Review

Three Shirt Deal: A Shane Scully Novel

by Stephen J. Cannell

As
much as I hate to admit it, WHITE SISTER, the sixth Shane Scully
novel, somehow slipped by me. So I was a little shocked to find
that Scully’s unique and successful marriage to his
department’s chief was being strained and in danger of
failing. It seems that a head wound that Alexa suffered in that
book has left her with severe personality changes, which has Scully
wondering what happened to the woman he married. And when Secada
"Scout" Llevar, a beautiful investigator from Internal Affairs,
asks him to look into a case, his previously monogamous feelings
are tempted to wander.

Though Stephen J. Cannell is certainly not known as a romance
writer, he always manages to include enough of a tender backstory
to add dimension to his street-wise, tough-guy characters. He has a
brilliant knack for creating people who are at once realistic and
bigger than life. They are quick thinking, fast talking and capable
--- perhaps willing to bend the rules but always with the goal of
justice in mind.

A small-time crook is serving a life sentence for the murder of his
mother. He admitted to the crime but now claims his confession was
coerced by the cops. As Llevar tries to convince Scully to
investigate, she chides his reluctance: “I thought you were
supposed to be a White Knight…a walk-alone who wants to get
it right and doesn’t sweat the fallout.” Scully
replies, “That’s the Disney movie. In the Miramax
version I s*** my pants and run like a rabbit.” It’s
this kind of dialogue that crackles throughout the book and brings
on waves of nostalgia for the old “NYPD Blue”
series.

As he begins delving into the case, Scully quickly spots
inconsistencies that should have been picked up by the original
investigator. Yet they were overlooked by both the police and the
district attorney who, by the way, is now running for mayor. And
candidate Tito Morales is not eager to have any of his old cases
turn up as bungled. Meanwhile, an apparently innocent man is being
victimized by gang members in prison and kept in the general
population by mysterious political maneuverings. Instead of being
intimidated by the powerful forces that would shut down the
investigation, Scully and Llevar work even harder to uncover the
truth.

The white-knuckle climax of THREE SHIRT DEAL is one of the most
exciting ever, nearly costing Scully his life. And, even when you
think you have it all figured out, Cannell throws in a few more
surprises just to add to your enjoyment. The underlying morality
and dedication of characters like Shane Scully provide us with both
entertainment and encouragement. Thank you, Mr. Cannell, for all
the good reads!

Three Shirt Deal: A Shane Scully Novel
by Stephen J. Cannell

  • Publication Date: January 15, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 0312366272
  • ISBN-13: 9780312366278