Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secrets of Harry Bright” as Want to Read:
The Secrets of Harry Bright
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Secrets of Harry Bright

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  574 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Raucous cops, outlaw bikers, and suntanned celebrities collide in a steamy landscape swirling with natural beauty and unnatural death.
Seventeen months ago the California desert revealed the remains of Jack Watson. The rich man s son was found incinerated in a Rolls-Royce, a bullet in his head. Now, a year and a half later, Los Angeles Police Dep
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Bantam (first published 1985)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secrets of Harry Bright, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secrets of Harry Bright

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jackson Burnett
The Secrets of Harry Bright is Joseph Wambaugh's best novel. He had moved beyond the police tales of urban LA, but had not become the chronicler of suburban crime. Wambaugh has never been a great prose stylist, but he is a tremendous story teller. This book explores the mutual tragedies of the investigator and of his wealthy client.
Lynne-Felicity Highfield
My first Wambaugh...brilliant; sharp, funny, insightful, fast-paced. Will read more.

John Maler
Its an intruiging read but it was released in 1985 and felt very dated to me. The author makes a lot of references to celebrities and politics from that time. Some were hard to follow. There are many old musical references as well. While its a murder mystery novel, the book is much more about the lives and challenges faced by its many colorful characters.
Nov 21, 2016 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't ever escape this book. I wish I'd known how much it informed my own writing, and my own experience of the Morongo Valley
Dorothy Bush
Aug 26, 2016 Dorothy Bush rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting story. I've read a lot of mysteries and I didn't see that ending coming. Joseph Wambaugh weaves the tragedy and humour of life through this story, the agony of losing a child, the politics of the job, the convolutions of events unfolding in ways not predictable. Being not American, not of the south-west and not a cop, some of the vernacular went over my head. While it gave me pause (and made me think) it didn't detract overly much from the story.

A really, really good job on t
May 10, 2015 Милен rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Сред най-добрите криминалета, които съм чел. Мистериозно убийство, шайка некадърни ченгета, малък курортен град в пустинята, два броя детективи от Холивуд, единият от които по-скоро би играл голф, отколкото да разследва престъплението, банда рокери-производители-на-амфетамини (под ръководството на огромно черно бивше ченге), един Хари Брайт с трагичното минало и още по-трагичното настояще, плюс още и още. Да не говорим, че стилът на Уомбо е чудесен.
Mar 07, 2014 Stacey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joseph Wambaugh has a wonderful writing style that compares to no one. The humour is first rate as are the characters. This book was no different. I found it incredibly likeable but at the s some time found it a bit lacking I can' t pinpoint how or why but it was. Nonetheless the characters and humour alone made it worth the read.
Feb 16, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. My first from this author. The basics is a murder a year old in a small desert town. The rich father gets two detectives from LA to come down and look at the cases based on a tiny bit of new evidence. The firs half of the book introduces the great number of characters and the events of the crime. Ultimately the book is more about the characters than the crime.
Aug 12, 2015 Jaemarc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in my 20s and didn't like it one bit. Very well written, but bleak. Thirty years later and it's the only book of Wambaughs that I've read.

Still think of it as really well written and bleak. But I like it a lot better in my 50s than in my 20s. Perhaps I've seen enough now to get it....
Apr 16, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp-fiction
This is a decent story and plot about self discovery for the protagonist - Black Sid. The pace of the novel is slow to start but picks up mid way through... The only real detractor in my opinion is the amount of foul language - a bit salty, eh.
Lauraley Dilgard
Another book by one of my favorite authors Joseph Wambaugh I've read it and re-read it. About the Palm Springs area, one of my favorite places to visit, I love the way Wambaugh describes the sun over the mountains, seen it and loved it, he took me back there.
Dec 22, 2014 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two LAPD cops travel out to the desert to find out what really happened to a rich guy's teenage son, who was found in a burned out car but with a bullet in him. Interesting tale as there seems to be no logical explanation as to how this could have occurred. Fun story.
Dorothy rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2011
Mark rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2012
Jerold Last
Jerold Last rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2011
Gregory rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2013
Al Luque
Al Luque rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2013
Karl Hawkins
Karl Hawkins rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2009
Mark rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2014
Brendan rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2013
Katrina rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2016
Howard Phillips
Howard Phillips rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2013
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2016
Hubert Cross
Hubert Cross rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2014
Jmrathbone rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2009
Valerie rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2008
Art Murphy
Art Murphy rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2013
Frances (Tootie)
Frances (Tootie) rated it liked it
Aug 11, 2011
Sunderwood rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2014
Eric rated it really liked it
May 05, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Darker Place (Sean Dillion, #16)
  • The Past Never Ends
  • Chained (Sam Jones, #6)
  • The Big Gold Dream (Harlem Cycle, #4)
  • The Case of the Restless Redhead (Perry Mason mystery)
  • The Granny
  • Dead Low Tide
  • God Bless John Wayne (Kinky Friedman, #8)
  • The Inconvenient Corpse: A Grace Cassidy Mystery
  • FINAL ARGUMENT - A Legal Thriller (Clifford Irving's Legal Novels Book 2)
  • Paloverde
  • Serenade
  • The Hunted
  • Death in Berlin: A Mystery
  • The Confession (The Yalta Boulevard Sequence #2)
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
More about Joseph Wambaugh...

Share This Book