Cannell's books are mostly excellent and this is no exception. Shane Scully is one of his great characters and this story keeps you turning the pages to find out what's going to happen. I enjoy writers who develop their characters well -- showing their vulnerabilities as well as their strengths -- and Cannell really pulls it off with this book. I liked it so much that as I began reading the book I realized that I had already read it, and in fact have it in my library! But I read it anyway!!
Action-packed police thriller from beginning to end. This book was a recent mystery choice by Suzanne Beecher in the EmailBookClub.com. I will be looking for more in this series.
A man is impersonating an officer. His neighbors find out his garage is full of weapons and call ATF. An officer is killed. The man is killed in a standoff. Was it suicide by officer? Scully must find out. Very good book.
Shane and Alexa Scully are back in action again, this time staying pretty much on home turf but up against the toughest assignment either of them have ever had. Friend and fellow officer from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Emo Rojas is brutally gunned down routinely serving a warrant. However, the Sheriff's department took the warrant from the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms federal unit. Emo is dead in the "Vertical Coffin", police slang for a doorway, and chaos runs rampant as Shane arrives on the scene.
Good diverting reading. Cannell is a favorite author and seldom fails to entertain.
One of the best of Cannell's books.
Once started, it's hard to put down. Another success in the Shane Scully series.
Another great read by Cannell. I typically lose sleep when reading a Scully novel
This is the 4th Shane Scully book, and among my reading circle, the best so far! The "vertical coffin" refers to the vulnerability of a policeman when he has to go through an open doorway, not knowing what kind of ambush awaits him on the other side.
While it's not necessary to read the Shane Scully books in order, I certainly think it helps in understanding the characters, their histories, etc. Adds an extra element of enjoyment to the books.
The title of the latest entry in Cannell's Shane Scully LAPD series (Hollywood Tough; The Tin Collectors; The Viking Funeral) is police jargon for any doorway, which is where cops are most vulnerable when clearing a house. As the novel begins, Shane stumbles into a full-scale barricade shootout between gunman Vincent Smiley and surrounding police. After one of two competing SWAT teams at the scene burns down the barricaded house with Smiley in it, a fight over who is to blame begins to smolder. Several subsequent cop shootings (with all victims caught in the aforementioned vertical coffins) fan the SWAT team turf tussle into a conflagration that Shane and wife Alexa, the acting head of the LAPD Detective Services Group, are assigned to investigate. Shane, an old school detective, insists on starting from zero and looking into shooter Smiley's past. Everyone else wants him to forget the gumshoe routine and come up with an instant solution. The pleasure of Cannell's work isn't in the writing ("Bullets whined and ricocheted in a deadly concert of tortured metal"), but lies more often in the interesting procedural elements ("It's very hard to protect a crime scene, so I always start at the far edges first, and work in toward the body"). Shane's still a little rough around the edges, but despite too many pop psychology musings, he's a dependable and satisfying character. Readers will enjoy watching him puzzle out the twists and turns of the plot and watch breathlessly as he undertakes a climactic high-speed chase in a souped-up dune buggy on a military shooting range.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW
This is the second Shane Scully mystery I've read by Stephen Cannell. I liked it just as much as I liked the first one, The Viking Funeral.
Shane's (LAPD) buddy Emo Rojas (also a cop) is killed in the beginning of the book and it is widely thought to have been a setup by ATF. Scully is tapped to investigate since ATF has submitted a bogus investigative report which no one at LAPD believes.
This appears to be a pissing match between Federal agents (ATF) and the local SWAT team (LASD). Kinda like: You killed out agent so we killed yours. The danger is escalating and more cops are dying. Scully needs to figure what the hell is going on and quickly before he too is caught in the crossfire.
LAPD Det. Shane Scully is tasked with investigating what went horribly wrong during the serving of a warrant by the LASD to Vincent Smiley, someone known to dislike cops. His investigation into Smiley's alleged death brings threatening phone calls, strained friendships and a twist that no one sees coming. If you enjoyed Stephen J. Cannell's television writing, you will love his Shane Scully books.