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Finnegan's Week

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  536 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
A toxic spill causes a lethal chain reaction for a San Diego cop in this “very funny” New York Times bestseller by the author of The Choirboys (Kirkus Reviews).

Fin Finnegan, a San Diego police detective and wannabe actor heading straight for a midlife meltdown, is assigned a routine truck theft that turns into a toxic chemical spill, setting off a bizarre chain reaction o
ebook, 340 pages
Published November 29th 2011 by Road (first published 1993)
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Bella's Mama
A fun read with some interesting characters, but not nearly as good as Wambaugh's other crime novels.
Dec 29, 2008 Eric_W rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joseph Wambaugh's writing has changed. Finnegan's Week more resembles Carl Hiaasen. It's very cynical, filled with dark humor.

The plot's not terribly suspenseful: two truck drivers for a corrupt toxic waste hauler steal some shoes from a U.S. Navy warehouse to sell in Mexico. Their truck contains a fraudulently manifested drum of Guthion, a terribly toxic chemical that gets spilled and kills a child and another thief The owner of the waste disposal company, fearful that he will be caught for f
Apr 09, 2009 Becca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh...I'm done reading his books.
Sep 28, 2010 Al rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nothing spectacular.
May 13, 2017 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read, not great literature. I enjoyed it as much for the fact it took place in 1992 and it has some 'time capsule' elements. Wambaugh has written far better books.
Jul 04, 2012 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good, but not a great novel from Wambaugh. It's fiction, a darkly funny story about two loser truckers that steal 2,000 Navy-issued shoes to sell on the Mexican black market... but end up losing their truck loaded with toxic chemicals and a simple way to dump the shoes. It's funny and interesting, but the sidestories of the investigators that work to solve the case - middle aged detective/aspiring actor Fin, Naval investigator Bobbie, and environmental agent Nell - cut against the grai ...more
Dec 13, 2012 Sean rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
I have simply never been so upset at myself for finishing a book before in my life. This was literally the worst example of dialogue I have ever read. Joseph Wambaugh, who has written books I've enjoyed, delivers such a goofy, unrealistic display of how people speak. Every line was a bad local comedy club best. No one speaks the way the writer makes them out to. It was tragically bad. Then, added to that, pop culture and topical references always make a book seem dated at this is a pe ...more
May 24, 2017 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After establishing his reputation with LAPD novels, author Wambaugh moved south to Orange County for a few novels, and now he's set his sights on San Diego. What the novel lacks in expected cop inside humor, it makes up for in an imaginative premise and a hard driving plot arc.

Police Novels - Two drivers for an environmental-waste-disposal company decide to take a little extra cargo (2,000 pairs of Navy-issue boots) when they pick up a load of environmental waste at a California Navy depot. They
Chris Birdy
May 16, 2017 Chris Birdy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finnegan's Week was an enjoyable if somewhat cynical police story set at the time the first George Bush was running against Bill Clinton. The American mindset toward politicians at the time was interesting. Set in San Diego, the story of Fin Finnegan, a full-time detective and part time actor, follows the 45 year old through his mid life crisis and work with two female investigators as they follow the trial of thousands of pairs of stolen Navy boots and toxic chemicals left in Tijuana. No one ta ...more
Alma H. Chandler

Good book. I have found all of Wambaugh's books are good and interesting and well written. I look forward to reading more.
Feb 18, 2013 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was my first book by Wambaugh. Finnegan's Week isn't quite noir and it isn't quite a detective novel either. The reader knows the crime right away, whereas the protagonists never get it entirely right. The characters are multi-faceted while still not totally straying from some stock character traits. When new characters are introduced Wambaugh launches into drawn-out depictions of their characteristics, influences, and biographies, which seems tedious. However the writing manages to maintai ...more
Evyn Charles
Mar 23, 2009 Evyn Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another very solid police/crime novel by Joseph Wambaugh. The story moves from San Diego to Mexico, toxic waste fraud to navy warehouse ripoff. The main character is a 3 times divorced veteran cop who is also a small-time actor. Funny one-liners are toned down a bit compared to the previous novel (Fugitive Nights) but still very effective and funny. Story and characters are first-rate and very well fleshed out. Heroes and villains have enough complexity and quirks to make the reader care about t ...more
Nov 27, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun detective story with a San Diego setting. After the rather more sophisticated Michael Connelly novels about LA, I would classify this as just a fun read. Along the way, Wambaugh adds character to the settings in San Diego by adding interesting historical fact, which may be unknown to even a native such as myself. Some of the characters are a bit over the top, but the story has enough grounding in San Diego subculture to keep the pages turning.
Mar 17, 2014 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joseph Wambaugh has done it again. The cast of characters in Fennegan's Week is wonderful. Middle--age-crisis Fin Finnegan desperately wants to be an actor but alas... He's a cop. The plot thickens when people are sickened and even killed by a toxic spill that he and his fellow investigators have stumbled into from different angles. In true Wambaugh fashion, nobody has the whole story, not even those involved. A another Wambaugh treasure!
Oct 25, 2015 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A fun read set in San Diego.
Bonnie Dieffenbacher
Finished it, but it wasn't great.
Dec 22, 2012 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
it was ok and i think i would like to try other works by this author
Jan 02, 2012 Chuckconnor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One I missed first time around, this has all the hallmarks of a classic Joseph Wambaugh novel - humour, relationships (not always disfunctional), and a credible storyline.
Nov 07, 2008 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good quick read. There were a lot of funny lines,
LP Wam
Oct 24, 2010 Dick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I may try some others. I found this main character difficult to take. The detective story was interesting but I had a tough time with the main character.
Feb 09, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This ex-cop author has a gift for main characters going through male, mid-life crises. Ditto for another one of his books: "The Golden Orange."
Dec 02, 2011 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great one, with vivid characters, entertaining witticisms and a convincing story. I've never been to Tijuana but I felt the action there to be believable and touching.
I was disappointed by this book.

Yes, it contains Wambaugh’s usual collection of quirky characters and semi-humorous plotting, but it just didn’t gel the way other books of his did.
Sep 11, 2016 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lots of silliness...and not in a good way.
Terryann Saint
Aug 11, 2011 Terryann Saint rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lotta fun! Quick read, zoomed thru it in a day, entertaining.
Andy Plonka
Jun 13, 2014 Andy Plonka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: src
I like Wambaugh's non fiction better but this story gives an interesting take on US hazardous waste disposal in Mexico.
Feb 27, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
like all of wambaugh's.....very readable
Joe Hofmann
Funny, but dated.
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Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant (1960-1974), is the bestselling author of twenty-one prior works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Choirboys and The Onion Field. Wambaugh joined the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1960. He served 14 years, rising to detective sergeant. He also attended California State University, Los Angeles, where he earned Bachelor of Arts and M ...more
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