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The Viking Funeral: A Shane Scully Novel (Shane Scully Novels) Hardcover – January 11, 2002

Book 2 of 11 in the Shane Scully Novels Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Stephen J. Cannell has taken to heart Raymond Chandler's remark about writing crime fiction. "When in doubt," Chandler advised, "have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand." There are so many bullets flying in The Viking Funeral that readers might be forgiven for missing this author's subtler efforts to fill out the dimensions of his series protagonist, LAPD Detective Shane Scully, introduced in 2001's The Tin Collectors.

Nobody believes Scully when he says he's just seen Jody Dean (his boyhood buddy and former colleague, who supposedly committed suicide two years before) speeding down a freeway. So the detective sets out to prove that Dean is alive, only to fall in with a crew of undercover cops who've slipped their leash and are now running a convoluted money-laundering scheme that ties U.S. tobacco shipments to South American drug barons.

Cannell, the creator of TV series such as The Rockford Filesand Wiseguy, certainly knows how to choreograph an action scene. But his dialogue is occasionally stilted, and The Viking Funeralloses some narrative steam during a lengthy tour of tropical hideouts. The story is at its best in illuminating the deceptive friendship between the emotionally scarred Scully and the arrogant Dean. Fans of The Tin Collectorsshouldn't be disappointed. --J. Kingston Pierce

From Publishers Weekly

Readers willing to check their disbelief at the door will enjoy this latest over-the-top thriller by Cannell (The Tin Collectors). It's been three years since LAPD cop Shane Scully's best friend and fellow cop Jody Dean blew his brains out so what does it mean when Shane spots Jody driving in the next lane on the freeway? Shane's lover, Alexa Hamilton, herself a star in the LAPD, is skeptical of the sighting partly because Shane is undergoing psychiatric treatment until they find her boss dead in a faked suicide with a strange tattoo on his ankle. The tattoo is the symbol used by the Vikings, a group of brutal rogue cops in Jody's unit who were kicked off the force. A two-way radio at Sheperd's home leads Shane to Jody's hiding place, and it turns out he's involved in a lot more than just a rogue gang. Shane stumbles into a huge money-laundering conspiracy involving the cops, Colombian drug cartels and Big Tobacco. But in order to win Jody's trust and save his own life, Shane must betray Alexa. The action intensifies as the rogues, with Shane along with them undercover, face peril trying to keep ahead of murderous drug lords while the bodies pile up. Solid plotting with nail-biting suspense and multiple surprises keep the reader guessing and sweating right up to the cinematic ending. As the creator of such TV series as The Rockford Files and The A Team, Cannell has a knack for character and a bent for drama that will satisfy even the most jaded thrill lover. 10-city author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Series: Shane Scully Novels (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (January 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312269609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312269609
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,338,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The book is very well written and easy to read.
Lots of gratuitous sex and violence; an easily diagnosed plot and often poorly researched and constructed.
Boris E. Meditch
From the very first page, you will be hooked, and I guarantee you will not be able to put it down.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Montgomery VINE VOICE on January 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The creator of such classic television shows as "The Rockford Files," "The A-Team," and "Wiseguy" has returned with another page-turning thriller. LAPD Detective Shane Scully ("The Tin Collectors") has been placed on psychiatric leave for his loose cannon role in uncovering the corruption of the top department brass. His mental state isn't helped any when he spots his best friend--supposedly dead for two years--driving next to him on an LA freeway.
Detective Scully starts to dig and finds that his friend, along with five other not-so-dead officers, has gone deep undercover. The exact reason, and whether or not their actions are official, remains to be seen. What is immediately clear, though, is that this group of rogue officers (they call themselves "the Vikings") is going make a lot of trouble for Scully if he tells anyone of their existence.
Although some of the plot occasionally strays into silliness, and the prose isn't as polished as one might like, Cannell knows how to keep his audience interested and keep them coming back for more. As you'd expect from all his years writing cop shows, Cannell knows the territory very well and is skillful and knowledgeable about how the game works.
The author also does a good job of probing the shady world of money laundering, and the role of legitimate American corporations in that underworld operation. (Cannell explains in the introduction how he found out about this real-life corruption and it definitely makes you think.)
"The Viking Funeral" is a book that is meant to be read quickly and then largely forgotten; the literary equivalent of one of Cannell's TV shows. On that basis, it makes for a pleasant read.
Reviewed by David Montgomery, Mystery Ink
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on December 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Stephen J. Cannell brings back Shane Scully from his previous adventure in â€~The Tin Collectors’.
Scully lost his best friend and co-worker a couple years ago to an apparent suicide and it hit him pretty hard mentally. He is now suspended from the LAPD. While driving down the freeway, he has no doubt that who he sees is his dead best friend Jody Dean. Scully’s fiancée, Alexa, who happens to also be with the LAPD and is a recent Medal of Valor recipient, thinks Scully has lost his mind. Soon more evidence comes into play and it turns out that Scully was right. There is a group of rogue policemen, some of whom have faked there deaths, that are taking the law into there own hands, as well as making there own laws. Scully infiltrates this group. On the outside, Alexa is handling things.
Cannell takes you into the world of money laundering, drugs, and murder, while taking you into the deadly locales of South America. It was an entertaining and easy book to read. It’s not hard to picture a movie out of this story (obviously due to Cannell’s scriptwriting abilities). Good entertainment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "dhealdjr" on January 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Although I probably haven't read a novel in the past year or so, I have to commend Stephen J. Cannell for bringing the joy of reading a thriller back to me.
Shane Scully is a cop on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to his childhood friend commiting suicide and his girlfriend getting all the recognition for his work on a huge case he just cracked showing corruption in the L.A. Police dept., when he's driving down the highway one day and sees his supposedly dead friend driving next to him. After doing some investigative work he discovers that there is a rogue group of cops that have all faked their suicides so they could work off the books. Shane decides to infiltrate the group and delve into the shaddy underground known as the parallel market. In a wonderfully spun web of intrigue and suspense written by Stephen J. Cannell the reader is taken on an adventure that you won't soon forget.
I found the book imposible to put down for the 2 heart pounding days that it took me to read it. The book is very well written and easy to read. 2 thumbs up for Stephen J. Cannell on writing this soon to be best seller!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on February 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I suppose it had to happen. Stephen Cannell finally wrote a book that failed miserably in living up to our expectations of his story telling ability. The story is plodding and difficult to stay with, although I did finish it just to see if it would get better. Alas, no.
The central characters of Shane Scully and Alexa Hamilton fail to interest...the "Vikings" are an unbelieveable lot of misfits. The "scheme" that they are pursuing of making a killing, both literally and figuratively in the "parallel market" is hard to follow and equally difficult to believe.
The bodies are stacking up like cord wood as you work your way through the book, but you find yourself not caring that much and just waiting for the quite predictable ending. I hope this is the last book of the "Shane Scully genre and that Mr.Cannell can once again take us to more interesting scenarios in the future.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angel L. Soto on February 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In THE VIKING FUNERAL, Stephen J. Cannell continues the story of Sergeant Shane Scully. In THE TIN COLLECTORS, Scully's first appearance, he brings down a group of corrupt cops, the Chief of Police and the mayor of California. The LAPD is in turmoil and now trying to come back from the ashes. Scully has a better relationship with his son and is happily dating Alexa Hamilton, an ally from the previous novel. His life drastically changes one day when he sees his `dead' friend driving on the highway.
He learns that several policemen have faked their own deaths to form part of a team called the Vikings. Shane, Scully, and the new Chief of Police set up a plan to infiltrate the group. As the plan takes place, Scully is forced to kill Alexa and run for his life while working with the Vikings.
Once the reader learns the Vikings true mission, the novel starts to go downhill. The Vikings are involved in a complicated and bit convoluted money-laundering scheme. The principals of this caper are all caricatures and stereotypes who do not have any personality, just role in the play. It is hard to identify with the criminals and it gets to the point that one does not really care. There is no smooth flow in the reading and there were times that I had to reread specific chapters. I have read other Cannell novels that I enjoyed. I prefer that he continues writing stand-alone novels instead of continuing a series with Scully. I feel the sergeant lacked a focus in the novel.
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