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    Review of ON THE GRIND by Stephen J. Cannell (see his website)


    St. Martin's Press, January 2009

    Shane Scully is in disgrace. Turned out of the LAPD because of an alleged affair with a suspect, rejected by his wife, and broke, Scully turns to the one police force in the L.A. area that doesn't ask questions. Working with some of the most corrupt cops in the country, Scully soon learns that, in Haven Park, money flows uphill--but a lot of it sticks. Starting with towing legally parked cars, but going up from there, the entire city has turned into a piggy bank for the mayor and his cronies--with the cops serving both as enforcers and as legal protection.

    From the mayor's perspective, there's one fly in the ointment--a former boxer is mounting a clean-up campaign. If he wins, the Haven Park P.D. will be out of their jobs, the money line stops, and the mayor will probably end up in jail. The mayor sees Scully as the perfect man to solve his problems.

    Scully's options are limited. The other cops on the force don't trust him, he's constantly searched for wires, and they always seem to know where he goes when he's off duty. Letting the opposition candidate be murdered isn't in the cards--but neither can Scully figure out a way to keep himself, or the candidate, safe no matter what he does. When the police go wrong, all of the options are bad.

    Author Stephen J. Cannell delivers a tight thriller with escalating stakes, and plenty of action. Scully's world, filled with illegal immigrants, smuggled guns, friction between the Feds and local law enforcement, and opportunists, is intriguing and convincing. I would have liked to see a few more twists and plant/payoffs, but Cannell definitely delivers a story that's easy to get caught up in and hard to put down.

    See more reviews of mysteries by Stephen J. Cannell.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 3/26/09

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