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Pondering the pages ~ On the Grind: A Shane Scully Novel by Stephen J. Cannell

April 6, 2009

Today’s pondering:

onthegrindRecently I had the pleasure of reading On the Grind: A Shane Scully Novel by Stephen J. Cannell. Admittedly I haven’t read a novel by Mr. Cannell in a long time and now I’m wondering why I stepped away from this author. Somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind I remember enjoying both his novels and TV shows immensely. On the Grind brought it back in focus. It was very entertaining from the first page to the last.

Initially I was pretty sure our main character, Shane Scully, was in some serious trouble but with the flip of a page or two things quickly turn in Shane’s favor or may be not. He’ll have to survive what just might be the longest, most deadly week of his life. Shane’s taken a new job with the City of Haven Park after his dismissal in disgrace from the LAPD. Why Haven Park? Well their hiring practices and goals are to get the undesirables no other police force would touch with a 10 foot, maybe even a 20 foot pole. If there’s a PD out there as corrupt as Haven Park I don’t want them serving and protecting my neighborhood. These officers could rival any gang and then some. Upon entering Haven Park citizens might want to think about where they park the car, where they eat and who they come into contact with. Haven Park is not the place to meet up with Officer Friendly.

This is one white-knuckle, wild ride through police corruption. As Shane gets himself into, and out of, one impossible situation after one another you, the reader, are in for page turning suspense. One moment you’re writing false faulty vehicle equipment violations and the next you’re in the middle of a gang war helped along by the fine gents of the Haven Park PD. These men have a mission and it isn’t fostering community relations. Playing by the Haven Park PD rules and saving your life don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

Shane Schully is character that Mr. Cannell has featured in many other novels. One of the great things about On the Grind is you don’t have to be familiar with Shane’s background to enjoy this book. Yes there some minor references to his past history but they certainly don’t detract from the fast-paced, adrenaline pumping police procedural. I’m thinking I need to join Shane in some of his other adventures in the world of undercover police work.


A good book should leave you…slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.
~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958


  1. April 6, 2009 6:26 am

    I’m not familiar with Stephen J. Cannell – what TV shows did he write?

    • April 6, 2009 10:35 am

      Some you might be familiar with are The A Team, 21 Jump Street, The Rockford Files, Hardcastle & McCormick, Adam-12. Here’s a link to the complete listing of his shows, Stephen J. Cannell TV shows.

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