Book Review: Finnegan’s Week

I’m new to Joseph Wambaugh, and this was a good introduction! I love comic crime capers, like Donald E. Westlake’s Dortmunder series and Brian M. Wiprud’s Feelers. They take me away, like a good beach read, pulling me in as I laugh and try to follow their craziness.

Wambaugh’s book features Fin Finnegan, a thrice-divorced middle-aged cop who’s a wannabe actor, as he navigates a burglery/cross border toxic waste spill dumping/murder mystery with two female investigators (one from the Navy). The book begins with him standing in front of the mirror, trying to do a Robert De Niro voice for a serial killer part (spoiler alert: he doesn’t get the job!). He gets tangled up with the two ladies, both of whom are involved with the case, and neither of whom really like him…but as they each discuss the case over for drinks with him, and hear his lame jokes, they find that they can neither enjoy nor stay away from him. There’s the usual comic crime cast of dumb but violent criminals who think they’re smarter than they really are. The case is interesting, filled with street scenes from Tijuana, fun twists, and the jokes keep on coming. Wambaugh definitely hits the funny bone with Finnegan’s Week. I loved it!

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