Following the success of his bestselling novel White Sister, Stephen J. Cannell's latest blockbuster has Detective Shane Scully fighting to save a man railroaded for murder, while his wife, Alexa, has become a total stranger to him
A small-time crook is doing life in California's notoriously brutal Corcoran State Prison for the murder of his mother. He admitted to the crime, but now he claims his confession was coerced by the cops. A beautiful Internal Affairs detective, Secada "Scout" Llevar, asks Shane to help investigate, and he agrees after learning the original homicide detective was Brian Devine, a ruthless cop with whom Scully has a bad history.
What begins as a routine review quickly turns into something much more deadly. The case is abruptly shut down by an LAPD deputy chief, and Shane begins to suspect that for unknown reasons the prisoner really may have been framed by the police. But some things, once started, cannot be stopped, and the investigation spirals dangerously out of control, implicating a violent Hispanic gang, a millionaire power broker, and the front-runner in the Los Angeles mayoral race.
Meanwhile, Shane and Alexa struggle to save their marriage, which has come perilously close to disintegration since Alexa's near-fatal shooting in White Sister—just as Shane finds himself attracted to his new partner. Could the answer to their marital troubles be tied to the case he's investigating? In Cannell's latest heart-pounding thriller, Shane is tried in ways he has never been, risking his family, his job, and his life.
Cannell, creator of TV's Rockford Files and A-Team, fails to translate his considerable narrative gifts into print in this seventh Shane Scully police thriller (after 2006's White Sister). LAPD detective Scully has been struggling in his personal life ever since his wife, Alexa, the department's chief of the detective's bureau, was shot in the head and developed erratic mood swings. Secada Llevar, a sexy investigating officer for internal affairs, corners Scully and demands his help in reopening a homicide; she believes Tru Hickman, convicted of killing his mother to support a meth habit, was railroaded by some corrupt cops, but she has been ordered by her superiors to drop her inquiry. Scully joins her probe and predictably uncovers high-level corruption, possibly connected with an impending mayoral election, while struggling with his attraction to Secada. The perils-of-Pauline ending is better suited for the small screen, and the numerous implausibilities may be too much for some readers.