Lines and Shadows

Joseph Wambaugh


Lines and Shadows

Lines and Shadows

  • Title: Lines and Shadows
  • Author: Joseph Wambaugh
  • ISBN: 9780553763256
  • Page: 461
  • Format: Paperback



Not since Joseph Wambaugh s best selling The Onion Field has there been a true police story as fascinating, as totally gripping as Lines And Shadows The media hailed them as heroes Others denounced them as lawless renegades A squad of tough cops called the Border Crime Task Force A commando team sent to patrol the snake infested no man s land south of San DieNot since Joseph Wambaugh s best selling The Onion Field has there been a true police story as fascinating, as totally gripping as Lines And Shadows The media hailed them as heroes Others denounced them as lawless renegades A squad of tough cops called the Border Crime Task Force A commando team sent to patrol the snake infested no man s land south of San Diego Not to apprehend the thousands of illegal aliens slipping into the U.S but to stop the ruthless bandits who preyed on them nightly relentlessly robbing, raping and murdering defenseless men, women and children The task force plan was simple They would disguise themselves as illegal aliens They would confront the murderous shadows of the night Yet each time they walked into the violent blackness along the border, they came closer to another boundary line a fragile line within each man and crossing it meant destroying their sanity and their lives With each book, it seems, Mr Wambaugh s skill as a writer increases In Lines And Shadows he gives an off trail, action packed true account of police work and the intimate lives of policemen that, for my money, is his best book yet The New York Times Book Review A saga of courage, craziness, brutality and humor One of his best books, comparable to The Onion Field for storytelling and revelatory power Chicago Sun Times


Recent Comments "Lines and Shadows"

I like Wambaugh's true crime because he's so good at teasing out the individual nuances of personality and dysfunction that crop up any time a group is allowed to develop an Us vs. Them mentality without getting too folksy OR too detached. It's a fine line. Basically, in the late 1970s of Southern California, a group of cops set out to curb incidences of bandits preying upon illegal immigrants in the no-man's land just across the US border and essentially replicated the Zimbardo experiment in th [...]

My first exposure to the world of Joseph Wambaugh, was as a five year old kid watching Police Story. Police Woman, The Blue Knight and Joe Forrester got their own sometimes short-lived series thanks to Joe Wambaugh and other writers like him.Lines and Shadows is an important book with the increased concern over illegal immigration. The story is about a Task Force started around 1976 involving USBP, INS, and the San Diego Police Department. This was an attempt to deal with the criminal elements p [...]

I read and re read this book it was so good. Living in San Diego County it was close to home for me I thoroughly enjoyed it. Exciting and real I felt like I was right there in the trenches with these brave men, knowing one of them was also exciting for me to read about how he was involved.After meeting the author Joseph Wambaugh at the retirement party for Sheriff Bill Kolender (here in La Mesa, County of San Diego California) I asked him what he was currently writing. He said Hollywood Moon, th [...]

I have enjoyed much of Joseph Wambaugh's writing, but this one was only okay for me. Lines and Shadows tells the story of a special unit of San Diego police officers, dedicated to breaking up the criminals preying on Mexicans trying to sneak across the border. Started by one lieutenant who was tired of seeing these helpless people become victims in the southernmost part of his jurisdiction, the unit began with good intentions but was fraught with problems, almost from the start.The story itself [...]

Very well written. Stopped reading on page 102 because it got so graphic that I had to put it down for a while.

Overall, I have to admit that, as a Joseph Wambaugh fan, I was a little bit disappointed in the length and pace of the book.What I didn't like about the book: Wambaugh's works of fiction consist of more concise, faster paced stories that read more like the folklore of Law Enforcement than like fiction. "Lines and Shadows" was definitely worth reading, but could have been shorter and more focused. Some of his narratives of violent incidents are too long, and a couple of his character descriptions [...]

This is a True Story. It was true in 1984, when the book was written and it has remained true since then. In fact this is such a significant story that you will hear the same topic being discussed in the US Elections in 2016. The topic of immigration, in connection to the USA, is a tricky one. People hate it and love it equally. Of all immigrations the most debated one has been the one of the illegal kind, from Mexico to the US. The immigration of poor families who have been jumping the imaginar [...]

In San Diego, one has a definite sense of living on the line. That line is the international border that separates the affluence of Southern California from the poverty and despair of Tijuana. Every day, people from Mexico and Central America who want to break out of the cycle of Third World deprivation seek to cross the border into the United States; and in the late 1970's, a compassionate San Diego police officer saw how these unfortunate campesinos were being preyed upon by border bandits, an [...]

This is the story of a special task force established by the San Diego Police Department in the late 1970s called the Border Crime Task Force.Those were different times. Illegals from Mexico were crossing the border, much as today, but the purpose of the task force was not to hunt them down but to protect them from bandits were saw them as prey for robbery, rape, and sometimes murder. The task force was made up mostly of Mexican-American cops who were woefully underrepresented among San Diego po [...]

Author Wambaugh interrupts his string of best selling novels of the LAPD to deliver his first non-fiction entry since The Onion Field (1973) in this 1984 tale of policing the Mexican border.363.232 Story of a squad of tough cops called the Border Crime Task Force. A commando team sent to patrol the snake-infested no-man's-land south of San Diego. Not to apprehend the thousands of illegal aliens slipping into the U.S but to stop the ruthless bandits who preyed on them nightly--relentlessly robbin [...]

This book details the formation of a special unit created in 1978 in San Diego. The unit's main goal was to help "pollos" (immigrants crossing into the US) stay clear of bandits (men that would rob, rape and harm the pollos they came across).The police officer in charge, Manny Lopez, becomes drunk with the media attention and soon the lines between good and bad blur. The men under his command are afraid to counter Lopez's orders in fear that they may be considered sissies (not the word used, but [...]

Being a fan of the "Onion Field", I was looking forward to reading this book. Wambaugh doesn't disappoint with this magnificent story of the "Last of the Gunslingers". Set in 1976 San Diego, a sympathetic police Lieutenant Dick Snider formulates a plan to reduce murder, rape, and robbery at the US / Mexcio border. An outstanding cast of Mexican-American police officers from San Diego are chosen for the experiment. Led by egocentric and charismatic Manny Lopez, the team encounters many dangers in [...]

Most of my reading is fiction. Usually the only nonfiction books I read are for book group. I have read Joseph Wambaugh's books in the past and enjoyed them. This time I found it rather hard going--the subject of a separate police unit in San Diego dealing with Mexicans crossing the border as well as 'bandits' who prey upon them is interesting. The members of this unit were well described, but at times I found the reading ponderous. This experiment had a profound effect on all of the members, mo [...]

This is a tragic story of a group of Los Angeles police officers organized and charged with doing the near impossible—protecting illegal aliens from the criminal element after their crossing. The officers were heroic but their efforts came at a huge price, their own lives, well-being, and sanity. While the writing and the story were good, I did not enjoy this book as I have done other true crime by Wambaugh. It is probably due to what I saw as tremendous sacrifices by the officers to do band a [...]

A really good, page turning true story about a group of cops assigned to pose as illegal immigrants in order to catch the bandits who were attacking Mexican migrants At times sad, funny, and extremely violent. At its core this is a story about a group of cops pushed to the edge of sanity and the consequences of their work. Gritty and honest, these are not the cops on tv, these are flawed and often not very likeable human beings. An excellent and very relevant novel.

The media hailed them as heroes. Others denounced them as lawless renegades. A squad of tough cops called the Border Crime Task Force. A commando team sent to patrol the snake-infested no-man's-land south of San Diego. Not to apprehend the thousands of illegal aliens slipping into the U.S but to stop the ruthless bandits who preyed on them nightly--relentlessly robbing, raping and murdering defenseless men, women and children.

Watching a Nat Geo Wild show about undercover police work in Laredo, TX reminded of this book. The team of innovative, danger-seeking police on "bandit patrol" dressed as "pollos" (illegal immigrants) and when interacting with "coyotes" or other borderland ne'er-do-wells would yell "barf" before they whipped out guns to "interdict". Of course, this was very dangerous and eventually proved too dangerous to continue. I thank Wambaugh for putting the tales of the exploits to paper.

Joseph Wambaugh has the ability to take us into the hearts and minds of others. To make deserving the ones we would otherwise dismiss with the dismissive flick of our wrist. To show us their fears, fantasies, and dreams. The only prodding this reader needs to purchase a book is to see the name Joseph Wambaugh on the cover. Thank you Joe.Bobby NormanAuthor of Black Water

Another corker of a true life account, following the Border Patrol trying to keep on top of illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican American border. Wambaugh does an excellent job of filling out the characters, the setting and the sheer stress and tension of the job, as well as seeing the desperation from the ordinary Mexicans trying to gain access to the States. Excellent stuff.

I just re-read this, having read it as a young adult. I enjoyed it just as much and had a much more understaning perspective. Was suprised to find how my impressions of some of the main charachters had changed and I found them less glamorous and had more questions on the morality of the whole premise behind the motives of the main players. Very interesting also exciting and a good read.

I found this a difficult read, therefore not as enjoyable as I anticipated. Too many characters to follow, language beyond my comfort level. And sometimes what I perceived as "red herrings" in the plot. What kept the rating at a 3 was the humor. It was quite funny in spots, but not enough to carry the story along.

story of a immigration task force established by the San Diego PD .It is non-fiction, and an incredible story. And it so makes you want to solve the immigration problem.It also gets into team relationships, and the role of politics in police tactical decisions.

While the subject of the special police unit could have been interesting, I found Wambaugh's use of colloquial language in his storytelling to be awkward and distracting. For example, he describes the action with phrases like, "He flossed his teeth with the muzzle of his gun."

Interesting for those interested in the subject matter- law enforcement at the Mexican/American border in the 70's/80's. The only Wambaugh I really enjoyed was "Floaters" a novel that it appears I am unable to review on this site.

Great story of a special detachment of police officers from the USA side of the Mexican border, deployed to protect illegal aliens from being victimized on their way to find a better life. Well written by Joe Wambaugh.

Read this years ago and still remember it. The book tells of Mexicans trying to cross the Rio Grande in an effort to migrate to the US.It's a real eye opener to the tactics that are used, the dangers and the frustration that is felt by the Border Patrols.Well worth reading

It has been awhile since I read this book, almost 20 years. I still remember this book as very intense realistic story of the boarder patrol. Not knowing what will happen on their next shift, what are they expecting shift. The dangers that lurked in the dark, nothing and nobody were safe.

I read Lines and Shadows years ago. JW set the standard with his book Blue Knight. One of my all time favorites. Lines and shadows is dark and shadowy as well. i do think it was a good book but my favorite is still Blue knight.

I read this book back in the 80's; it's amazing after 15 years; the issue is still real today as it was back then. Highly recommend for those folks in the border patrol dept. or anyone planning to seek a career with the border patrol.

A nonfiction book about illegal aliens and the people who terrorize them


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