Riding the Snake by Stephen J. Cannell (PWBR00054)
The Writing Life of a Tadpole
Plot or Premise
Stephen J. Cannell is an expert at pulling PR successes with fluff on the TV airwaves. This book is no exception. It takes a wealthy playboy (who never measured up to his father’s standards) and a black female cop (who came from the streets) and throws them together to investigate a crime committed by Asian tongs. About the only thing missing from the demographics are gays because we also have Russians and international intrigue. The short plot summary is that playboy Wheeler Cassidy loses his seemingly straight-laced brother to an Asian tong war involving immigrants “riding the snake” to America and the “free” elections in Hong Kong as it reverts to Chinese rule. Along as his investigative partner is a black cop, Tanisha Williams, being investigated for having ties still to her “hood”, and therefore assigned to a desk in the Asian bureau of the LAPD. She investigates the death of Cassidy’s brother, and the brother’s secretary, and it all leads off to Hong Kong — taxi!
What I Liked
A weird series of events leads from Hong Kong back to L.A. and more fights with the tongs, and a Russian nuclear bomb that has been smuggled into L.A.
What I Didn’t Like
Basically, the writing is fine, but the book is what happens when you take a Tom Clancy-type story, replace the spooks with characters from your average cop story on TV, and run it along the same TV format plot lines. No depth here, but he hits all the major story headlines from popular press.