Harbour Nocturne by Joseph Wambaugh


Harbour Nocturne - book cover The car chase that ended with a crash cost Los Angeles police officer ‘Flotsam’ his leg. It also cost the life of the armed man who thought he could face off ‘rookie’ Britney Small. She shot first. Both officers were better equipped to deal with police work ever after; Britney had the respect of colleagues, 'Flotsam' was uniquely qualified for undercover assignments with the vice squad. Someone had to get the inside track on the seedy massage parlour business, although his partner 'Jetsam' thought he too should get a massage paid for from the coffers of the Police Department.

Dinko Babich had been schoolmates with Hector Cozzo, ties that led him to help Hector out by ferrying a dancer from one club to an assignment at another. Didn’t take a lot of imagination to fathom the nationality of the owner of the clubs, not when his name was Markov and the clubs were called Samara and Rasputin’s Retreat. The dancer in question, Lita Medina Flores, was as attractive as her name was exotic, even so, to Hector, she was just one of his girls. He’d bought her cheaply. Dinko didn’t think she was cheap.

Hector discovered trafficking, the sharp end of the business he had been drawn into, had its drawbacks. They’d just lost twelve girls, dead in transit. That was going to be trouble. So too was dealing with the very special needs of one of Mr Markov’s clients. He could get a girl for him, that went without saying, and he knew where to find an amputee…and that was where his luck would run out.