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On the Grind - Review

ON THE GRIND is the 8th book in the Shane Scully series and the first I have read. It was lean, mean, and pretty gritty. My slavish devotion to series fiction means that long running ones are never read because the amount of time it takes to get caught up to the current book is enough to dissuade me from reading it all. The obvious downside to this policy is that many a good book goes unread.

ON THE GRIND has a hell of an opener. Scully is in disgrace. Fired and left to work as a cop in the most corrupt department in LA county. I don't think I am spoiling anything but just in case it is probably best to excuse yourself from the rest of this post.

I bought this set up just long enough for the story to work on me. Having not read the previous books and having no attachments to any of these characters, it was all entirely possible. However, I quickly caught on to the ruse. I liked that Mr. Cannell was challenging my notions of the 'heroic' cop right off the bat. Secondarily, Mr. Cannell had provided his character with an event that showed rather than told readers about Shane Scully's dedication to what is right, and just.

What didn't work for me was the rather flimsy depiction of the villains. The bent cops are motivated by greed and greed alone. It would have been nice to see a bit more nuanced look at crooked cops, ala The Shield. Now granted that the cops on The Shield are more to the good than the cops in On The Grind, but one wonders how these guys got there. Some amount of time should have been spent fleshing out this aspect of their character development.

In the end this become a minor point for me in what is an otherwise excellent book. The action was brisk and exciting without becoming implausible. Shane is a finely drawn character, so if you are looking to get on board with this series or are just looking for a good read I can definitely point you in the direction of ON THE GRIND.

Bonus: If you head on over to the Stephen Cannell website there is a sweepstakes.


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