Books: Annals of the Crime

THE ONION FIELD by JOSEPH WAMBAUGH 427 pages. Delacorte. $8.95.

As Detective Sergeant Joe Wambaugh revealed in two bestselling novels, The New Centurions and The Blue Knight, the life of a Los Angeles police officer is tough. Now it is even tougher for Wambaugh, the celebrity cop. Prisoners keep asking for his autograph. The guys at the precinct are forever drilling him about which character in what book is actually who in real life. That is perhaps one reason why Wambaugh this time chose a "factual novel"−real names and all−in the manner of...

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