bit or even the sequel that Frank and I have already started. Or I don't know, maybe delve into character developments and get some ideas from others out there how it all comes together for you.

Last night that all changed though, because Joseph Wambaugh popped into my head. Truly one of my favorites, he's easily in the top 3 group on my own personal list. He could make you laugh out loud and weep in the same chapter. He could sadden you, scare you, make you uneasy and nervous and all the other emotions that great writers can impart.

The Glitter Dome, The Blue Knight, The New Centurions, The Choirboys and the others...just great books I haven't thought about for awhile. For all the younger guys and gals who are crime fiction writers and may have not read the novels above, I can't stress it enough. You will learn more subtleties and truths about cops and criminals and the nightmares that come with that world than you ever thought possible - especially from books written 35-40 years ago. It''ll still be current though, it'll still be viable and applicable in todays world. He always delivered cold, hard truth. He had a style.

The one title I didn't mention above was the book that started the ball rolling for me, not just with reading Wambaugh novels, but with crime reading period. The Onion Field, to me, was just fantastic in every way. While not a crime fiction like his other books, it had everything I needed and more. I didn't know it at the time because I was so young, but it grabbed me and just never let go. Do yourself a favor and read this book (then watch the movie if you have to, book first though). You can't go wrong with any of the other books listed above either. You won't be sorry.



  1. Agreed. Some fine books there, Jim. Musts for serious fans of the genre.

    1. Hey David,

      Appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Did you ever read The Glitter Dome? I found it outright hilarious, with the usual and substantial mix of not funny at all parts.

      He always had various degrees of dark humor weaved into his fiction but boy, The Glitter Dome was just top shelf stuff in my opinion.