Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Badge by Jack Webb

The Badge: true and terrifying crime stories that could not be presented on TV, from the creator and star of Dragnet
by Jack Webb
2005 Thunder's Mouth Press

Originally The Badge: The Inside Story of One of America's Great Police Departments; Prentice-Hall 1958

The Badge reads like notes from unpublished Dragnet scripts filled out with LAPD press releases.  The former is great - quick summaries of crime and investigation lasting a couple pages each, the proper length for the genre.  I like True Crime, but even the most complicated cases can be outlined in a few pages.  Instead of endless padding, Webb gives us his square/beat patter.

The latter is dull at best and infuriating at worst.  Webb has always been an LAPD apologist, and it doesn't age too well.  This was written when the LAPD had cleaned up in regards to payoffs and bribery and had to deal with racial profiling and civil rights violations (or refuse to deal with, more often).

James Ellroy wrote an introduction about how he bites Webb's style.  I swear Ellroy has a macro on Word that spits out a full paragraph on his dead mother at a keyboard shortcut - even the wording has become repetitive.

Available on Kindle for Amazon.

Click here to read a sample.

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