Friday, March 5, 2010

The Pallbearers-Stephen J. Cannell

The Pallbearers
Stephen J. Cannell
St. Martin’s, Mar 16 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312557294

Huntington House Group Home director Walter Dix commits suicide; he apparently shot himself in the head with a shotgun. Those who were raised by Pop, as his wards called him, are stunned as he was considered a father by many of his kids.

His will selects six of his former boys to be the Pallbearers. This includes Police Detective Shane Scully, whose parents abandoned him three decades ago as an infant. Scully has issues with the suicide denouement as he cannot accept the charismatic surfing Pop killing himself although the cop recognizes his affection and adulation of Pop and his remorse for losing contact could distort his view. The other five pallbearers also have difficulty with the official verdict. Putting off his Hawaii vacation with his wife, LAPD Detective Division acting commander Alexa, Shane leads the other Pallbearers on a quest for the truth.

The latest Scully investigative thriller (see On the Grind and White Sister) is refreshed by taking the detective and readers back into his past as an “orphan”; thus enabling the audience to better understand the demons that eat at his soul. The investigation is fun to follow as the police officially close the case while Scully leads the other pallbearers on investigating what each assumes is a homicide. Although the clues to what happen is too obvious for readers which detracts from the investigation’s primary issue as to whether Pop considered “to be or not to be” as the that is the first question of the inquiry. Still Stephen J. Cannell provides his fans with a deep look at the hero’s childhood through his adult eyes looking back to the time that shaped the man he is.

Harriet Klausner

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