Vigilante

Vigilante

St. Martin's Press | December 6, 2011 | 320 Pages | ISBN: 13: 978-0312646110

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Read the complete review from Bookreporter.

In the last novel by acclaimed producer and New York Times bestselling author Stephen J. Cannell, LAPD detective Shane Scully and his partner Sumner Hitchens investigate a crime with ties to the sometimes violent world of reality tv.

Lita Mendez was a thorn in the LAPD's side. An aggressive police critic and gang activist, she’d filed countless complaints against the department. So when she's found dead in her home, Detective Scully and his partner Hitchens fear the worst: that there's a killer in their ranks.

Outside the crime scene, Nixon Nash and his television crew have set up shop. Nash is the charismatic host of a hit reality show called "Vigilante TV," dedicated to beating the cops at their own game: solving murders before they can. Now he has the murder of Lita Mendez in his sights. He presents the detectives with a choice: either join his team, or prepare for a public takedown.

But Scully knows that Nash isn't the folk-hero he seems. He will do anything in the name of self-promotion. If a detective got in his way, would he be prepared to kill? In this new novel, Scully will have to risk everything to save himself and the job he loves.

Vigilante

In the blistering 11th and final Shane Scully novel from bestseller Cannell (after 2010’s The Prostitutes’ Ball), the tough LAPD homicide detective and his elegant millionaire cop partner, Sumner Hitchens, look into the murder of gang activist Lita Mendez, in which Nixon “Nix” Nash, the shady host of the TV reality show Vigilante, has taken a special interest. Determined to bribe Scully and Hitch, Nix leads them down one blind alley after another, and hints at high-level police corruption before the predictable adrenalized shoot-’em-up ending. Cannell’s sturdy just-the-facts style and intimate knowledge of L.A. police venues and procedures unflinchingly ring true in a culture that assumes even homicide “isn’t about justice; it’s about Nielsen ratings.” As Scully pungently puts it to Nix, “What this is really about is revolution against social order and the real joke is you’re getting filthy rich while you’re doing it.” Cannell (1941 2010) was the creator of more than 40 TV series, including The Rockford Files and The Commish. (Dec.)
Publishers Weekly
Alas, thriller fans, this is the final work from Cannell after his death in September 2010. When Lita Menendez is found dead in her home, LAPD's Shane Scully is pretty anxious. Activist Menendez frequently criticized the police, and now he wonders whether some rogue cop has taken revenge. What's worse, the host of Vigilante TV, a top-rated reality show that aims to solve cases before the police do, is parked on Menendez's doorstep. Expect lots of interest in Cannell's good-bye.
Library Journal
In his valedictory case, LAPD Detective Shane Scully (The Prostitutes’ Ball, 2010, etc.) finds real danger in the dubious world of reality TV.
Nixon Nash is an ex-lawyer, an ex-cop and an ex-con over a little matter of embezzlement that led to a two-year prison stretch. But never mind all the exes. What matters most are his consistently lofty Nielsen numbers. He’s cobbled together a reality show called Vigilante TV that audiences have fallen in love with and cops universally haven’t. Vigilante TV deliberately and relentlessly makes cops look bad, ranging from greedily corrupt to abysmally stupid, leaving Shane Scully smack in the middle of a mess he never made. Whatever else Nash may be (psychopathic, for instance?), he certainly is vengeful. And he clearly harbors negative feelings toward the LAPD and Shane Scully. When ferocious anti-police activist Lolita Mendez is murdered, Nash promptly makes the case a centerpiece of his show and publicly pits his resources against Scully’s in a race to crack it. Challenged, Scully has no choice but to play Nash’s convoluted game. As it hurtles toward its climax, however, he begins to understand exactly what Nash means him to understand: that the stakes are career against career and, in the final analysis, life against life.

Well plotted and smartly paced. Scully goes out a winner.
Kirkus Reviews

"The late Cannell's last Scully novel is a fitting end to the series, reminding us why Cannell was a significant part of our entertainment culture on TV and in print for decades: he was a darn good storyteller. This well-plotted story shouldn't be missed."

 

Romantic Times