The next high-octane, high-suspense, white knuckle police thriller from the master of high-adrenaline drama who brought you THE PLAN, THE FINAL VICTIM, and KING CON.
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St. Martin's Press
December 31, 2002
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Excerpt from Hollywood Tough by Stephen J. Cannell
SHANE SCULLY SURE didn't want to go to this Hollywood party. It was way the hell out in Malibu, and except for Nora Bishop, he and his wife, Alexa, weren't going to know anybody there. The party was to announce Nora's engagement to a movie producer named Farrell Champion, whom neither of them had met. Making it even worse, Shane and Alexa were cops and would probably stand out like psychiatrists at a Star Trek convention. They didn't understand movie people or Hollywood, with its strange language and customs. So Shane was more or less dreading it.
Alexa, on the other hand, could barely contain her excitement. She had spent at least two hours getting ready, which to tell the truth kind of pissed him off. One of the things he prized most about his beautiful black-haired wife was that she never made a big deal out of her appearance. She could show up most places wearing a horse blanket and look better than anybody there.
But all afternoon she had dithered and fussed until it had made them hopelessly late.
"You think these earrings are too gaudy You think this blue-and-red scarf is too much with the tan skirt... "
"No, looks great... love it..." But it didn't matter what he thought, because she would just wrinkle her nose and stare at the clothing on the bed, then pull out a new ensemble.
Shane had dressed quickly, showering and combing his short black hair with his fingers. He glanced at his rugged angular face in the mirror. He was in his late thirties and his bony cheeks and hard, deep-set eyes reminded him of an over-the-hill, beat-up street fighter. It always surprised him when someone described him as handsome. At least, he marveled, he'd been lucky enough to jump the many hurdles required to marry the most beautiful woman on the LAPD.
They finally got in his Acura at five-thirty, left Venice, California, and headed toward Malibu. They were almost an hour late when they passed the old Getty Museum, then the Malibu Pier. Shane drove while Alexa chattered nervously.
"That last guy Nora dated, remember him, Shane The one who traded futures on the stock exchange "
"Yeah. Bill something, with the dimple in his chin..."
"That fucking dimple was a surgical add-on," Alexa growled. "Boy, was I glad when Nora gave him the old flusheroo."
"Yep. Bill was sleaze."
"And remember Paul Bennett Remember him How on earth Nora ever decided to get entangled with Paul Bennett, with his polo ponies, which everyone thought he owned but it turned out he just rented, and the rented Ferrari... he should've rented a personality."