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Cold Hit

Narrated by: Scott Brick
Series: Shane Scully, Book 5
Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Shane Scully and his partner are assigned to the case of "the Fingertip Killer", a serial murderer preying on homeless veterans in Los Angeles. Every two weeks he strikes: he beats his victims, then shoots them in the back of the head. Once they're dead, he cuts off their fingertips, closes their eyes, and tosses them in the river.

The latest killing, however, does not quite fit the pattern. It appears to be the work of the Fingertip Killer, but Scully suspects an elaborate copycat murder meant to hide a criminal conspiracy. A bullet pulled from the victim's skull produces what police call a "cold hit", an unexpected ballistics match linking one unsolved case to another, and the previous victim was an LA Police officer, killed 10 years earlier.

After heavy-handed FBI agents throw him off the Fingertip Killer case, Scully teams up with his wife and boss, Alexa, and a pair of tough cops from the LAPD's anti-terrorism squad. Outside the law and deep undercover, they fight to see justice done for the slain officer, and, possibly, to unravel a murderous plot with connections high up in the Homeland Security office.

©2005 Stephen J. Cannell (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Cannell's brand of thriller is served straight up, and he knows how to cut to the chase." (The New York Times)
"Cannell's writing keeps improving, too; fans of the Scully series will note both an added depth and a new stylistic panache in this installment. With every book, Cannell moves closer to joining crime fiction's A-Team." (Booklist)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeff
  • 01-09-2005

Cold Hit is a HIT

This was my first Stephen J. Cannell novel. While the audiobook I listened to before this (THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE by Robert Stanek) has better pacing and more action, I really liked the murder/mystery aspect of Cold Hit. Before getting into the review, I really wish Audible would have listed this book as COLD HIT (A SHANE SCULLY NOVEL). This would have given me a clue the novel was part of a larger series and equally as important, probably not the best first book to start with.

Cannell and Stanek hit on two timely topics. For Cannell, it's the Homeland Security Act and the Department of Homeland Security. For Stanek, it's world financial markets and turmoil/unrest. In both novels you have a rogue cop/agent acting without oversight and outside the normal bounds of their authority. Both are entirely believable as well, and will have you wondering if the story is fact or faction.

Detective Shane Scully is the main character in Cold Hit. Shane and his partner are investigating "the Fingertip Killer," a serial murderer preying on homeless Vietnam vets in Los Angeles. That's where it all begins at least. The previous one is called Vertical Coffin, which is a SWAT reference to a doorway. Good all around.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric
  • 23-08-2006


A consistently good author and creative producer does it again! Good story line and well read makes this more than a worthy read. If you like fast paced police action and well developed characters this book is for you. Enjoy!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pal*Joey
  • 04-10-2005

Great Listen!

I had to drive a few miles out of my way, several times, because I didn't want to turn this one off! Scott Brick brings Shane Scully to life and I felt I was observing the story first hand. As soon as I finished this book I downloaded another Cannell, narrated by Scott Brick... "Vertical Coffin" hoping it's as good as "Cold Hit"...Download this won't be disappointed!