It’s a few days before Christmas when Detective Shane Scully and his wife, Alexa, respond to a call in the Hollywood Hills. The crime scene is the pristine backyard swimming pool of a once immaculate mansion on Skyline Drive, the site of an infamous murder decades prior, in which a family was killed in cold blood on Christmas Eve. In the ensuing years, the house has been shuttered and left exactly as it stood on that terrible night.
Shane and Alexa arrive to discover the aftermath of a lavish party. The revelers have fled, leaving three dead bodies, all shot with the same gun. One is acclaimed film producer Scott Berman. The others, a pair of gorgeous women in their early 20s.
Scully is assigned to the case along with his new partner, Sumner Hitchens. Hitch has a reputation in the department as a self-promoter; he sold the story rights to one of his cases to a film production company - and he has the millions to show for it. Scully and Hitch begin to investigate, and the case looks to be open-and-shut: The two young women were hired prostitutes, and there’s a security video of an angry husband firing on all three. A simple case of revenge.
But there’s a catch: The detectives discover a single spent bullet casing that doesn’t match the rest. From that single bullet emerges a story that spans 30 years - a tale of love, murder, suicide, and one of the biggest financial frauds in L.A. history. It’s a story fit for the screen - and Hitch is determined to get it there, no matter what it takes. But someone has gone to great lengths to cover up the crime, and as Scully and Hitch get closer to the answer, they find themselves in a killer’s crosshairs. The case could be the makings of a blockbuster Hollywood film - but only if Scully gets out of it alive.
©2010 Stephen J. Cannell (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This is the kind of writing that got me into this series. The past 2 or 3 books have tended to the preposterous, but this one very good. It is sad that this maybe the last of the books because of Cannell's very sad passing, although I hear there may be one more in the pipeline.
Great characterizations! Slightly hard-to-believe plot, but involves two sets of multiple murders decades apart, related only by real estate! Fun for Shane Scully fans!
A reader from day 1 now a listener too! Remember honesty in a review does help you decide, even if you don't agree!
Since the passing this year of author Stephen Cannell, unless there were more manuscripts, will miss his wonderful way with the 'police case' mystery.....great characters, humor and action.
Scott Brick as the narrator was 'spot on' and very easy to listen and enjoy over and over....as is what will have to happen. Will have to go back and listen to the rest of the 'Shane Skully' series...but from this one, they work well as a stand alone story as well, and the narration really adds to the story.
When I heard of Mr. Cannell's passing, I was truly sad that I wouldn't be able to enjoy any more Shane Scully novels. I was pleasantly surprised when The Prostitute's Ball was released. It was another exciting novel with an excellent narrator.
and I hope the rumors are true there may be one more. Scott Brick is the consumate Shane and he lifts the already engrossing plot to its high level of enjoyment.
This was my favorite thus far in the series. I think Shane and Hitch make a great team. If this was a movie it would be a franchise. I could also see this as a tv show. I would be a fan of either option. Can't wait to hear the next one.
An action mystery with a very solid story.
Cannell's writing style of giving the reader, or viewer early hints of the plot direction are so subtle, that they are not consciously noticed, but sub-consciously draw you into personal involvement in the story.
Scott Brick's performance is excellent as always. There are no forced voice fluctuations taking you out of the story flow.
Cannell, being one of the most prolific writers in Hollywood, knew story points, plot point, character development, and timing to an exact art, and he religiously adhered to them.
I continue to miss him very much.
I've read several of the Shane Scully novels, but this was my first audiobook. The story translates well to this format. The dedication is significant -- can you catch Stephen Cannell poking fun at himself as Scully checks out the male victim's background?
Shane Scully is his usual rule-breaking, end-justifies-the-means self in this book. The surprise is his new partner, a seemingly lightweight Hollywood type. He's funny in spots and confronts Shane with a different kind of ethical dilemma.
He brings tension/urgency to the narration in just the right parts.
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