Stephen J. Cannell books in order
Stephen J. Cannell was an American Emmy Award winning television writer and producer, and bestselling author of mystery novels.
He was best known for writing the bestselling Shane Scully Series, including Three Shirt Deal (2008), The Pallbearers (2010) and The Prostitutes' Ball (2010).
Born in Los Angeles, California, he struggled with dyslexia in school but still managed to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Oregon.
Upon graduating, Cannell spent four the next years in the family business before selling his first ever script.
During his stellar 35-year career, he created/co-created over forty TV series, with the most famous ones being The Rockford Files, Silk Stalkings, The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, Hunter, Renegade, and others.
Cannell received a number of accolades for his efforts, including the Saturn Award - Life Career Award (2004), The Marlow Lifetime Achievement Award from Mystery Writers of America (2005), and the WGA Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement (2006).
He lived in Pasadena with his wife and children until his death on September 30, 2010 at the age of 69.
- The Plan (1995)
- Final Victim (1995)
- King Con (1997)
- Riding the Snake (1998)
- The Devil's Workshop (1999)
- Runaway Heart (2003)
- At First Sight (2008)
- The Tin Collectors (2000)
- The Viking Funeral (2002)
- Hollywood Tough (2002)
- Vertical Coffin (2004)
- Cold Hit (2005)
- White Sister (2006)
- Three Shirt Deal (2008)
- On the Grind (2009)
- The Pallbearers (2010)
- The Prostitutes' Ball (2010)
- Vigilante (2011)
Detailed book overview
A genius, hairless, seven-foot-tall psychopath, Leonard Land is many people wired into the cyber-subculture of Satanism and Death Metal.
He is smart and cunning. He is quick, brutal and deadly. And he is everywhere. A renegade U.S. customs agent, a brilliant and beautiful forensic psychologist and a streetwise convict master hacker are on the trail of the maniac who is methodically slaughtering innocent women -- a hunt that is leading a trio of unlikely heroes across an imperiled nation...and deep into the darkest corridors of cyberspace.
But there is no system the maniac cannot infiltrate, no secrets he cannot access. He knows he is being hunted...and by whom. And he's determined to strike first -- in ways too terrible to anticipate.
When it comes to creating unforgettable criminal characters, nobody does it better than Emmy Award winner Stephen J. Cannell, the force behind such acclaimed TV hits as "The Rockford Files," "The Commish," "Wiseguy," and "The A-Team." Now come Cannell's most engaging characters yet—a spirited assortment of clever con artists. King Con vs. The Don
Raised in a world of flimflams, come-ons and con-jobs, Beano Bates has done so well he's earned a spot on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. But his lucky streak vanishes after a card game in which he scams a cool eighty grand from a notorious Mafia don—who retaliates by having Beano nearly beaten to death.
For the first time in his legendary career, Beano wants more than a big score—he wants justice. Aided by a beautiful, no-nonsense female prosecutor and a legion of crafty cousins, all accomplished grifters, Beano, the king of the cons, puts together the ultimate swindle—a well-planned sting of strategy, skill and deception. The target is America's most feared mob kingpin and his psychopathic brother. And in this game, winner takes all!
A Beverly Hills golden boy whose glow is fading, Wheeler Cassidy, an aimless, hard-drinking womanizer, is partying toward dissipation. But after his brother's mysterious death, Wheeler embarks on a perilous journey to find himself and the Chinese gangsters who murdered the only member of his family he ever really loved. Along the way, he teams up with Tanisha Williams, a beautiful African-American detective raised in Watts and now assigned to the L.A.P.D. Asian Crimes Task Force.
The two make an unlikely pair, but together they face the violence and corruption that stretches from Hong Kong's notorious criminal Triad to the highest reaches of the American government. It's an international conspiracy of huge proportions that will take Wheeler and Tanisha halfway around the world and into the most dangerous adventure of their lives...
Stacy Richardson is a microbiology graduate student at the University of Southern California, taking her final doctoral exams. In the middle of her "Quals," Stacy learns that her husband, head of the university's Microbiology Department, has "committed suicide" while on sabbatical at a super-secret bio-weapons lab known as the Devil's Workshop.
Meanwhile, two train-riding hobos, "Lucky" Cunningham and "Hollywood Mike", are traveling near Vanished Lake, Texas, where the newest generation of bio-weapons is secretly being tested. A bio-accident at Vanishing Lake turns the town into a living hell; one of the many casualties is Hollywood Mike, who, it turns out, is the son of egomaniacal, larger-than-life motion picture producer Buddy Brazil.
An unlikely trio, Stacy Richardson, Lucky Cunningham, and Buddy Brazil work to expose the horrific truth about the Devil's Workshop while trying to stop a gang of white supremacists from "detonating" the frightening new bio-weapon.
When The Science Exists...
Behind the impenetrable walls of a black-op government laboratory a top-secret weapon is being developed-a genetically engineered animal with superhuman strength and speed. It thinks. It obeys. It kills without conscience.
And The Danger Is Real...
Lost-cause attorney Herman Strockmire and his daughter Susan are passionate advocates against corporate Goliaths. When one of their employees is literally torn limb from limb by one of the government's experimental prototypes, Herman knows he is onto something big.
Survival Is Not An Option.
Hired to dig deeper into the employee's death, jaded PI Jack Wirta is a man with little left to lose. Armed with nothing more than determination, Herman, Susan, and Jack plunge headlong into harm's way, stumbling upon a nightmare beyond all imagining.
Meet Chick Best—a middle-aged, self-absorbed California dot.com millionaire. Other than his house and high-priced foreign cars, Chick’s most expensive possession is his trophy wife, Evelyn. Evelyn is good at spending Chick’s money, money that has pretty much run out. Another problem is his drug-addled sixteen-year-old daughter, Melissa. Though concerned about his family, Chick has resigned himself to a miserable state of acceptance. That is, until he, Evelyn, and Melissa take a Christmas vacation in Maui. With this, Chick’s life changes.…
Chick experiences unrequited love at first sight when he observes Paige Ellis emerging from the hotel swimming pool. His obsession, exceeded only by his need to possess her, isn’t diminished when he learns that she is happily married. Instead, Chick’s obsession compels him to drive to Paige’s house, where he runs down and kills her husband. Chick’s life begins to spiral homicidally out of control, resulting in the destruction of everything he holds dear. Will Paige learn the truth about Chick before it’s too late?
Inside the department, they're called Tin Collectors: Internal Affairs Agents, the police of the police. If they catch you breaking the rules, they'll come after your badge. If they want you badly enough, they'll collect more than just your tin.
LAPD Detective Shane Scully is startled awake in the middle of the night by a call from his ex-partner's wife, who is being beaten by her abusive husband. Racing to their house to stop the fight, Scully ends up killing his ex-partner, a cop who is beloved within the department. Suddenly, Scully finds himself an outcast, shunned by his fellow cops who intend to exact vengeance no matter what the cost. Internal Affairs zeroes in on the "renegade" cop with their sharpest young prosecutor, the ice queen Alexa Hamilton, who has her own reasons for taking revenge on Scully.
Desperate to save his career, Scully starts kicking over rocks within the LAPD. What he uncovers is pure evil: a conspiracy going to the very top that ultimately threatens not just his own life but that of a young teenage boy, Chooch, entrusted to Scully's care by his mother - Sandy Sandoval.
Known as the Black Widow, Sandy is a beautiful and courageous woman who also happens to be the LAPD's most important undercover informant, and Scully will do anything to keep her son safe. Stephen J. Cannell combines mystery and violence, loyalty and passion in a tale with an ending as unpredictable as LA itself.
Driving along the freeway, Shane Scully glances over and sees Jody Dean, his oldest friend and LAPD colleague, at the wheel of an adjacent car. Why is Scully so surprised? Because it's been two years since Jody committed suicide in the Rampart Division parking lot by blowing his brains out with a service revolver. Shane served as a pallbearer at the funeral.
What Scully will discover is that Jody and five other cops who are supposed to be dead are anything but; originally sent deep undercover to bust an extremely violent criminal network, they have become the LAPD's worst nightmare. Calling themselves the Vikings, they are rogue cops who know how the system works.
In order to penetrate the group and set his cover, Scully is supposed to shoot his fiancée, Alexa. The setup goes awry and Shane finds himself looking down at his future wife's body. He is soon driven into the corridors of near-madness and into the bed of an extremely beautiful and utterly ruthless corporate seductress who threatens to destroy his soul.
Shane's desperate and deadly undercover journey takes him from the embrace of Alexa and his teenage son, Chooch, to the Caribbean island of Aruba--to the decadence of Columbia's opulent palaces and the desperation of its deadly streets. In Viking Funeral, an electrifying thriller from Stephen J. Cannell, Sergeant Scully is driven to the psychological brink, his life in the hands of the most dangerous killer he's ever known--his closest childhood friend.
Detective Shane Scully is back in the good graces of the department, hailed as a hero after bringing down a deadly gang of rogue cops in The Viking Funeral.
At a glamorous Hollywood party with his new wife, Alexa, Shane overhears a famous producer make a suspicious remark about the strange deaths of his two ex-wives. Is he serious or merely joking around with his coterie of hangers-on? This becomes more than just police business, because the party is to celebrate the engagement of the producer to Alexa's closest friend.
Against his wife's wishes, Shane begins to look into this heavy-hitter's past. At the same time, he becomes aware of a high-profile wiseguy's attempt to control Hollywood's unions. He initiates an elaborate and expensive sting operation, actually setting up a phony production company to produce a bogus movie at LAPD expense. The plan is to draw the starstruck wiseguy into revealing his real purpose for coming to L.A. But before long the overbudgeted movie is rocketing into production.
Tough, streetwise Scully, who thought he'd seen just about everything, is astounded by the distorted egos and total insanity of the movie business, and while he struggles to keep his sting operation from spinning wildly out of control, he and Alexa find themselves and Shane's teenaged son, Chooch, involved in something much bigger than they had ever imagined, something that puts all their lives on the line.
A nightmarish series of events sweeps LAPD's Sergeant Shane Scully and his wife (and boss), Alexa, into the vortex of an enormous, jurisdictional firestorm.
First, a sheriff's deputy, a friend of Shane's, is gunned down while serving a routine search warrant. His fellow deputies blame the incident on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, whom they angrily accuse of having failed to warn them that the suspect had a huge arsenal of illegal weapons in his house.
Soon thereafter, a member of the ATF Situation Response Team is shot to death, followed by the sniper murder of the Sheriff's Special Enforcement Bureau. At the request of the Mayor, LAPD, as an uninvolved and unbiased agency, assigns Shane Scully to investigate.
He is given an impossible deadline to find a solution before these two elite and deadly SWAT Teams kill each other off amid a hurricane of horrible publicity. Shane pursues his investigation in a direction that neither his chief nor his wife agrees with, and succeeds in putting himself, his loved ones, and his career in terrible jeopardy before he finally discovers the shocking and deadly truth.
What if, under the PATRIOT Act, federal bureaucrats could take murder cases away from local cops—then bury those cases so they're never investigated again?
What if government agents could bug your home, your car, your place of business—your entire life—with nothing more than spoken permission from a secret panel of judges?
What if the Department of Homeland Security could pull police officers off the street and hold them in cells indefinitely as material witnesses—because they're working on "sensitive" investigations?
The PATRIOT Act and the Homeland Security Act give enormous power to our nation's top federal law enforcement officials. They operate under the presumption that these officials are honest, diligent, and fair.
But what if they're not?
In THE COLD HIT, Detective Shane Scully suspects that the regional boss of the Department of Homeland Security is thwarting a major murder investigation. But why?
Robert Allen Virtue can act without oversight or accountability. There's no way to question him; there's no way to way to check up on him; there's no way to find out if he's exceeding his authority. Virtually at will, he can bug anyone he considers a threat to national security, take over criminal investigations, and jail cops. Even if he is breaking the law, there's no way to know it. There's nothing to rely on but his integrity. His professional commitment. His good name. Virtue.
That may be a very big mistake.
Shane and his partner are investigating "the Fingertip Killer," a serial murderer preying on homeless Vietnam vets in Los Angeles. A bullet taken from one victim's skull matches the bullet that killed another man ten years earlier—an unexpected ballistics match linking one unsolved case to another that police call a "cold hit."
When the earlier victim turns out to have been an LAPD cop, the investigation becomes very personal for Shane. But there's a problem: Robert Allen Virtue wants him taken off it.
To solve the cop's murder, and possibly the Fingertip case, Scully must put his career, freedom, and his family on the line.
ONE IS his beloved.
Leaving L.A.'s Parker Center, Shane Scully and his wife, Alexa, agree to meet at home…but Alexa never arrives. Then Shane's called to a crime scene on Mulholland Drive, where the victim, an apparent gang member, has been executed—and left in Alexa's car. Her gun is the likely murder weapon.
THE OTHER Is his Nemesis.
As Shane desperately tries to find Alexa, his leads point to a feud between two gangsta-rap record companies, both heavily manned by Crips and Bloods. At the center of this war is a ruthless, beautiful Lady Macbeth-like white woman raised in Compton. Married to a multi-millionaire rap mogul, she is known as the White Sister.
It's his worst nightmare come true…
Shane is no stranger to big trouble, but he's never before been smeared as a "racist cop" or thrown in jail while there's a hit out on him. Much worse is the unknown fate of Alexa, and the fact that in the mysterious White Sister—who holds the clue to a sinister conspiracy—he may have met his match.
Detective Shane Scully is 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.
Lt. Shane Scully is accused of evidence tampering and his wife, Alexa, discovers Shane's been having an affair with a beautiful movie star.
Charged with felony misconduct in a high-profile solicitation of murder case, Lieutenant Scully is faced with an impossible decision: either quietly resign from his job as a detective for the LAPD, the work he loves, or face criminal prosecution.
Rather than smear the department's reputation and his own, Scully chooses to leave. His colleagues of years feel betrayed to learn that a dirty cop has been in their midst. His wife, Alexa, the chief of detectives, leaves him, seeking a divorce for his dalliance with the accused in the case, a beautiful, well-known Hollywood actress. His son, Chooch, horrified by these events, won't even speak to him. Life as Scully knows it is over. Or so it seems . . .
In order to make a living the only way he knows how, Shane seeks employment from a police department that has been known to hire rejects from other departments: the Haven Park PD. Haven Park is an incorporated city near downtown Los Angeles, just one square mile in size and populated almost entirely by Mexican immigrants, most of them illegal.
The department is a hotbed of corruption, in effect the personal goon squad and collection agency of the town's mayor, Cecil Bratano. Ushered into the department by his new partner, Alonzo Bell, Shane takes his lessons in policing from one of the dirtiest cops around.
But things in L.A. are hardly ever what they seem. Relentlessly harassed by an over-zealous FBI agent, the alluring Ophelia Love, and under the constant, violent, and hyper-paranoid scrutiny of his new comrades-at-arms, Shane finds himself in snare a far greater than any he could have expected. His estranged wife may be the only one who can get Shane out of this mess alive. The question is: Is she willing to do so?
Detective Shane Scully, who grew up as an orphan, must revisit his painful childhood to find out who murdered the kind and charismatic man who became a father to him
Abandoned by his parents as an infant, Scully was reared in an orphanage, Huntington House. The only positive thing in his young life was the attention of the Home's director, Walter "Pop" Dix. Pop, an avid surfer, would take a small group of kids for early morning surfing. He was the father none of them had ever had.
That was thirty years ago. Now, Shane is forced to revisit these memories when Pop is found dead, the victim of an apparently self-inflicted shotgun blast. He leaves a message asking six specific people, all of whom attended Huntington House, to be his pallbearers, and Shane is one of the chosen. He and his fellow pallbearers don't believe it was a suicide. That leaves murder. But why, and by whom?
Together, the pallbearers embark on a dangerous odyssey in pursuit of justice for Pop, and for retribution against those responsible for his death. Their journey takes them up against an unforeseen adversary whose power and influence far exceed anything they could have imagined.
Detective Shane Scully responds to a call in the Hollywood hills at a once-immaculate mansion, the scene of an infamous murder twenty-five years prior. He discovers the remnants of a lavish pool party. The revelers have fled, leaving three dead bodies in their wake, all shot with the same gun. One is an acclaimed film producer. The other two, a pair of gorgeous women.
With his new partner, Sumner "Hitch" Hitchens, Scully begins to investigate what looks to be an open-and-shut case: The women were hired prostitutes, and there's security video of an angry husband firing on all three. A simple case of brutal revenge. But nothing is ever as simple as it seems: There's a single spent bullet casing that doesn't match the rest.
From that single bullet emerges a story of love, murder, suicide, and one of the biggest financial frauds in L.A. history. Someone has gone to great lengths to cover up a decades-old crime, and as Scully and Hitch get closer to the answer, they find themselves in a killer's crosshairs.
Lita Mendez was a thorn in the LAPD's side. An aggressive police critic and gang activist, she'd filed countless complaints against the department. So when she's found dead in her home, Detective Scully and his partner Hitchens fear the worst: that there's a killer in their ranks.
Outside the crime scene, Nixon Nash and his television crew have set up shop. Nash is the charismatic host of a hit reality show called "Vigilante TV," dedicated to beating the cops at their own game: solving murders before they can. Now he has the murder of Lita Mendez in his sights. He presents the detectives with a choice: either join his team, or prepare for a public takedown.
But Scully knows that Nash isn't the folk-hero he seems. He will do anything in the name of self-promotion. If a detective got in his way, would he be prepared to kill? In this new novel, Scully will have to risk everything save himself and the job he loves.