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Cold Hit: A Shane Scully Novel (Shane Scully Novels) Hardcover – July 28, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After a successful career as a television writer-producer (The Rockford Files; Wiseguy), Cannell is carving a strong second, thanks mainly to the series featuring LAPD homicide sleuth Shane Scully. In this outing, Scully's partner has slipped into an angry, alcoholic funk and their high-priority case—the search for a serial slayer who snips the digits of his homeless victims—is usurped by a task force headed by an arrogant FBI profiler. Cannell's strong suit has always been unique characters, and Scully's world-weary cop and family man is no exception. Add to that an intriguing mystery, authentic cop jargon (smoothly translated), snapshot descriptions of Southern California locales and a couple of tense and amusing LAPD–Homeland Security face-offs. Brick's rendition is clear, precise and effective in adding accent touches. While he knows how to build tension when a buzz saw is pressed to Scully's hand, his voice is too youthful and newsreader perfect to stand in for a disillusioned veteran cop. Scully narrates the novel, and a deeper, darker timbre would have turned this entertaining audio into an exceptional one.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In his new outing, L.A. homicide detective Shane Scully has too many things to deal with. There's the latest in a string of serial murders, although Shane has serious doubts that this victim fits the pattern. There's his captain, who keeps pressing him to get the murder solved before the chief of detectives forms a task force. There's his wife, the aforementioned chief of detectives. There's his partner, an old friend who is in serious danger of letting booze take away his badge. And there's the surprising link between Shane's current murder victim and a decade-old unsolved murder of an L.A. cop. Despite having several novels under his belt, Cannell may still be better known as a television producer (The A-Team, The Commish, The Rockford Files), but that will soon change. In Scully, he has created one of the genre's most interestingly conflicted characters, a veteran cop who's seen it all and who (like Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch) is getting just a little tired of all the crap. Cannell's writing keeps improving, too; fans of the Scully series will note both an added depth and a new stylistic panache in this installment. With every book, Cannell moves closer to joining crime fiction's A-Team. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Shane Scully Novels (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (July 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312347308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312347307
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,436,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Interesting characters working on an interesting plot.
John Matlock
This is one of the best Shane Scully books I have read,(and I've read them all), it's one I can re-read any time and enjoy it each time.
Kurt K
COLD HIT, the fifth and latest of the Scully novels, is arguably Cannell's best.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Colin P. Lindsey VINE VOICE on July 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I really, really like this book! Moreover there's a LOT to like about this new Shane Scully outing from Mr. Cannell, and at the top of the list is that these novels keep getting better both in art, depth, complexity, and subject matter. It is worth noting that Mr. Cannell is continually improving his already noteworthy writing abilities, particularly when it seems that, sadly, many writers seem content to let past successes prop up less than worthy current releases. Mr. Cannell rises above formulaic repetition and simple rehashing of his past novels by writing with an intelligence and fierce electricity that is refreshing, but also by working in new and relevant ideas and then following these ideas to their natural conclusions. No easy task, but Cannell transcends past efforts with an easy panache and grace.

Scully, a LAPD detective, is maturing into a very interesting and realistic character doing his best in a constantly evolving world of red tape, personal conflicts, bureacratic indifference and short-sightedness, and now, really scary federal powers of investigation that can neutralize local law enforcement and even persecute such local representation. This novel works on all levels; it is gritty and tough, with writing that paints setting and ambiance using words just as a master artist would lovingly brush details on canvas in oil, adds in a big dash of action, moral and ethical dilemmas, plenty of dead bodies, and helps us realize, map, and confront the dark side of the sweeping new federal powers enacted after 9/11. The misuse of these powers can be truly frightening as illustrated in this book, calling to mind harrowing recollections of the Gestapo or Orwell's 1984. This book, far more than most of the genre, will make you sit back and think, then pause, then think even harder.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on August 25, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I consider the Rockford Files one of the best TV shows ever. A lot of that is due to its star, James Garner, but credit also needs to go to Stephen J. Cannell, who created and helped write the series. Cannell is responsible for a lot of other TV shows (including Hunter, Wiseguy and the A-Team), but of late he has been more focused on mystery writing. Based on my fondness for his TV work, I should be inclined to enjoy his books, but they actually rate from just above average to barely adequate; if these were graded in school, the best would be a B. Cold Hit gets a C-minus, or put in Amazon terms, barely three stars.

Cold Hit is around the sixth book in the Shane Scully series (admittedly, I have only read three or four of them). In this volume, Scully is lead investigator in the hunt for a serial killer known for cutting off the fingers of his victims (hence hindering investigation). As the story opens, a new body has been found, but Scully suspects a copycat due to certain distinctions from previous crimes. Unfortunately, he is getting nowhere and the FBI is being called in to take over. In addition to this, Scully's partner is going off the deep end with increasingly risky (and drunken) behavior.

Although Scully is cast into a subordinate position, he still comes up with some important clues that indicate the involvement of some Russians. This stirs up a whole nest of problems, with the result that Scully winds up locking horns with Homeland Security people; in such a battle, the odds are really against Scully, since the Feds are willing to use all sorts of secretive, Patriot Act allowed acts to enforce their will.

Ominously, the gravest perils that Scully faces are not from the killer but rather from the government figures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on December 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In spy story novels the James Bond or other good guy character often goes through the story leaving dead bodies all over the place. Then the spies move on with never a thought for what's left behind.

In murder mysteries you have a detective who applies all kinds of deduction, logic, forensics and so on to catching a killer. And if you have a lot of bodies then you have a serial killer and you put a whole task force together to go find the guy.

In this case Shane Scully with the LAPD is the detective, working on a serial killer case. There are all the usual kind of problems with the press, the chief of police, partner. But then the FBI, and the CIA, and the KGB (there's no KGB any more, the Colonel works to get ballets and other cultural activities from Russia to the US) start showing up.

This book is a fun read. Interesting characters working on an interesting plot. Great literature, of course not. An nice little twist on the standard murder mystery, absolutely.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By CoalMiner'sSon on September 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
We have Shane Scully, Detective with the LAPD, former alcoholic, saved by his partner, Zack, a big over-weight Irishman who is depressed, suicidal, and, you guessed it, now himself alcoholic.

We have Alexa, the drop-dead beautiful wife of Detective Scully who just happens to be head of Detectives and his boss.

We have Rico from Pico, the drop-dead (did I just say that ?) good looking, intelligent up-from-the-slums chicano with a pencil mustache and slicked back, black hair.

We have Captain Calloway, 5 ft 8, 255 lb, all of it muscle, with a bald, torpedo shaped head and coal-black skin.

We have police chief Tony Filosiani, also know as Day-Glo Dago, a kinetic fire-plug from Brooklyn.

We have Scully's son Chooch, who is a 6 ft, 3 1/2 inch quarterback being heavily recruited by major colleges, including Pete Carroll at USC. We have Delfina, Chooch's girl friend who lives in Scully's 2 car garage converted to a bedroom after Delfina lost her family.

We have the humorless, moronic FBI agent (how original), Jud Underwood, who is pale, narrow-shouldered with a peculiar orangish shade of blonde-red hair; also know as Agent Orange.

And so it goes for the whole of the book.

The bad guys are really, really bad. The good guys are really, really good.

At the beginning of the book, the author quotes Ben Franklin - "They that give up essential safety to obtain a little temporary liberty deserve neither liberty and safety."

No, wait...well, it was something like that.

If, while you are reading this book you get the feeling that you've read it before, you are right. You have. Maybe many times.
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