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Hollywood Tough (Shane Scully Novels) Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his eighth novel, the third featuring L.A. supercop Shane Scully, veteran television writer and producer Cannell (The Rockford Files) takes readers on an entertaining, beneath-the-tinsel tour of Hollywood. His complex plot, clearly presented by narrator Michael, cleverly melds a Mafia move to infest film craft unions, a gangsta turf war and an LAPD sting operation that amusingly unspools into a multi-million-dollar runaway film fiasco. The mix of suspense and showbiz satire works well, but the author's most sterling achievement is his cast of full-blown, quirky, raffish characters. Michael employs an impressive array of dead-on accents to distinguish them. Wiseguy "Champagne" Dennis Valentine, who, between shootouts, delivers lectures on vegan dining, speaks in throaty Brooklynese; likable grifter Nicky Marcella's nervous whine is strictly from Jersey; and Farrell Champion, an A-list producer (who may have murdered a wife or two), speaks with an edgy bluster. Michael subtly handles the voices of women, Hispanics, African-Americans, obnoxious agents and arrogant superstars. Strangely, his invention wanes when it comes to the hero's voice; he uses his normal actor's locution. While it is well-suited for storytelling purposes, it's a bit refined for a knockabout guy like Shane.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

LAPD investigator Shane Scully agrees to return a favor to former snitch Nicky Marcella, a street hustler turned shady movie producer. He wants Shane to find Carol White, his former New Jersey high school classmate and an aspiring actress. What Shane finds is that she's abandoned her dreams for an abyss of drugs and prostitution, but her core of inherent decency touches him. When she's murdered, he refuses to allow her to be dismissed as just another dead whore. He starts with Nicky, who's fronting a Mob-connected movie production company that is using muscle to infiltrate key labor unions. Evidently Carol's past collided with the Mob's plans, and she became expendable. Shane and Nicky--both guilt-ridden over their unwitting roles in her death--form an uneasy alliance to find Carol's killer. Cannell, Emmy-winning creator of shows such as The Rockford Files, applies his insider knowledge of Hollywood business to great effect, much as Elmore Leonard did in Get Shorty (1990). This is an entertaining mix of thrills, humor, and street justice as Shane and Nicky--reminiscent of Jim Rockford and his weasel sidekick, Angel--use their wits to run a complicated sting and bring the bad guys to their knees. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Shane Scully Novels (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (January 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312989423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312989422
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John W. Bates on January 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Stephen Cannell's latest Shane Scully novel returns the reader to Los Angeles one year after Shane and his beautiful wife/partner/boss Alexa barely survived The Viking Funeral (St. Martin's, January 2002 and December 2002 softcover). Shane is completing medical leave recuperation from injuries received in that story. He and Alexa, happily married, and Shane's son "Chooch" seemingly have adjusted well to all of their traumas, and Shane is wondering what kind of new duty he will draw, and if he will be working under his wife, who has progressed rapidly up the LAPD promotion ladder. Things cannot stay serene for long, however.
Shane and Alexa attend an engagement party for Alexa's best friend, who has been star-crossed for lovers. At the party, Shane meets Nicky Marcella, one of his former clients/snitch, a con man who has become a movie producer. He asks Shane to help him locate an old friend whom he wants to cast in his new movie, but he can't locate her. Also, Shane overhears the groom to be making an arch comment about never needing a divorce - his previous wives died after he tired of the! Shane is suspicious and over Alexa's objections starts to investigate. He also finds the missing actress, who is now a doped-up prostitute. He reports back to Nicky, and then forgets about it - until he is called out to a crime scene to identify her tortured body and explain why she had his business card. Now Shane is angry and pushes on to discover an East Cost mafia family trying to wedge into the Hollywood unions, a merging of street gangs to take over narcotics trafficking in LA, and ends up fronting a sting that before he knows it is really producing a megamillion dollar movie. And then the gang involvement reaches in and entangles his son.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Stephen Cannell has written his third book in his Shane Scully series. This tale involves the whole Scully family that has been created over the three books, and a deputy chief that allows his officers to do anything they wish. Gone is the hard-boiled edge Cannell has put into his previous books. Cannell has run out of ideas for this series and has failed in his attempt to keep it fun. "Tin Collectors" was by far the best work of this series. This tale drags on for 300 some pages, and is not worth the time or the money. The 3 stars is a gift. I hope he can do better in the next one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky VINE VOICE on January 27, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, it's true. Shane and Alexa are back in action, now married and living in Shane's small house in Venice CA with Shane's son Chooch. Alexa's long time friend Nora Bishop is getting married, and after a series of bad boyfriends she has finally landed Farrell Champion, big name movie producer.

When Alexa and Shane attend a party splattered with big name stars at Farrell's house, Shane runs into a no-name street grifter from the streets named Nicky Marcella. Nicky claims to be running a legitimate movie production company named Cine-Roma, and also claims to be partnered with Champion. He asks Shane for a favor in return for all the informing he had done in the past for LAPD, namely, find a girl named Carol White that Nicky wanted to star in his next movie.

Alexa is called away from the party for a big-time gang shooting, and as Shane is leaving separately, he overhears Farrell mentioning something about poisoning his two previous wives. Shane proceeds to find Carol, a used up junkie selling her body for fixes, and also discovers a strange plot to overtake the IATSE union by a mobster named Dennis Valentine from back east. When Carol is found brutally murdered, her death touches Shane deep inside, bring him face to face with the demons that keep him on the police force.

Shane realizes that somehow, Nicky, Dennis, Farrell, and the gang shootings are related, and vows to avenge Carol's useless death by discovering the truth behind the bizarre mob connections in the glamorous world of show business.

While Cannell's `The Viking Funeral' took a turn into the darker side of existence, `Hollywood Tough' makes up for it by skirting along an almost comedic edge of the seedier side of the movie industry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Untouchable on March 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the third Shane Scully book and he seems to at least be trying to settle down to domestic bliss. Or at least he would, if only his job wouldn't keep intruding on his family.
Scully seeks revenge on the killer of a hooker, murdered after he had tracked her down for one of his information sources. He is driven by a sense of guilt and responsibility. His most likely is an East Coast mobster who is trying to move in on the Hollywood scene by controlling the movie industry's unions. His method of attack is to go undercover as, of all things, a movie producer. His eyes are well and truly opened and a lot of fun is poked at the Hollywood movie industry when production begins on his movie (which is never meant to get made) and expenses begin to rocket out of control.
A parallel story involves an escalating gang-war that his wife (and boss) Alexa, who is head of the Detective Services Group is trying to calm. It soon becomes apparent that the two stories are going to overlap, but how and to what effect remains the mystery.
This is another compelling mystery that takes you from the extravagance of the Hollywood movie scene, right down to the mean streets of LA and the gangs who inhabit them. Plenty of action and a grandstand finish helps to make it a very enjoyable read. It has also left plenty of scope for a future Shane Scully book.
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