cover image Cold Hit

Cold Hit

Stephen J. Cannell, , read by Scott Brick. . Audio Renaissance, $39.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59397-773-3

After a successful career as a television writer-producer (The Rockford Files ; Wiseguy ), Cannell is carving a strong second, thanks mainly to the series featuring LAPD homicide sleuth Shane Scully. In this outing, Scully's partner has slipped into an angry, alcoholic funk and their high-priority case—the search for a serial slayer who snips the digits of his homeless victims—is usurped by a task force headed by an arrogant FBI profiler. Cannell's strong suit has always been unique characters, and Scully's world-weary cop and family man is no exception. Add to that an intriguing mystery, authentic cop jargon (smoothly translated), snapshot descriptions of Southern California locales and a couple of tense and amusing LAPD–Homeland Security face-offs. Brick's rendition is clear, precise and effective in adding accent touches. While he knows how to build tension when a buzz saw is pressed to Scully's hand, his voice is too youthful and newsreader perfect to stand in for a disillusioned veteran cop. Scully narrates the novel, and a deeper, darker timbre would have turned this entertaining audio into an exceptional one. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover. (Aug.)