The Glitter Dome is another of ex-cop Joseph Wambaugh’s police anti-procedurals.
Like The Choirboys, Dome is about cops doing things cops are supposed to keep from happening.
The main story is about partners Al Mackey and Martin Welborn, career cops old enough to be eyeing retirement hopefully. They have just been assigned to clear the murder of Nigel St. Clair.
Al and Marty have cleared other murders by arranging proof that the victim killed himself.
This time, however, they can’t find any way pass the shooting off as murder.
Marty gets interested in trying to solve the crime.
Meanwhile Gibson Hand and Buckmore Phipps are walking their beat when ball of clay thrown in an artists’ studio knocks Phipps’s hat off.
In the studio, a Marine modeling for the artists has a note in his pocket that says Nigel St. Clair and a phone number.
Overlapping coincidences lead to the cops solving the murder.
Wambaugh milks his story for laughs, but cop humor is pretty much that of sixth grade boys: Funny if you’re a sixth grader.
The characters are drawn in broad strokes: Only Marty emerges as a person.
The rest of the cops are people you don’t want to know.
The Glitter Dome by Joseph Wambaugh
William Morrow. ©1981. 299 p.
1981 bestseller #9. My grade: B
©2019 Linda G. Aragoni