George V. Reilly

Review: The Choirboys

The Choirboys
Title: The Choirboys
Author: Joseph Wambaugh
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Dell
Copyright: 1975
Pages: 387
Keywords: crime, fiction
Reading period: 17–19 March, 2009

Ten LAPD patrolmen congregate regularly in MacArthur Park for “choir practice”: late-night bitchfests, marathon boozing, and group sex with a couple of cocktail waitresses.

LA’s finest are not exactly fine specimens of humanity, but then neither are the people they serve, whom they consider little better than the ones they arrest. The choirboys include an idealist, a psychopath, a prankster, and a world-class mooch. They fight and they drink and they argue: everything but discuss the things that really bother them. Wambaugh lampoons the choirboys, but he reserves his full contempt for their su­per­vi­sors, martinets concerned more with coverups than justice.

There isn’t much of a plot. It’s more of a series of anecdotes about his characters, sometimes grim, often hilarious, frequently profane.

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