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The Blue Knight

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,228 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews

Ex-cop turned #1 New York Times bestselling writer Joseph Wambaugh forged a new kind of literature with his great early police procedurals. Gritty, luminous, and ultimately stunning, this novel is Wambaugh at his besta tale of a street cop on the hardest beat of his life.

Twenty and two. Those are the numbers turning in the mind of William "Bumper" Morgan: twenty years on

Mass Market Paperback, U.S. Paperback Edition, 320 pages
Published 1973 by Dell Publishing (first published February 28th 1972)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,706)
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A good solid piece of police fiction and is arguably one of Joseph Wambaugh's most famous works. Bumper Morgan is a career L.A.P.D. police officer. A twenty-year man who has never done anything, but work patrol. While over-invested in his work ,and not above taking free meals from restaurants in his patrol area, he is also an honest cop (he sees the meals as being something that the owners want to do for him. He isn't given the meals in exchange for breaking the law. For Morgan there isn't any c ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Dec 15, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This book was on a list of recommended mysteries, and was found in the mystery section--yet I don't think it really belongs there--both because this is no whodunnit, but also because it transcends that genre. We follow "Bumper" Morgan through the last three days of this beat in 1970s Los Angeles before he retires after 20 years on the police force.

And it's a great voice for a great character. Bumper is both cynical and idealistic--a knight with slightly tarnished armor--he feels very real. He's
Jack Huber
Feb 12, 2015 Jack Huber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-and-police
I didn't want this book to end.
Bruce Snell
Mar 30, 2012 Bruce Snell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is something of a companion piece to Joseph Wambaugh's The New Centurions which told the story of 3 officers at the start of their careers. In this, the second of Wambaugh's books about the LAPD we meet Bumper Morgan a beat cop with three days left to retirement. The story is told as a first person stream of consciousness by Bumper as he goes thru his last days as a cop.

For me Bumper is a difficult person to like. It would be easy to say he is not a very good cop - he takes something from
The author was still working as a policeman when this book was published so I felt like I was getting the true inside story of walking a beat in L.A. during the early seventies. "Bumper" Morgan is a larger than life character and this chronicle of his last few days walking a beat before retirement really showed both the highs and lows of police work.
Dec 26, 2015 Robyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a character study, this book is pretty good. You're inside Bumper Morgan's head for his last three days of a twenty year career as a beat cop. I kept waiting for something to happen though, and that sounds odd when talking about a book describing multiple exciting events, but I could have told you from the beginning about how it would end but didn't feel like any of the events really contributed to a satisfying end. The only surprise was the person who died at the end, and even that was not s ...more
Erin Mihulka
Jun 01, 2015 Erin Mihulka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reason I really loved this book was the descriptions. Joseph Wambaugh has a writing style that I love. I love in-depth character development and descriptions so you can almost feel yourself in the scenario...He is that writer. I love the colorful gamut of characters on Bumper's beat, I loved the humanity and interaction...

Unlike other reviewers, I don't get hung up on the parts that are dated...I like historical fiction and as time goes on, everything becomes historical fiction...The lack of
Jul 08, 2016 Laurie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of Wambaugh's true crime - The Onion Field and The Blooding...the same can't be said about his fiction. Half way through the book, I realized I had not caught the essence of the story. I was so stuck on the vernacular that the story got lost. There was so much cop-speak, swearing, and cursing that I couldn't enjoy reading it. I was either skipping because the language was offensive or stopping to try to understand terms that were part of the subculture. Hence, it goes back on the shelf. ...more
May 30, 2016 Chrisanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My single star speaks for itself. I've had this book on my bedside table for years. It was given to me by someone I deeply respected as she cleaned out her deceased husband's books. I think I took it because I loved Patricia Cornwall's books and she loves this author's work. The Blue Knight is painfully dated and stereotypic though there are poignant moments along the way, especially as it nears its abrupt and pitiful end.
Feb 09, 2016 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective, fiction
If you like police procedurals,m Wambaugh is the author for you. This is a little dated, but still fantastic and quick.
Michael L. Witt
One of my least favorite Wambaugh books.
Feb 03, 2015 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
was good in is day, but just okay now
Jan 22, 2016 Arlene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't really enjoy this.
Apr 02, 2010 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a simple cop story. This story was about the last three days of Bumper Morgan's "beat". His beat, how the street changed over time and how he changed over time. The story was from back in the '70s, as such, I enjoyed catching on to all the slang. Interesting to see how some parts of the judicial system surely haven't changed. I thought when I started I might not finish... next thing I know, I've reached the end. Good story, great character.
Mar 14, 2016 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wambaugh's second novel, almost a bookend to The New Centurions as it covers the last three days of a street cop's job before he pulls the pin and retires. Written almost in the style of Jim Thompson's crazy-sheriff novels, but in reverse: a sympathetic human being emerges from the shell of a brutal and corrupt "street monster." Another must-read no matter how you feel about the police.
Nancy Day
Jan 11, 2013 Nancy Day rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Wambaugh's best written novels, in my opinion. I enjoyed the book, although it's difficult to experience with the character his challenges in his job that affect his personal life and physical health. The main character is complex, and the narrative is true to his personality and experience. Supporting characters are diverse and well-drawn.
May 24, 2013 Baldurian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, narrativa
Ho apprezzato Il cavaliere blu. È verace, scorretto in alcuni punti, ingenuo in altri, indubbiamente fazioso all'inverosimile... però è stato impossibile non provare un po' di affetto per il poliziotto Bumper e per il suo mondo. Per essere il mio primo romanzo di Wambaugh sono rimasto piacevolmente sorpreso.
Feb 10, 2010 Bayh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a good, simple cop novel that features an interestingly drawn main character. It is simplistic though and you can see the end coming from a mile away. Also, I got tired of the word "beat" by the end of it. But overall not a bad way to spend a wintery day.
Barbara Maki
Jun 08, 2008 Barbara Maki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gives the reader insight into the life of a cop. Wambaugh gives you the good, bad and the ugly that only a cop would have experienced. One of the things I like about Wambaugh's books as the stories take place in Los Angeles and I can identify with the geopgraphy.
Joe Stamber
Apr 06, 2011 Joe Stamber rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
A fascinating insight into an experienced cop... chats to people... has lunch... sits down... stands up... chats some more... you get the picture. This was like the diary of someone who records everything they do, no matter how banal. Boring beyond belief.
Joe  Noir
I liked this one quite a lot. This was from my Wambaugh period when I was reading everything of his I could get my hands on. There is a very well written scene with Bumper Morgan and a judge, but I especially liked the ending.
Joyce McKune
The last 3 days before retirement after 20 years on the beat. I didn't love Bumper the way I love Harry Bosch. Must be a generation gap. Will try a later book to see if it's more to my liking.
Jan 20, 2013 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Don't know how much you can like a book centered around such an unlikeable, piggish charachter, and everything they build up through the whole book pretty much just implodes at the end.
Jun 17, 2013 Stephan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this tale of an enthralling character Bumpy Morgan. He served his 20 years and is now retiring. What happens his last week on the job? read it.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 05, 2014 Fredrick Danysh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a twenty year police veteran "Bumper" Moraan is two days from retirement. The streets of Los Angles force him to face his personal demons.
Nov 28, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Good, gritty novel about a street cop chasing crime while thinking about changing his life. Dated here and there but this is easy to overlook.
P.e. lolo
Jan 27, 2012 P.e. lolo rated it liked it
Reading this book when I was growing up reminded me of when cops walked the beat& everyone knew him. Also the reason I wanted to become one.
Peter Moloney
Great descriptive read, you could smell the streets, hear and see the action. Dated, full of great gritty lingo. A bit disappointed in the ending.
Excellent story lines throughout the book, varying perspectives and observations of LE due to the location and background of characters.
Mar 09, 2009 UpstateNYgal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book ages ago liked it a lot.
Wambaugh is a very good writer and peaked my interest in reading at an early age.

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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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