Three Shirt Deal (Shane Scully Series #7)

Three Shirt Deal (Shane Scully Series #7)

4.1 26
by Stephen J. Cannell

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Following the success of his bestselling novel White Sister, Stephen J. Cannell's latest blockbuster has Detective Shane Scully fighting to save a man railroaded for murder, while his wife, Alexa, has become a total stranger to him

A small-time crook is doing life in California's notoriously brutal Corcoran State Prison for the murder of his


Following the success of his bestselling novel White Sister, Stephen J. Cannell's latest blockbuster has Detective Shane Scully fighting to save a man railroaded for murder, while his wife, Alexa, has become a total stranger to him

A small-time crook is doing life in California's notoriously brutal Corcoran State Prison for the murder of his mother. He admitted to the crime, but now he claims his confession was coerced by the cops. A beautiful Internal Affairs detective, Secada “Scout” Llevar, asks Shane to help investigate, and he agrees after learning the original homicide detective was Brian Devine, a ruthless cop with whom Scully has a bad history.

What begins as a routine review quickly turns into something much more deadly. The case is abruptly shut down by an LAPD deputy chief, and Shane begins to suspect that for unknown reasons the prisoner really may have been framed by the police. But some things, once started, cannot be stopped, and the investigation spirals dangerously out of control, implicating a violent Hispanic gang, a millionaire power broker, and the front-runner in the Los Angeles mayoral race.

Meanwhile, Shane and Alexa struggle to save their marriage, which has come perilously close to disintegration since Alexa's near-fatal shooting in White Sister—just as Shane finds himself attracted to his new partner. Could the answer to their marital troubles be tied to the case he's investigating?  In Cannell's latest heart-pounding thriller, Shane is tried in ways he has never been, risking his family, his job, and his life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Cannell, creator of TV's Rockford Filesand A-Team, fails to translate his considerable narrative gifts into print in this seventh Shane Scully police thriller (after 2006's White Sister). LAPD detective Scully has been struggling in his personal life ever since his wife, Alexa, the department's chief of the detective's bureau, was shot in the head and developed erratic mood swings. Secada Llevar, a sexy investigating officer for internal affairs, corners Scully and demands his help in reopening a homicide; she believes Tru Hickman, convicted of killing his mother to support a meth habit, was railroaded by some corrupt cops, but she has been ordered by her superiors to drop her inquiry. Scully joins her probe and predictably uncovers high-level corruption, possibly connected with an impending mayoral election, while struggling with his attraction to Secada. The perils-of-Pauline ending is better suited for the small screen, and the numerous implausibilities may be too much for some readers. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From the Publisher
Praise for Stephen J. Cannell

“Written by a born entertainer.”

New York Post on White Sister

“A terrific read.”

New York Sun on White Sister

“Cannell dishes out the action in forklift-sized servings.”

—Publishers Weekly on White Sister

“As the case spirals outward from local crime to international espionage dating back to the 1980s, the action rarely lets up.”

Los Angeles Times on Cold Hit

Product Details

Center Point Large Print
Publication date:
Shane Scully Series , #7
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Three Shirt Deal

A Shane Scully Novel

By Cannell, Stephen J. St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2008 Cannell, Stephen J.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312366278

Chapter 1
“How do you feel about that?” Dr. Lusk asked.
“I don’t feel much of anything about it,” I answered, dodging the question.
“Detective Scully, I won’t be able to help you if you keep putting up barriers, shielding me from your feelings and emotions.”
“It’s her car, okay? What happens to it is kinda her business, not mine. I was just saying it seemed odd.”
“So you booked an appointment through the psychiatric support group and drove all the way over here from Parker Center on your lunch hour, but you don’t have any feelings about the accident? It just seems odd to you and that’s it?”
“I’m concerned, okay?”
“Concern is an intellectual response. Your wife crashes her car, doesn’t tell you about it, drains your bank account to get it fixed on the sly instead of putting it through the insurance, then rents a duplicate car to hide it from you. But despite all this, you have no anger, no sense of frustration or betrayal. You have concern.”
I was thirty minutes into the forty-minute “hour.” Dr. Eric Lusk leaned back in a beige, leather wing chair, peering over tiny half-glasses, his huge Buddha belly, and ten feet of tan Berber. Iwas in a matching chair opposite him, trapped in a colorless cocoon, trying to affect nonchalance. My body wouldn’t cooperate. Angst smoldered. Telltale emotional exhaust leaked out of me. I crossed my legs, and then uncrossed them while nondescript music oozed from ceiling speakers at subhuman volume.
“Let’s talk about the meds you found yesterday.”
“I found them in her purse. She’d peeled the label off the bottle so I wouldn’t know the doctor or what they were for. I had the police lab identify them. The results came back this morning. Carbamazepine and Sodium valproate.”
“Do you know what those are commonly prescribed for?”
“According to the lab, they’re for seizures.”
He nodded. “Has your wife been having seizures?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen one, but if Alexa was taking this stuff, maybe. She stopped driving her car last week. She gets picked up and brought home by a department driver now. I was hoping she’d tell me on her own what’s going on. So far she hasn’t.”
“Your wife was abducted last July and suffered a gunshot wound to the head resulting in a severe traumatic brain injury. That was less than eleven months ago. TBI seizures often crop up months afterward and can continue for years. And you say she’s already back at work?”
“She had a lot of stuff pending. It’s a big job. She supervises two hundred people.”
“Chief of the Detective’s Bureau at the LAPD.”
“Pretty high stress.”
“Who, if I might ask, approved her to return to duty?”
“Alexa went through a battery of physical and psychiatric tests at the Police Academy a month ago. She went to the union. They took up her case and she requalified and was marked fit for duty.”
“But you don’t think she is.”
I wasn’t about to answer that one.
We sat back and looked at each other. Dr. Lusk slouched in the heavy chair, his huge gut pushing up on his diaphragm, causing him difficulty breathing. His slick complexion shone white as a fish belly. I wondered why I booked this damn appointment and drove all the way over here.
“I’m not a neurologist, Detective Scully, I’m a psychologist. But I have studied the brain. According to what you told me, your wife Alexa’s TBI affected the frontal and temporal lobes. We generally associate behavioral disorders with injuries to the frontal lobe. That’s the emotional and personality control center. Damage in that area can diminish judgment. It can also cause trouble with concentration and thought organization. Sometimes it leads to an array of more serious behavioral problems such as inappropriate statements, or impulsive or inappropriate actions: social as well as sexual.”
“I see.”
“Do you?”
“I’m living with her. Kinda hard to miss stuff like that.” Now he was pissing me off.
“So what specific kinds of changes have you witnessed?”
“She used to be organized. Careful and specific. Now she’s all over the place. It’s causing her problems at the department. She’s never been wild or unpredictable before. She knows the ropes and plays by the rules. Alexa is brave and has risked her life in the field many times, but as far as department politics, she’s always been a team player. Now she doesn’t seem to have any early alert warning system. She just does stuff on impulse without regard to consequence. It’s getting her into a pile of trouble with Chief Filosiani.”
He nodded and then, without warning, asked, “Has your sex life been affected in any way?”
That was a big one. We’d only made love two or three times since she came home from the hospital six months ago. At first I’d thought it was just her headaches and the after-effects of her injury. But now it had become a pattern. We used to make love regularly, but now almost never. I didn’t say any of this, afraid to answer. Afraid of what he might tell me. Awkward silence filled the space between us.
“Why did you make this appointment if you won’t discuss any of this with me?” he said.
“I think this was a mistake.” I looked at my watch and saw him smile slightly, as if my little peek down at the dial was a confirmation of some secret diagnosis he’d already put on me.
“From the little you’ve said I can’t help you much. Maybe your wife shouldn’t have gone back on the job so soon. If you could get her to stay home, it might lower her stress level and her symptoms might subside. People with brain injuries are often in a race to get back to normality. They want their old life back. They want it to be the way it was before the injury. By putting everything back the way it was, they think they can accomplish this. They can’t.”
“I see.”
“No, you don’t. But that’s okay.”
“Whatta you mean I don’t? Where do you get off saying that?”
“Detective Scully, you don’t want to be here. I’ve seen guys in the electric chair look more relaxed. The very thought that your wife is having seizures, crashing the car, and whatever else, is abhorrent to you. It threatens your existence. You don’t want to focus on it.”
“Then why am I here?”
“Because it’s become unbearable. Your wife has changed. She’s become reckless and unpredictable. That behavior was previously reserved for you. Now you’re experiencing a major role-reversal in your marriage. It’s suddenly become your job to contain her mistakes instead of vice versa. You don’t like it. It’s limiting the way you behave, impinging on your own sense of self.”
“You got all that in just thirty-five minutes? Not bad.” Trying to back him off, because he’d pretty much just nailed it.
“You know that you both need help. She won’t come in and talk to me, so you did. You’re looking for a quick fix, but I can’t possibly treat your wife through you.”
“I see.”
“You keep saying that. Pardon my bluntness, but you don’t see. You don’t want to. At least not yet. You’re in denial.”
We stared at each other, locked in his beige-on-beige, forty-minute time capsule.
“Will she get better?” I finally asked.
“Recovery from traumatic or acquired brain injury can take years. A patient will sometimes experience mood changes, major shifts in behavior parameters, even temper control problems. Sometimes these changes will only be temporary and the patient will return to normal, other times not. I’d have to have many sessions with your wife to determine what, if any, of these things are present and how permanent they might become. The meds you found in her purse indicate she’s having seizures. Maybe that’s what caused the traffic accident.”
“She won’t book an appointment with a psychiatrist. She has a neurosurgeon in Westwood, Luther Lexington. He did her surgeries and he recommended a psychiatrist last summer. She only went to that doctor once and never went back.”
“A mistake.”
“You don’t understand. She’s running one of the highest-profile bureaus in the city. If it gets out she’s going to a shrink or having seizures, crashing her car, or whatever, it’s going to destroy her career.”
“I’m hesitant to make a diagnosis not having seen the patient. But I will tell you this much. I don’t like what I’m hearing. If I were you, I would get her help regardless of the danger to her career.”
I looked at my watch again.
“If you have someplace to go, don’t let me keep you.” Somehow he managed the sentence without sounding snotty.
“I’d have been better off going to McDonald’s. At least I would have gotten lunch.”
“Then I won’t charge you for the hour.”
“No. I want to pay. I want . . . I want to come back next week.”
“I don’t know.”
“Same time, same place?”
I stood, accidentally hitting the little table with a Kleenex box next to the chair and tipping it over. Another slight smile. I righted the table and replaced the tissue box.
“Well, I guess that does it then,” I said.
“That does it,” he replied, wheezing it at me through tiny teeth buried in a fleshy smile. His chubby hands were laced across his belly. He had no intention of standing to see me out.
I turned and walked to the door.
“Detective?” I stopped and looked back at him. “People change. Even people who didn’t get shot in the head. Change is an inevitable part of life. Sometimes by embracing change, it becomes less frightening and we open ourselves to the good that may be hiding there.”
“I see.”
The smile flickered again. Then he said, “Here’s something you can do. Keep a diary. Everything that she does that bothers you, write it down. To be valuable, it should be mostly about what you feel.
“Next week, then.”
It was the first day of summer, but I stepped outside into an unseasonable Alaskan cold front, which had roared out of the north, blasting Los Angeles. A frigid wind whipped down the mountain passes, into the Valley. Even though it was June, it felt like November. The palm trees that lined Van Nuys Boulevard creaked and bent, swaying like gaunt old men in the brisk wind, leaning over to peer down as I wandered in confusion toward my car. 
Copyright © 2008 by Stephen J. Cannell. All rights reserved.


Excerpted from Three Shirt Deal by Cannell, Stephen J. Copyright © 2008 by Cannell, Stephen J.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

In his thirty-five-year career, Emmy Award-winning writer Stephen J. Cannell has created more than forty TV series. Among his hits are The Rockford Files, Silk Stalkings, The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, Hunter, Renegade, Wiseguy, and The Commish. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and children.

Brief Biography

Pasadena, California
Date of Birth:
February 5, 1941
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
B.S., University of Oregon

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Three Shirt Deal (Shane Scully Series #7) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No one can beat Cannell these days when it comes to the police action drama, and The Three Shirt Deal totally validates this opinion. The plot is full of surprises and populated by interesting characters and situations, some of which come straight from recent headlines. But what makes this and all of Cannell's novels stand out in the genre is the way he gets you to invest emotionally in his characters and then puts you inside the conflicts and challenges which threaten to destroy them. It's this kind of emotional merry-go-round which sets the quality of his work far above that of most of his contemporaries. Can't wait for the next one!
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Detectives Shane Scully and his wife, Alexa, both seem to find a way to get themselves involved in intricate situations, but the implausibility of it all leaves this book short of a great review. It's a fine, quick read for the spring travel season, but you can leave it on the plane and never give it a second thought.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently read Three Shirt Deal and found it to be very exciting. It picks up where White Sister left off with Shane and Alexa trying to save their marriage, but it's also a good 'jumping in' point for people who are new to the series. In Three Shirt Deal, Stephen J. Cannell skillfully weaves between Shane and Alexa's story, and Shane's efforts to free an innocent man wrongly convicted of a murder he did not commit. Here's the twist, to solve this mystery, Shane is teamed up with an attractive female detective during a time when his relationship to Alexa is faltering. This creates a lot of tension and temptation!
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*she moans in your mouth and kisses your neck and is about to cu<_>m*
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ggrossman More than 1 year ago
If you read the Shane Scully books, this one does not disappoint. A fast read - hard to put down.
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