VIGILANTE, the final book in the Shane Scully series due to the untimely passing of Stephen J. Cannell in 2010, has the distinction of presenting one of the best opening paragraphs and one of the best closing paragraphs you are likely to encounter in a crime novel this year. Both earn that accolade for entirely different reasons: the first paragraph will intrigue you, suck you in and keep you reading, while the final paragraph… well, it says it all, in just a few words.
"VIGILANTE...has the distinction of presenting one of the best opening paragraphs and one of the best closing paragraphs you are likely to encounter in a crime novel this year."
Scully and his partner in law enforcement, Sumner “Hitch” Hitchens, are assigned to investigate a high-profile homicide. The deceased in question is Lita Mendez, a gang activist with ties to the notorious Evergreen crew. Mendez had been an impediment to effective law enforcement and a thorn in the side of the LAPD for years. Scully and Hitch do not lack for suspects when Mendez is found murdered in her apartment. Every man and woman in a blue uniform has a motive, not to mention a plethora of rival L.A. street gangs.
Scully and Hitch have a huge roadblock in their investigation, in the form of Nixon Nash. “Vigilante TV” is a hit reality show, and Nash is its host, solving crimes ahead of police departments while demonstrating the ineptitude of the investigating officers. Nash has embarrassed two police departments since his show has been on the air, and the LAPD is now in his sights. Scully isn’t happy, especially when Nash offers him a position on the program, coupled with a threat that Scully will be unhappy and embarrassed, or worse, if he doesn’t cooperate. There is something about Nash, and his apparent skill at investigation, that doesn’t quite sit right. Is Nash that good, or that lucky? And if he is neither, how does he manage to appear on the spot of cri