Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Stephen J. Cannell The Prostitutes Ball
I think most of us can envision many different things when we see a title such as this. This is a Shane Scully novel, and I am of the mind that it is one of the best, if not the best one of the series. Yes, I have read them all. Maybe my memory of past novels is a bit clouded, but the narrative on this one is so incredible that I haven’t had this much fun with an installment of the character in a long time. Cannell puts us square into his world and takes us through a ride of not just L.A. Homicide’s finest but also the world of movies where Cannel has dominated for so long. What an incredible marriage of plotlines and perhaps a glimpse into the ups, downs and foibles of an industry that Cannell was both a pioneer and mover and shaker.
He had it going right from the prologue; I knew this was going to be an amazing piece of work. From the man that knew how to entertain us, this is taken right from the prologue, “This is a story about a story. It’s also a story which, despite all my efforts to the contrary, seemed destined to become a major motion picture.
It began a few days before Christmas, but it’s not a Christmas story. It’s about lost generations and emotional desertion and about a Los Angeles family with way too much money. So I guess at its heart, it’s a story about greed, corruption, and loss.
With those themes, what better place to start than at the office Christmas party? But before we begin, just a preliminary remark.
I’m a homicide detective, and as such, I’m carefully schooled in the three concepts mentioned above. I work at an elite LAPD detective division known as Homicide Special. Our unit was reconstituted after the O.J. Simpson case, another L.A. story of greed, corruption, and loss.
After losing that high-profile media trail, it occurred to our command floor managers that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have homicide detectives carrying blood evidence vials around a crime scene where they could later be accused of planting it.
As a result, Homicide Special was completely reorganized and staffed with our most seasoned detectives. I’m lucky to be assigned there. It’s a great gig.
My name is Shane Scully, and for this story I will be your host narrator. It’s going to be a fast ride through L.A. with a lot of reckless driving. Look out for abrupt lane changes, freeway shootings, and dangerous hairpin turns. As police officer, I’m required to advise you to fasten your seat belts.
All set? Then let’s go….Cue the opening theme music. Fade slowly up from black, and we’ll begin at:”
I think that you can tell by the length thus far of the post I don’t want this to end. I have enjoyed Cannell’s writing for quite a while and was shocked as were many by his passing. There is no way I am going to be able to describe the feelings I had for his work; they are too deep. He gave me a sense of enjoyment over so many years, on television, movies and his novels. I was sad when I heard of his passing and then pumped once I read the prologue. I was holding in my hand the possible last work of a master entertainer and the novel was the most fun I had reading one of his works. The narrative angle was perfect and it seemed fitting we as readers are getting a glimpse into the world in which he inhabited for so long. His opinions, his knowledge of the ins and outs of the industry he dominated for so long, just pure fun.
The Prostitutes’ Ball is a great Shane Scully installment, whether you are a fan or not. One doesn’t have to have been a big fan such as myself to enjoy the novel. If it is your first read of this character it is an excellent bridge to the others, cross over it and enjoy the ride. One final thought, Cannell decided to simply finish the novel this way:’ So that’s it. Cue the end music. Roll the production logos. Bring up the final card and we’re at:” These are probably the last words I will get to read that he wrote, very appropriate.
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Posted by Helping Hands Press at 11:44 AM