Books: Borderline

LINES AND SHADOWS by Joseph Wambaugh Morrow, 383 pages; $15.95

His policemen walk on fault lines In six novels and one nonfiction work, Joseph Wambaugh has followed their uncertain footsteps, recording the gallows humor and suicidal despair of California's blue knights. But readers have generally been able to take comfort in the notion that the men were, after all, fictive; surely real life was less melodramatic. In this tragic documentary, no such consolations are possible.

As Wambaugh recalls, the San Diego police department formed what came to be known as the Border Alien Robbery Force in 1976 to aid the thousands of illegal...

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