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Publisher's Summary

Shane Scully and his partner are assigned to the case of "the Fingertip Killer", a serial murderer preying on homeless veterans in Los Angeles. Every two weeks he strikes: he beats his victims, then shoots them in the back of the head. Once they're dead, he cuts off their fingertips, closes their eyes, and tosses them in the river. The latest killing, however, does not quite fit the pattern. It appears to be the work of the Fingertip Killer, but Scully suspects an elaborate copycat murder meant to hide a criminal conspiracy. A bullet pulled from the victim's skull produces what police call a "cold hit", an unexpected ballistics match linking one unsolved case to another, and the previous victim was an LA Police officer, killed 10 years earlier.
After heavy-handed FBI agents throw him off the Fingertip Killer case, Scully teams up with his wife and boss, Alexa, and a pair of tough cops from the LAPD's anti-terrorism squad. Outside the law and deep undercover, they fight to see justice done for the slain officer, and, possibly, to unravel a murderous plot with connections high up in the Homeland Security office.
©2005 Stephen J. Cannell (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
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Critic Reviews

"Cannell's brand of thriller is served straight up, and he knows how to cut to the chase." (The New York Times)
"Cannell's writing keeps improving, too; fans of the Scully series will note both an added depth and a new stylistic panache in this installment. With every book, Cannell moves closer to joining crime fiction's A-Team." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jerret on 08-21-05

Above average detective thriller

This was my first SJC novel. I'm glad I downloaded it. Kept me entertained and had a good storyline. One of the deciding factors in getting this download was because it is narrated by Scott Brick. Fantastic reader, as we all know by now.

I only have two small problems with this book. SJC is pig ignorant when it comes to firearms. You'd think a fellow with a mantle full of Emmys from screenwriting "shoot em ups" in the 80s would at least have a basic grasp of the obvious when it comes to guns. Not this guy. My second complaint is with the cheesy dialogue. What's with this "nanner-nanner, boo-boo" narrative? It sounded like a bunch of junior high kids that just learned profanity. SJC needs to take a break from writing long enough to read a couple of Elmore Leonard novels and get his dialogue on track.

SJC is obviously on the political left but he didn't try to ram his beliefs down the reader's throat. He showcased the terrifying powers the feds now have in the post 9/11 world and the potential for abuse. But he did it in perfect harmony with his plotline and didn't breeze off into a two hundred page Tom Clancyish diatribe. As I said, it was a very good storyline. Lots of similarity to Michael Connelly's Bosch series but somehow a cut above Connelly on the action and intensity levels. And the side story into the main character's personal life was a nice character development trick. So don't worry about "catching up" with the prior novels in this series before reading this one.

Four stars.

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35 of 36 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Sima Schuster on 08-30-05

A bit too formulaic

Are there any "normal" people working in the LAPD, or the FBI for that matter,(except for the hero's wife)? And "code 3" means sirens going, not "code 2". Story became a bit tedious as we had to go through the political screeds while waiting for the plot to develop. I've read many LA detective books and this one just doesn't measure up for me. I could pretty well see what, and who, was going to turn up next.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Andy on 03-17-06


Highly recommended! A great detective story that commands attention!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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