Vigilante (Shane Scully)
by Stephen J. Cannell
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
St. Martin's Press Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312646110
Date: 06 December 2011 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /
Shane Scully is the lead character is this series of novels by Stephen J. Cannel. Scully is a detective in Homicide Special which is an elite investigative unit of the Los Angeles police department. They handle all the high-profile cases like movie stars and public figures.
The most colorful character in the series in Scully's partner Sumner Hitchens. Hitchens made it rich when he sold a big murder case to the movies and now is wealthy and living in a great house in LA. He is also a gourmet cook among his other talents. Sumner and Scully are good friends and content police partners. Scully will soon join the rich and famous as they sold the rights to the murder case in Cannell's last novel, The Prostitute's Ball.
The plotline of this edition, Vigilante, is the murder of a police critic and gang activist, Lolita Mendez. She had filed numerous civilian complaints against police officers on behalf of gang members and was not well-liked by the LA police. The bad guy in this novel is Nixon Nash, former LA lawyer and now the host of a crime vigilant show V-TV. V-TV, a crime vigilante show achieved fame by broadcasting and reinvestigating flubbed police investigations throughout the country and ruining the careers of the policemen involved.
When Scully and Hitchens arrive at the murder scene, the V-TV vans are there fishing for a scoop. Nix gets his wish and V-TV pursues the case of Lolita Mendez. The plot ensues as the LAPD investigates the murders and Nix and the V-TV staff pursues their own investigation, and trying to sink Scully and Hitchens along the way. Nix tries to buy Scully numerous times and bring him on the side of the TV show, but Scully will hear nothing of it and continues to pursue the case professionally. The ending has a nice twist too and I really enjoyed the story.
The Shane Scully novels are great and a quick read and there is plenty of background information to follow the plot if you missed the previous novels. The plotlines are relatively simple, so honestly not a whole lot of background info is required to jump right in. They also have the romance of the Hollywood scene to make the reading more fun. I love these novels.
Unfortunately, this is Cannell's last novel because he passed away last year. Cannell had an excellent career as a television writer and producer in addition to his novels. I hope another author is able to pick up the character line because I would love to read more about Shane Scully and his crew.