In this action-packed Hollywood thriller, Shane Scully finds himself unwittingly involved in a criminal scheme to take over the movie business.
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. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 13). (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.