The Onion Field. Joseph Wambaugh.

The Onion Field

Joseph Wambaugh. Delacorte, 1973

The “true crime novel” of the first execution-style killing of an L.A. Police officer.

Starts off very slowly with background information on the four major players. The night of the actual crime is interesting, but the book doesn’t really get good until the aftermath of the crime (about halfway through the book.)

The two killers, unfortunately for the author, are so well and extensively dealt with in the book, that we almost feel sorry for them – it’s not their fault they’re sociopaths and lack the ability to feel sympathy or remorse, is it? The author makes a few tear-jerking attempts to keep our sympathies with the two cops, but ultimately, it is the killers whom we will remember.