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THE VIKING FUNERAL by Stephen J. Cannell


by Stephen J. Cannell

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-312-26960-9
Publisher: St. Martin's

By-the-numbers thriller about a money-laundering scam spearheaded by a giant tobacco company. Not a surprise in the carload.

It begins when LAPD Detective Shane Scully (The Tin Collectors, 2001, etc.), driving the freeway, spots his oldest friend at the wheel of a nearby car. During all the years of their growing up, Jody Dean meant the world to Shane. It was Jody who found a way to instill at least a modicum of self-confidence into Shane, the abandoned, uncared-for orphan boy. And it was Jody's family that became Shane's, supplying the kind of security he so badly needed. Under ordinary circumstances, then, Shane would have been overjoyed at the unlooked-for sighting. The hitch here is that his friend is supposed to dead. Three years ago, Jody, an LAPD Special Investigations cop, had shot himself in a police department parking lot. True enough, it was a suicide Shane had always found hard to believe: “He wasn't the kind of guy who eats his gun,” he tells Alexa Hamilton, his sweetheart and fellow officer. Alexa, however, clings to the conventional view, the corpse having been unhesitatingly identified not only by the widow Dean, but also by a blue-ribbon array of LAPD bigwigs. And yet, as events soon prove, Jody does indeed live and breathe. What's more, he's gone thoroughly bad, heading up a quintet of other rogue cops. Rapacious, remorseless—and ankle-tattooed—these so-called “Vikings” have, in effect, sold themselves to the ill-intentioned All-American Tobacco Company. Drugs (of course), abetted by a devilishly clever approach to money-laundering, are the linchpins of an operation Jody hopes will make him fabulously rich. But here he reckons without his old bud, who, though battered, bruised, and bloodied, manages to make Jody's resurrection a short-lived thing.

In these further adventures of the hopelessly derivative Sergeant Scully, more is worse.