09/05/2007

LAPD officer's keen observance of L.A. makes for vivid novel

BY BRENT HOPKINS
LA Daily News

LOS ANGELES — Officer Will Beall stands in the concrete chasm of the Los Angeles River, breathing in the graffiti, dead animals and broken toys. He smiles at the beauty.

As a Los Angeles Police Department gang investigator, he came to this vividly rotten spot beneath the Olympic Boulevard bridge to meet a friendly snitch for leads on a case.

As an author, he re-sketched the scene with horse-mounted neo-Nazis, snipers, a rookie with a rare flash of conscience and dirty dealing coppers itching to arm themselves with rockets.

Here, the spray-painted tags tower taller than a man and a baby stroller lies abandoned, impaled on a fence. As Beall's leather shoes tread carefully around the algae and castoffs of the city, his two worlds collide. . .Full Story

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