If You Like ... You'll Love: Stephen J. Cannell’s Vigilante

Looking to add a few books to your TBR pile? In our newest column "If You Like ... You'll Love" RT staffers and reviewers will pick one new read and then suggest three other books that hold the same appeal. Today we look at Stephen J. Cannell’s Vigilante.

When Stephen J. Cannell passed away in September 2010, the world lost an excellent storyteller. Cannell was a television show writer, actor, creator and producer. Among the projects that he worked on are the classic shows Columbo, 21 Jump Street, The A-Team and The Rockford Files. And when he turned his attention to writing novels in 1995, he did so with the same enthusiasm, writing 17 books in those 15 years. As an author Cannell is best known for his 10-book Shane Scully series about an LAPD detective. This month the final Shane Scully story, Vigilantehit shelves. In this tale Scully takes on a murder that brings him face to face with possible police corruption, gang problems and a nosy reality TV star who wants nothing more than to see the detective fail. 

RT’s Jo Peters says, "The late Cannell’s last Scully novel is a fitting ending to the series, reminding us why Cannell was a significant part of our entertainment culture on TV and in print for decades: he was a darn good storyteller. This well-plotted story shouldn’t be missed.”

Matching The Police Corruption ...

As in real life, police officers are often the heroes in fiction. But if Vigilante has you searching for another story of what happens when good cops go bad, then we’ve got you covered! You won't go wrong with Karin Slaughter’s summer release Fallen. Heroine Faith confronts the fact that her narcotics cop mother colluded with the bad guys. Forced into early retirement, Faith’s mom is targeted by a gang. Will Faith be able to save her mom? Just like with Cannell’s story, if you pick up Fallen you’ll be signing up for a thrilling suspense. But there's also serious drama as the relationships between partners — in love and on the job — are tested in this Top Pick novel. It all adds up to one thing, Fallen is another great read about rotten cops. 

Matching The Press Involvement ...

Noxious reality TV star Nixon Nash makes Scully’s life difficult in Vigilante. If his behavior has you doubting all that is good in the world, we suggest you cure your doldrums with a TV personality of a different ilk, the brilliant reporter Riley Spartz from Julie Kramer’s series. We suggest you start at the very beginning, with Stalking Susan, which won the author the RT Book Reviews 2008 Reviewers’ Choice Award in the “First Mystery” category. Kramer spent years as a TV news producer, so Riley really knows her stuff. In Stalking Susan a homicide detective brings a cold case to Riley about two Susans who were murdered a year apart on the very same day. And in Silencing Sam, the third book in the series, Riley is accused of doing what Scully can only dream of: murdering a hateful gossip columnist who has slandered her. She must clear her name and ward off a conniving co-worker in the process.

Matching The Praise Of "Well-Plotted Story" ...

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis is a story that the RT editors simply cannot stop talking about. The story is full of twists and turns, and is guaranteed to keep you guessing. We aren’t the only ones who love this book, it’s the #1 bestselling Scandinavian thriller. The tale follows Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, who does a favor for a friend by going to retrieve the contents of a public locker at the Copenhagen train station — never thinking that it will be a suitcase with a naked, drugged little boy inside. What ensues is a mystery that will have you ravenous for the next installment in the series. Move over Stieg Larsson, there’s a new Scandinavian import in town! 

Does Stephen J. Cannell’s Vigilante make you think of any other books, or is there a different aspect of this story that you’d like a suggestion for? Let us know in the comments below!