Saturday, February 4, 2012

Vigilante by Stephen J Cannell

Vigilante (Shane Scully #11) is the final novel in the Shane Scully series after writer, and TV producer Stephen J. Cannell passed away in September 2010. Unless another writer gets the families permission to continue this story, this is good-bye

Quote of the book - "Sometimes this job really kicks ass," Hitch after he and Scully solve a cold case murder that everyone thought was dead and buried by incompetent police officers with one foot out the door towards retirement.

The story is a mystery right from the very start. LAPD’s Homicide Special Squad Detectives Scully and Hitch are forced to ask tough questions after coming across a dead boy of a rather annoying, but famous trouble maker in a neighborhood known for gangs and drugs.

The questions begin immediately: Who killed Lolita "Lita" Mendez LAPD's most vocal critic and pain in the ass? Was it a police officer, or a gang banger for whom she tried to protect by filing numerous frivolous complaints? Why was she killed in the first place? Was it because she knew too many secrets about the LAPD, or was it because she was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and was set up for the fall to make someone else look brilliant by solving her murder?

If you followed America's Most Wanted, this would be like the host of that show turning up in your town and bringing his circus with him. He would first aim complaints directly at the police department and make claims that he can solve the major crime of the day before the cops.

In this case, Nixon Nash is a host of Vigilante TV who has made numerous enemies out of various police forces, including the Atlanta PD, by stepping on their shoes, and making them look stupid. Nix has a bunch of former police officers, lawyers, district attorneys, and even a judge at his beck and call.

For Scully, this case will try the very fiber of his being and put his career in jeopardy as Nix knows that the only way to get what he wants is to ruin the careers of officers like Scully.
Thankfully, this story plays out exactly like we expect from a Cannell novel. The bad guy is revealed after making some idiotic commentary, and good police work by both Scully and Hitch lead to the eventual downfall of the killer as well as solving a cold case and settling the minds of the victims’ family.

When I thought The Prostitutes' Ball (Shane Scully #10) was the last book of this series,  I said I shall miss this series. I’ll miss it because of Scully, Alexa, Hitch, Chooch, and their adventurers and relationships. It's been a nice ride which unfortunately had to end.

Title: Vigilante
Author: Stephen J. Cannell
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Genres: Mystery & Thriller


  1. The premise of this book is the logical conclusion to the present reality TV mania. There was an extract from the audio book on Elaine Charles' radio show The Book Report. It interested me enough to make me want to read the book. You can listen to the extract on

  2. I am sad to hear that the author has passed away, but have heard such great things about this series!! I think this particular story sounds like a great read!