The LAPD is probably the most famous law enforcement organization in the world. No other police department has been written about, mythologized, hated, and idolized as the LAPD. Countless movies and television shows, including Dragnet, LA Confidential, Training Day, Colors, Rampart, Adam 12, Police Story, and many, many others have been based around the Los Angeles Police Department. Any Los Angeles Story has to include the LAPD, and I continued that tradition in the novel, “Palm Avenue. “
I took a criminal justice course in college and the professor of that class said something I will never forget, because it is so true – “In the United States, you can do almost anything you want in the privacy of your own home. When you leave your home, that is when you get to come across the criminal justice system.” Ashley, in the novel “Palm Avenue,” comes across a representative of the criminal justice system in the form of Efrain, a handsome Latino LAPD officer, and veteran of the Gulf War. Ashley gets pulled over in the wee hours of the morning on Hollywood Boulevard, after a long day of partying.
Ashley uses her God given talents as a good looking, long legged blonde to avoid getting a DUI. Another thing that I learned in the criminal justice class is that police officers have a lot of leeway as to who gets charged with what. Efrain, in the book is a somewhat rookie officer, is not inherently corrupt, and probably even surprises himself when he lets Ashley slide. There was just something about her he can’t resist. There is something about the handsome cop Ashley can’t resist either.
Efrain’s fateful encounter with Ashley quickly turns into an obsession he can’t control, and he crosses boundaries that he never thought he would. Efrain is married and a new father and is having a hard time reconciling his feelings for his wife after she gave birth: “ He had found himself less sexually attracted to his wife after she gave birth. Not only did she gain fifty pounds during her pregnancy, now she was devoting all of her time to the baby and breast feeding. It now seemed that her sexual organs were being used for a different purpose, and as much as he hated to admit it, he just wasn’t turned on by his wife anymore.”
Efrain is very turned on by the tantalizing Ashley however, but he soon wishes he had never laid eyes on her, like a few others in the book. Due to his involvement with Ashley, Efrain gets transferred out of the LAPD Hollywood Division to the Harbor Division, which in his mind is the same as being transferred to Siberia. Efrain gets to sample the goods, but will his life ever be the same?