Friday, December 19, 2008

On the Grind-Stephen J. Cannell

On the Grind
Stephen J. Cannell
St. Martin's, Jan 2009, $25.95
ISBN 9780312366285

LAPD Detective Shane Scully strikes a deal with the District Attorney’s Office to avoid probable jail time for blackmailing movie actress Tiffany Roberts instead of reporting her efforts to hire a hit man to kill her sleazy spouse. Part of the settlement is he leaves the police department. Scully’s wife, LAPD Chief of Detectives Alexa is livid with his misbehavior that brought another black eye to the departmentand kicks him to the curb when she learns he probably slept with Roberts.

The former cop obtains a rookie’s position with the Haven Park police department known as the most corrupt in the state. His new blue brothers assign him the task to cripple the efforts of a reformist running for city mayor.

This is an engaging Scully police procedural that gives away the key twist way too early in the otherwise well written albeit over the top plot as that subtracts from the trademark angst of previous tales (see WHITE SISTER and THREE SHIRT DEAL). Still the exciting story line is fun to follow as a disgraced Scully loses his job and his spouse, and ends up working in what law enforcement officials overwhelmingly believe is the most corrupt department in California; anyone not on the take will not live for very long.

Harriet Klausner